Fr. Stephen's column along with columns by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto and Father John H. Hampsch, C.M.F. promise simple, but effective and vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can reach Fr. Valenta at Hearts to heart Center at P.O. Box 212, Rensselaer, New York, 12144 or you can reach him at (518) 434-1723.
Satan surely does not reverence Jesus; satan does not reverence Jesus' Mystical Body, the Church. It is precisely this that he works feverishly to attain, to draw reverence for Jesus out of Christ's followers, to draw reverence out of every single person for God, for anyone who is holy, for any thing that represents or reflects holiness. Satan cannot stand reverence and he realizes that without reverence there can be no true love, no true worship, no truly serving God!
It is no secret that within the last twenty-eight years, there has transpired within the Church, amongst the people of God, a visible lessening of the quality of reverence for Jesus, for the Eucharist, for the priesthood, for all that is holy. In our present day there is an alarming lack of true reverence for the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ. I say, "true reverence" because, there those who have a respect for Pope John Paul II as a man of God, as a charming person, but do not look to him as the visible head of Christ's Church, sets forth. Unfortunately, amongst this group are some priests and bishops who present themselves as pastors of the people, but who lead them according to their own private beliefs, turning them away from the path of reverence for, and obedience to, the true teachings and values set forth by Jesus Christ.
It is something most regrettable that flocks of people all over the world are being led astray by wolves in sheeps' clothing, unaware that they are being betrayed by the very ones in whom they put their trust. What is even more regrettable is the fact that these very pastors do not have the slightest suspicion that they are being duped by none other than satan himself.
In my next installment I will continue this same trend of thought, speaking of solutions to overcoming these attempts to diminish reverence.
To review Father Valenta's previous columns in this series, go to Archives beginning with the August 18, 1997 issue of A CALL TO PEACE: volume 8, no. 16.