My fellow Catholics,
After many months, when it would have been quite easy to write regarding the travails of both the world and the Traditional Roman Catholic Church, I found myself refraining from any written comments. After all, opinions are worthless today, thanks to instant messaging, twittering, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, etc., and the isolationist mechanisms of cell phones, computers, and, yes, television. In fact, my e-mail that was last used in December went the way of the Dodo bird in January and only recently have I relented to accepting another. With all the distractions, I've tried, not always successfully, to follow the excellent advice Griff imparts in his article On Meditation. It is well worth reading.
Now I would like to share what has been placed on my heart. One of the major problems I've perceived is that there is too much information from those who are, themselves, uninformed. The majority of the population today does not know how to think, much less how to think for themselves. They have traded their ability to be honest thinkers, for the much easier path of lethargic watchers, passive citizens who are content that whatever is spoken, or seen via TV news, or written in the few remaining newspapers and magazines, is sufficient to INSTRUCT them as to what they should do.
This point is particularly important since such passive treatment of the dire conditions of our own country, point clearly to an insidiously disguised pride within us that condones all manner of sin, immorality, vice, graft, and greed. The list, my friends, is endless wherein we hide our pride. We say we are not proud, we consider ourselves virtuous as long as WE pray, attend Holy Mass, and give a meager portion of our wealth to the support of our churches and chapels.
We have even arrived at the insidious point of pride that we find ourselves placing our validly ordained bishops, priests, brothers, and consecrated religious in temptation, as we look the other way when they indulge themselves in grandiose living, allow a few within their chapels and churches to rule, rather than obey, and we are wont to lavish upon these few consecrated ones such a superabundance of material goods that those few now live in kingly estate, while we humbly slink to the sidelines as if we are being good obedient servants.
My dear friends, who are we serving? We do ourselves no favor if we do not keep ourselves informed through thoroughly authentic writings of the few laboring in Christ's vineyard. There is but one vineyard. It is that of the True Roman Catholic Church, and its ripples must never be contained within its own circle, but must reach to all upon earth, for the vast majority are being dragged to damnation by our lack of inaction on behalf of those who so labor for Christ's unerring Truth, versus the majority of us who hide in our own particular church or chapel, spoil our clergy, and make no effort to live saintly lives.
In the past, Christ raised up great saints to help His True Church navigate the advances of society and society's subsequent decline into corruption because of pride. The few who stood in defiance of this ploy of Satan, were often martyred, many exiled, many simply wiped off the face of the earth.
The majority were content in their pride to stay with the status quo, with no thought of righting the wrongs committed against God. Today, we have become a society content with caring far more about the lower class animals, than about the human being created by Almighty God. We shudder if a domesticated animal is abused, giving no thought to the slaughter of millions, perhaps billions of immortal souls slaughtered in the womb. We give no thought to the starving peoples, the destitute, the disabled, the ones in-between the outrageously rich, and the utterly impoverished. In that limbo space lays our hidden pride, and our comfortable lukewarmness.
Does anyone pray to become a saint? Does anyone ask for such a grace? Does anyone endeavor to live a holy life, regardless of whether anyone on earth notices? We cannot and should not hide our precious gift of the One True Faith. Yet, we do. We are content that we have a parish, perhaps one with daily Mass, or a small mission chapel where a validly ordained priest comes on Sundays, or perhaps only a few times a year. We are content that the Catholics move in their tightly woven Traditional circle, thanking God that we are not like "them..." those poor ones who believe Satan's lie that a 'new church' wrought through the machinations of Vatican Council II, have it wrong, but we've got it right, and thus our salvation is assured.
For years we have written repeatedly about the necessity of knowing your faith in order to live it fully, alas to keep that holy Faith which can slip away so quickly if we are not always alert and vigilant in our prayer life. Now, most minds care naught about the growth of their parish, or the Traditional Movement. Most minds are consumed, night and day, with worldly measures, the economy, the shift in power in our own government, and in the world. Our obsession with such worldly matters shows that we live in a limbo land, which our mind sees as being virtuous, when in truth it is a shadowed land. The shadows, my friends, are our own insufferable pride hidden beneath and behind our inherent lukewarmness.
Where, I humbly ask, is the fire within us that must shine forth to all? Where is that grace-filled soul that has the God-given courage to stand up and fight, to care naught how long the fight may be, only that the fight must commence. What are we waiting for? Many will answer - "For God to work a miracle!"
Have you ever considered that we are to be God's miracle? Is it not possible that God, in His Infinite Wisdom and Omniscience, is waiting for us, few though we may be, to rise up and begin to think as people of grace, and to act in His Name to stop the evil from advancing another step? Why must He work a miracle for people who have stopped learning, stopped thinking for themselves, and stopped living for Him? Are we in that group? Examine your conscience so that you, too, may work on rooting out that hidden pride and lukewarmness that sneaks up on all of us and latches on like leeches. We need to clear the barnacles that cling to things not of God.
Do you truly expect God to work a miracle for such a people, for such as His flock is composed of? Are we worth a miracle, when we give nothing to those who have forsaken all else to labor in His vineyard? Are we worth His miracle when we are merely giving lip service to Him, and allowing Satan to strike at the flock through pride, avarice, greed and corruption. Are we so afraid to stand up to our clergy when we see them living in opulence, when we know how sinful that is and how utterly offensive it is to God?
My dear Catholics, all clergy should stand before God without worldly goods. We can ill afford to repeat the mistakes, which the Council of Trent ended with a mighty stroke of the pen, and the heroic efforts of saintly Pontiffs like Pope Saint Pius V and priests, bishops and cardinals especially Saint Charles Borromeo and Saint Robert Bellarmine. Yet, we seem to be doing just that - carelessly, pridefully, slovenly standing by while our clergy succumb to temptation, living lavishly, and allowing unschooled laity to run their church, their school, to the detriment of the entire flock. We, who by no merit of our own, have been chosen by God to live now, to live in this extraordinary time, and to have been graced to see the evil wrought by Vatican Council II and to have the One True Faith, dare not to examine our lives with microscopic scrutiny.
Our consciences have been lulled into a comatose state by our pitiful lukewarmness and hidden pride. We make a mild attempt to "do our best", when our best is little more than our own hands patting ourselves on the back in congratulations that we've got the One True Faith, and all is right with the world.
Every day that goes by without a conversion, without a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, is one day less for the One True Faith to exist on this earth. We can congratulate ourselves all we want, but God isn't. In fact, I happen to think His patience with us is running short, and we may find ourselves paying for our inability to think, to learn, to plan, and to act accordingly to the precepts of Holy Mother Church. Where do we expect our children, our grandchildren to find the One True Faith if there are no bishops left, no priests, and no one willing to surrender all to live in the consecrated state of poverty, chastity, humility, and obedience?
I have often meditated on the hidden life of our Savior. Those many years in Nazareth have not been revealed to us in Sacred Scripture. Why? Perhaps because we are to find within ourselves the delight in living as the Holy Family lived - simply, but with such love for God that they were consumed by it not as fire consumes a stack of papers, but as God's fire enlivens, emboldens, and purifies.
Have you ever considered with what patience Our Lord stayed those many years with St. Joseph and The Blessed Mother in Nazareth, working as a carpenter, before beginning His ministry. In addition, what are we doing today? Are we patient? Or are we simply lazy?
Why are there few, if any, conversions to the One True Faith. Why are there so few vocations to the priesthood or religious life. Could it be because of our hidden pride and our laize-faire attitude about the Church and its ultimate role in the lives of every person on the planet?
We care more about our pocketbooks, than we care about God and the things of Heaven. We give credence to media pundits, and worry ourselves into insomnia, because we have not taken our Faith seriously. We are satisfied with what little we know, and do, because who is there to tell us to do more? Unfortunately, very, very few.
There are those, my dear Catholics who have given up all that the world has to offer, who are so far below the poverty scale that welfare could not help if it wanted to, and it doesn't. These few are called, and have obediently, willingly, lovingly, given up everything, including, home and family, to take the Word of God into the four corners of the world. As it was in the time of the apostles, so is it today. These few ask for nothing that is for their own benefit. They seek the support of the loyal Catholics who share the priceless gift of the One True Faith to aid them in their labor. Yet, in this last year alone, the number of those who give has fallen to such a low that absolutely every laborer I know, is on life-support, with the threat of that life-support being turned off growing stronger with every day that passes.
If we continue to be proud and lukewarm, when we have been given the greatest gift - the One True Faith - God will not work a miracle to save us from ourselves. We shall consider ourselves blessed if He does not, instead, wipe us off the face of the earth as unworthy stewards, as lukewarm regurgitation.
The world spirals downward, its pace so fast no one can keep up with it yet giddily society goes along and plunges to damnation. We are not 'safe' just because God chose to give us the One True Faith in the time of the Great Apostasy. Rather, our burden is greater for the gift, and our responsibility to spread the True Faith to all is no less a charge than that which Christ gave to His Apostles.
By the grace of God it is time to shake ourselves out of our self-made dormition. It is time to awake to the grace of the Holy Ghost to transform ourselves into truly holy people, upon whom God will shower His blessings. It is time to examine our lives, to cut loose those things, which drag us down into torpor, and it is far past time to come to the aid of those laboring for Love of God to spread the One True Faith. If we do not, then our pride and lukewarmness shall combine to condemn us to the eternal fire of Hell.
The choice is ours. The gift was freely given by God. What we decide will determine not only our eternal salvation, but that moment when God's dire chastisements will befall mankind. Let us vow before God to do ALL in our power to help. Our prayers are paramount. But to give of our treasure in a time when the world is suffocating beneath the fetid breath of the beast of Sacred Scripture is to find God smiling upon His little flock, and perhaps when He sees that we are serious about our Faith, He will provide the miracle He intends for the world.
May the Holy Ghost inspire in each of us such a virtue of sublime charity that we will give until we have given all. Only then do we deserve to be called Catholic.