As the Church nears the time to blow out 2000 candles, the Holy Spirit's Flame of Love remains as strong as ever. It is the human light that has grown weaker. Why? When laxity sets in, the sentinels of faith become too relaxed and the thieves of heresy and schism steal into the sanctuary, robbing the faithful of the fullness of their heritage as Christ's chosen ones. The Roman Catholic faith He gave us, passed down from generation to generation, has become watered down...diluted over the past thirty years. Why? First of all, to debate the Dogmas, Doctrines and Teachings of Holy Mother Church is an anomaly for the very nature of the Roman Catholic Religion is faith. That faith teaches that the Church to which we belong was founded by Jesus Christ (cf. Matthew 16:18-19) and through the lawful succession of St. Peter, the first Pope, the very Dogmas and Doctrines of the faith were bestowed upon the Church by Christ Himself. Christ is the invisible Head of the Church. We, His children, are the members of the Church who comprise the Mystical Body of Christ. This Mystical Body is the Communion of Saints comprising The Church Triumphant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Militant. No other religion can make this claim. At the top of this hierarchial structure established by God is the Holy Father who is the visible head of the Church, the representative of Christ among us. To him is due loyalty, respect and, above all, obedience in all matters of faith and morals. In turn, the Pope's teachings on matters of faith and morals are always guided by, and under the influence of, the Holy Spirit, and are thus infallible! This is not debatable.
As we draw closer to the Millennium, these recent decades have given birth to a veritable army of uninformed Catholics who do not know their faith, nor are they concerned about learning, knowing and practicing their faith fully. Thus it follows that it is increasingly difficult for Catholics as a whole, lukewarm Catholics or "cafeteria catholics" in particular, to set a good example for the world. The Holy Catholic Church no longer is able to present a unified force in the world. Though his Holiness Pope John Paul II has been the steady beacon in a world gone astray, his own Church dissects, criticizes and discards everything he says. That is not right in the eyes of God! Because of this the Church has been softened from its core. Bishops allow ideas and liturgies to fester without cutting them off at their root once they reveal themselves as heretical or schismatic. Too few of Christ's shepherds have the courage, wisdom, fortitude and fear of the Lord to speak out as Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz did last month (cf. Editorial, volume 7, no. 9) Rather, by burying their heads in the sand as ostriches the bishops have allowed the Church to become a victim of negative press from within and without. Without realizing it they are encouraging the Catholic bashing that is so prevalent today by their silence. Every time the "negative" view of the Roman Catholic Church appears in print or electronic media, those "cafeteria catholics," those who are lukewarm out of ignorance or a catechetical lack of the faith, are pulled off the right path and veer toward the deceptive road satan patrols. The false prophets of today, the secular media take pride in molding images. The image they have formed of the Church is one of turmoil and tyranny. Nothing could be further from the truth!!! Yet, when a Catholic hears this enough from the gods of the airwaves, they begin to believe it themselves. Once this happens, they unconsciously will strive to separate themselves from the attacked subject. This plays right into satan's hands who has groomed many to deceive them by tearing down the fabric of the Church through "logic!" and shame! Evidence the oversaturation of stories on women's rights and sensational pedophile reports. If one is not versed in the faith, one can easily believe the lies of the media which are supported by the liberal "experts" within the Church which the false prophets canonize as the American authorities on Catholicism. With these liberal theologians spewing venom against the Holy Father and what he calls for no wonder there is mass confusion within the Church today. It was these same liberal theologians and those who went directly before them who interpreted Vatican II the way they wanted rather than what was truly intended. It was these men and women of their own will who introduced countless radical changes in the liturgy and interpretation of Church Dogma, Doctrine and Teachings. It was this group who begot the "cafeteria catholic" - the growing number of baptized Catholics who are not living their faith, yet think they are!
Every baptized Catholic has a serious obligation before God to live their faith to the fullest in order to obtain their own salvation as well as the salvation of many other souls who benefit from their willing obedience through the Infinite merits of Jesus Christ. This is all Catholics need to know. By turning to prayer and calling upon the Holy Spirit for inspiration and guidance through the intercession of His spouse the Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholics everywhere will truly know the truth and, through a commitment to prayer and obedience the flame will burn ever brighter for the truth will set us free!
In the next installment we will delve further into this erosion and how, only through prayer and obedience, will we be able to salvage all that Jesus asks of us as Catholics. For now, we need to pray often: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful. And enkindle in them the fire of Your Love.