What will Our Lord find when He returns? |
My very dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
for some months now the Holy Spirit has put upon my heart to meditate upon the words in Sacred Scripture where Our Lord tells us that He will come again as Judge, and will He find, then, upon the earth, anyone of faith. I have pondered these words, seeking discernment as to whether Our Lord was speaking of anyone being alive at that time possessing even a shred of faith in Him as Lord and Savior, or rather if His words refer to His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, where the True Faith resides in all of its fullness.
Having meditated upon this, and having conferred with my Spiritual Director, Father Al Svobodny, a truly holy priest who has lived the fullness of his vocation for over fifty years now, I share with you what
the Holy Spirit allowed me to see, and to suffer the knowledge, that Christ's words refer strictly to His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Last month my family and I attended the 5 pm Sunday Mass at a local parish, the one we thought was orthodox. Little did we realize the Mass we had attended several weeks before that at this same parish was by a visiting priest and the pastor was 180 degrees from the Franciscan who said the first Mass. Now we went to the Sunday evening Mass not out of laziness to sleep in Sunday morning, but because we had spent all morning and the better part of the afternoon in the emergency room with our younger son Kellin, who suffers from a very rapid heartbeat due, apparently, to a viral infection he caught at the beginning of the year. We were thankful we could still get to Mass. We went with our heart on fire to know that our son's heart had not suffered damage, and though exhausted, we willingly and lovingly presented ourselves at the foot of the altar to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
However, from the moment the cantor stepped to the microphone, I knew that there was something not right. This woman commanded that everyone in the church sing their lungs out, and if they didn't, they'd have to answer to the priest, who happened to be pastor of this parish. I was stunned, as the choir, complete with guitar and drums, all amplified, broke into song that was more Pentecostal than Catholic. Upon this note, Mass began, and the pastor, once the choir had finished singing the song twice, began Mass with another command that those who did not sing their hearts out were not there for the right reason. I almost stood up and said:"I beg your pardon, Father, but the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass does not depend upon whether we all sing our hearts out, but rather that we present our heart to God in humility". But, I did not do this.
The homily was given by the deacon, and the whole content of the sermon was humanistic, and bordered upon heresy, all part of the American Church lexicon. Again, my guardian angel had to restrain me, and instead, I offered prayers of reparation for this abuse of the Gospel.
Well, the Offertory commenced, and while awaiting the presentation of the gifts, the choir went into another Gospel song, and I had to check my pulse to make sure I was in a Catholic Church, and not one of another denomination. It brought to my mind the loss we, as Catholics, have suffered over the years, in now believing that we present ourselves as gifts to be offered at the Consecration, along with the bread and wine, rather than the knowledge that we offer to God Almighty, Our Father in Heaven, His Only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and to Him, we unite our hearts, our souls. There is something very wrong about this new "we are church, we are god" syndrome.
The Pastor offered the bread and wine together, which is contrary to the rubrics of the Mass, and contrary to the mandates set forth by the Holy Father in his most recent update of these very rubrics. Michael was so certain that Father had been confused by the Gospel-singing going on full throttle, that he even went to Father and humbly and reverently brought this to his attention. It just got worse after that.
There were eighteen eucharistic ministers on the altar when it was time for Holy Communion to be distributed. Four had the Precious Blood, the rest the Sacred Hosts. By this time, our souls were so sad, so upset, that after receiving Holy Communion, we stepped a few feet to the right of the altar to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, which is separated from the main body of the church by glass, exactly as the crying room is separated from the main body of the church by glass.
We did so in order to not only be with Our Lord present within us in the Holy Eucharist and present in the Tabernacle as well, but also to prevent the circus-like distractions going on in the main body of the church from disturbing our quiet contemplation after receiving Him. I'm sure many can relate to this modern aberration of everyone just traipsing up rote-style and going through the motions with ommunicants receiving as if they're there for a handout. Sadly, I doubt many even realized what they were doing, and that's what is even sadder to our dear Lord and His Blessed and Sorrowful Mother.
After the Mass concluded, after we had prayed and meditated and asked for the graces of which we were most in need, we approached the Pastor after the Mass, when the others had stopped shaking his hand, hoping to draw him off quietly and ask him why he had not followed the norms of the General Instructions for the Roman Missal and the Rubrics as handed down by Rome. We took extreme caution to wait until most of the congregation had passed on by so as not to embarrass him. But it wouldn't have mattered, he was furious with us. Oh well, I've had people furious with me before over my sincere love of my True faith. We asked him why he had offered the bread and wine together. He said that he's done it for years that way, has done it before his own bishop, and will continue to do it. We asked him if he would do it before the Holy Father, and he was silent. We then asked if he would do it that way before Cardinal Ratzinger, and he said "No!" with emphasis. Right then and there we knew the parish was in trouble, that it was not a place where our souls could be fed, at least at this Pastor's Masses.
There is a Vietnam Priest stationed there, for there is a large Vietnamese family who attend this parish, and his Masses are so reverent, it is as if our hearts are lifted up into Heaven, where we are nourished spiritually. Normally, the Vietnamese Priest says the daily Mass, and we are delighted to attend these Masses. But never, never, will we attend the ones that the Pastor says, for he was very deliberate in saying that he, as well as his bishop, approve of these alterations…and I want to add that he was liberal in various parts of the mass in inserting his own wording, rather than that set down by our Holy Father.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I mention these things, because I know in my heart that in many of the parishes across this land, and therefore in your parish, these same aberrations are going on. My dear brothers and sisters, as we attend Mass, be it daily or on Sunday, we are being led into lukewarmness, and into what is cleverly being called "The American Catholic Church" - or, as my husband calls it - the "amchurch." Notice when something is not worthy of honor or respect Michael will deliberately lowercase a proper noun or name. He does this all the time with any reference to the devil, calling him satan, or lucifer rather than capitalizing the name. Conversely, Michael is adamant about capitalizing anything referring to God. One of his pet buggaboos is to see Christ referred to as "him" instead of "Him." In fact, through research, we have discovered that before Vatican II most prayer books, missals, prayers, etc. referred to God always with a capital letter, including all pronouns.
The non-capitalization of pronouns and personal pronouns in reference to the Divinity is just one example of how we have made God less important.
Beware of this, my dear brothers and sisters. You are not called to begin a new church, that of "The American Catholic Church", but you are members of the One, True, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church, the Roman Catholic Church of which Pope John Paul II is the head. He possesses the authority by which the Church is led, and it is from him that all bishops and priests obtain and should teach by that authority. Yes, the bishops are also successors of the apostles, but only the Holy Father is the direct successor of St. Peter himself, who was given the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.
What then are we to do. Well, prayer is first and foremost, for we must pray for these wayward priests and their bishops. We must, in charity, with love and humility, make known to the priests, and to their bishops, that we are aware of the true rubrics of the Mass (look them up, they are in the Sacramentary) and we know what is right and wrong, and we must, in charity, bring to their attention the wrong that they are doing, however subtle it may be. We must be alert, my brothers and sisters, to aberrations that fly in the face of the authority and teaching of our Holy Father, and we must not sit in the pew and just let anything happen, because after all, it's the teaching of "Vatican Council II."
Wrong! The phantom spirit of Vatican Council II, that liberal interpretation and implementation that took place over thirty years ago, and continues to this day, disguised as the true spirit of the Council, disguised by the Conference of Bishops of the United States, etc., is bringing us closer each day to the "American Catholic Church."
In fact, Michael has been doing extensive research on the Council and on the implementation and he is discovering more and more how something went drastically wrong. When exactly is what he is still working on. There are conflicting documents and events that, as he says, "don't jive." You'll note he is sharing some of this research with you the more he uncovers it. One example is last week's and today's excellent and eye-opening article by the respected theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand. But I will leave these apologetics to him for the Holy Spirit has been guiding him in this and me in what I am being asked to do in sharing with you and being the prayerful support of our family.
The Sanctifier wants me to remind you how important it is we realize we have been given the great gift of the one, true faith, the Roman Catholic Faith, and if we are not alert, if we remain uninformed, if we sit idly back and say and do nothing, then we are opening the door for the true faith to become a water-downed version that closely resembles Protestantism, rather than true Catholicism.
Will there by anyone of faith to greet Our Lord when He comes for the Second and final time? Ah, there is the question, and one we need to meditate and contemplate in our hearts. The "faith" in Our Lord's question is about the True Faith, and, yes, He has promised to be with His Church until the end of time, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it as Matthew recorded in his Gospel, chapter 16: 18. However, His promise is not an excuse for us to be silent participants in a movement that has grown even stronger this last decade, a movement which promotes "The American Catholic Church" vs. The Roman Catholic Church. There is only One, True, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and we are the beneficiaries of the great gift of this faith. It is our duty, our responsibility to be well informed as to the true teachings of our Church. We must not be afraid to stand up for our true faith, even if that means being summarily dismissed by an irate priest whom we have spoken to about the aberrations he has just concluded within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
No matter how many times it is called a "meal" and we are called to the "table", it remains, and will always remain the Holy SACRIFICE of the Mass, the reenactment of the blood sacrifice of Calvary in an unbloody manner on the altar. My brothers and sisters in Christ, if we do not ask for the grace to persevere in the True Faith, if we do not stand with Our Holy Father, and with those bishops and priests who follow his teachings and bow to his authority, then we may have faith when Our Lord returns, but will it be the True Faith that He gave to the world through His life, death, and resurrection?
Pray to persevere, pray to stand up for your faith, and be always charitable, yet uncompromising in the fullness of the truth. Be informed, meditate, pray, make sacrifice, and seek always the grace of Our Lord to help you accomplish what He asks of you, that when He returns as Just Judge, there may be True Faith in abundance upon this earth.
Your very little sister in Christ who is praying for you and with you, and asking your prayers in return,
For past installments by Cyndi Cain, see SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING Archives
Let us know what you think, send your comments to Feedback to the Editor
March 27, 2001
volume 12, no. 86
Cyndi Cain's SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING column