One must work very hard and even be heroic in order to preserve one's faith against the onslaughts of an unbelieving world. It is necessary to pray to God "to be strengthened with power through his Spirit unto the progress of the inner man; and to have Christ dwelling through faith in your hearts…" (Eph.3:16,17). Lacking this heroism, or lacking the grace through want of prayer, Catholics are falling away from the faith by the millions, especially the young. Poorly instructed in the Catholic faith, their minds poisoned against Traditional Catholicism, they do not know how to protect themselves from the universal drift into doctrinal error and laxity of morals.
Indeed, why should I be a Catholic, if even Vatican II says one must be free to choose one's religion? Why should I abide by the rules and restraints of an outmoded Church, if the priests themselves don't live by the rules? Is not the Church narrow minded and arrogant in claiming to be the one true Church? Why should I not consider the claims of the other religions? If even bishops talk about religious "traditions" as if they were on a more or less equal basis, all leading to Heaven in the end, how can I say that my religion is right and theirs is wrong? Does not "dialogue" means that I must be open to understanding all religions and be willing to learn from them? So why do I remain a Catholic? And why should I try to preserve the ancient faith of the Church?
The answer is that God has spoken to man, revealing His plan of salvation for all men through His Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and His Holy Church. And if God speaks to us we must believe Him and obey Him, since God is Truth, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. We speak of the doctrine of Divine Revelation. St. Paul tells us in Hebrews: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed Heir of all things, by whom also He made the world…" (Heb.1:1,2).
There is, of course, natural revelation. God may be known through observing the heavens, the phenomena of nature, and the order within creation. Man is religious by nature, and when confronted by a "mysterium tremendum" which he cannot understand, he inevitably creates for himself a religious system in which a deity or deities are worshipped, trying to placate or manipulate the spiritual forces in which he has come to believe. But this is not the faith that saves, faith in Jesus Christ. This is why the Church must preach the Gospel, proclaiming the way that all must follow who wish to be saved.
The Holy Catholic Religion, the only divinely revealed Religion, should not be classed with the other so-called World Religions which were founded by men - Talmudic Judaism, Islamism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even the schismatic and heretical Christian sects that have separated themselves from the true Church. The Catholic Religion is the one founded by Jesus Christ, Who said to His Apostles: "All power in Heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…" (Mt.28:18-20).
The truth divides true believers from unbelievers. We must not be confused by the fact that the Conciliar Church now uses the term "believer" to refer to every infidel, heretic, and witch doctor. To speak of the adherents of the false religions as "believers" is a serious error. The term must be reserved for those who believe in Jesus Christ and accept the authority of His Church. The same applies to the term "faith." Christian faith, which is a supernatural gift elevating the Christian to the supernatural level, is of an altogether higher order than the misplaced "faith" of those not yet enlightened by the Gospel.
But because of an out-of-control false ecumenism which seeks dialogue with all religions, without preaching to them the Gospel of Salvation, the "tail is wagging the dog." Dialogue and Ecumenism have become so important in the Conciliar Church that the truths enshrined in the Creeds and infallible decrees the Church are forgotten or denied.
The catastrophic error being taught in the Conciliar Church, whether wittingly or unwittingly, is that all men are "born again" in grace at their conception, from the first man to the last in time, because of the Incarnation of the Son of God, whereas Jesus Christ Himself taught that to be saved one must have faith in Him, and that "unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (Jn.3:3). This error has caused many to question the necessity of being Catholic, or of practicing the Catholic faith.
The Catholic Church will be held responsible by God for preserving and teaching the truths which He Himself has revealed and intended for all men, so that they might live eternally with Him. As St. Paul says: "How then are they to call upon him in whom they have not believed? But how are they to believe him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear, if no one preaches? And how are men to preach unless they be sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace; of those who bring glad tidings of good things!'" (Rom.10:15,15).
Souls are being lost. The true Church mourns for her straying children, and for those millions of souls held in spiritual bondage by the false religions. Her arms are always open in welcome for those willing to abandon their present errors, to believe in Jesus Christ, and to seek Baptism, or reconciliation with the one true Church, that they too "may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know Christ's love which surpasses knowledge, in order that… (they) may be filled unto all the fullness of God" (Eph.3:18,19).
We must watch and pray, for the Lord will come, says St. Paul: "And just as it is appointed unto men to die once and after this comes the judgment, so also was Christ offered once to take away the sins of many; the second time with no part in sin he will appear unto the salvation of those who await him." (Heb.9:27,28).