DAILY CATHOLIC THURSDAY July 23, 1998 vol. 9, no. 143
WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?
To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
Continuing in our multi-part feature on the direction we as Catholics, as the mystical Body of Christ, are heading as the clock ticks down on the twentieth century, we will begin to delve on what avenues are available to us in our task of "road maintenance" on the way to Heaven on the greatest of all vehicles - the Roman Catholic Church.
PREPARATION IS PARAMOUNT
The first step is to want to be holy. Achieving holiness does not come easy; one has to work at it and work hard for the more one strives to submit their own will totally to God's Will, the more they become a prime target of satan's wrath for their commitment to sanctity is a threat to all that the evil one is after. That is why we need to pray. Only prayer can buffer us from the slings and arrows the demon will hurl at us. Prayer will strengthen our resolve and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, help us gain wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is power! Not worldly power, but the power of the Word of God, which, if we truly know our faith, we will not only stay on the straight and narrow but be better able to help others through the detours and landmines of life.
Yes, we need to be prepared. We must realize that these truths of God's protection do not necessarily mean we're not in for some serious times ahead. Au contraire, mes amis. We're in for the battle of our life and the life (souls) of others! We are coming into a time when we truly will fulfill our role in the Communion of Saints, comprising the Church Triumphant (souls in Heaven), the Church Suffering (souls in Purgatory) [Yes, Virginia, there is a Purgatory!] and the Church Militant.
GIRDING FOR BATTLE
In order to be worthy and useful "soldiers of Christ" we need to don our battle armor as Saint Paul said in Ephesians 6:11-17, "Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil... Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of justice, and having your feet shod with the readiness of the gospel of peace, in all things taking up the shield of faith, with which you may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, that is, the word of God."
There it is, the spiritual fashion-plate for our battle fatigues. But before we can go into battle, we must be molded into "lean, clean machines." This means we must shed ourselves of the excess weight of vices, and, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) we become "clean" and restored to Sanctifying Grace. Then we must exercise spiritually to build our resistance to the enemy. It is also vital, during this "basic training boot camp" to go back to the basics of our faith and, if necessary, re-learn our faith through arduous study of the Catechism, be it the new updated Catechism of the Catholic Church, or for those who have a copy, the old Baltimore Catechism. After all, as we mentioned prior in this article, the teachings have not changed. The old, standard and comfortable Baltimore Catechism stood the test of time and why not? It was solid and simple to understand and act upon. No wonder the allies of the wicked one targeted this gem to minimize!
Through studying and knowing Catholic Doctrine we can better persevere and preserve the Truths which have been given to us by Christ, and through the succession of the Popes since Saint Peter.
If we do not know our faith, then it is all too easy to become a "lukewarm Catholic" who takes his/her place in the pew on Sunday Morning, heedless of what is being said at Mass, how the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being said, and nodding off during the homily which should be the time when we are "taught" about our faith from the pulpit, and not a place for the celebrant or deacon to be an "entertainer" telling stories, cracking jokes, or otherwise regale us with cute anecdotes about some funny happening in their life experience. We are there to get dogma and doctrine and the true meaning of the Liturgy of the Word. We are there to become saints, in union with Christ, and we can't do that if all we ever talk about is how human we all are. We need to talk about and be talked to about higher things...spiritual thoughts that will elevate our souls and our resolve to do God's Will.
It may seem like we're criticizing priests with these last comments. That is never the intention, rather we are reminding them of what they were called to do in their calling as a servant of God in the sacred life of one given Holy Orders. We will have much more on this in a future issue.
Knowing our faith feeds us in our hunger to become more holy which will enable everyone of us to be constantly vigilant over any corrupt doctrine that might infiltrate into the Church. Impossible you say? Hardly. Heresy has been rampant since Christ's time, and in the Jewish faith long before His birth. Today, as the Mother of God has reported to visionaries and locutionists alike, every heresy that has ever existed abides today in the Church. It's everywhere, and we need to look it straight in the eye, clothed with the truth of our faith and denounce it as such, if we are to persevere, and in our persevering, help bring the Holy Roman Catholic Church gloriously into the next millennium.
We need also to be aware how clever heresy is: It is one thing to espouse satanic worship, which is clearly heresy and one so obvious that anyone who's striving to be God's child will oppose point blank. But it's quite another to be indoctrinated ever so slowly, so gradually, with half-truths that cover up the half-lie in the "new age" "humanist" and"liberation theology" of today's growing number of "Cafeteria Catholics" who predominate the media and make headway into the classrooms via books that become "best sellers" because they appeal to the mass-thinking appeal of "if it feels good it must be right" churchgoers.
In the next installment, we will study how preparation through prayer and faith can help us gird for battle and
guide us along the path toward true holiness. As true members of the One, True, Holy and Apostolic Church we
need to make a decision to follow the right path. It won't be a popular one, but it will be the right one.
WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?