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.
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 St. 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.