“This is the time God chose for us. Get up off the ground!” Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Time for A Rant.

I know that many of you readers are upset by what is going on in the Church.  May I repeat some advice?

Remember that Popes come and go.  There are good Popes and bad Popes, important Popes and forgettable Popes.  Men pick them, not the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit’s role in their election is to make sure that the Pope isn’t a disaster for the Church.

The RUACH hasn’t stopped either in the Church or in your soul.

No one promised us at baptism that life in the Church was going to be easy.  This world has its fell Prince, who hates us and the Church and who works relentlessly against her, from without and from within by his agents.

It should not be a surprise to any Catholic that there is chaos in the Church from time to time.  It stands to reason that things will get rocky.  This is a WAR, after all!   War is messy.

You are a member of the Church Militant, and, therefore, you … YOU… are NOT exempt from “military service” in the Church.  You have your own role to play in this spiritual war.  You fulfill your duty according to Religion by offering worship to God and by living your vocation properly.

Our great Captain, Christ, provided for us pilgrim soldiers in this dire war.  He gave us sacraments.  You, dear troops of Christ, have been baptized into His Corps (Body).   He gave you other sacraments to help you as well.  Consider your CONFIRMATION.

Confirmation strengthens us to make the hard call and then stand firm when we are challenged in our Christian living.  We can call upon the power of this sacrament, which has imparted an indelible character, like the potter’s mark of ownership, into our souls.  Confirmation is an ongoing reality in our lives just as the Pentecost event is an ongoing reality in the Church.

In these troubled and troubling times, make a conscious choice to call upon that mighty sacrament you received.  Activate it. The sacrament will be mighty in you when you are in the state of grace.  Therefore,…

GO TO CONFESSION!

While there is life there is hope.

Every single bizarro thing that happens is an opportunity to be tested and to love God in your vocation.  Get up!  Something really rotten happens?  Oorah!  “Blessed be the Name of the Lord!”

With every crazy occurrence, you have a new chance to be better informed about the faith, more faithful in your life, more trusting in God’s providence.  Every single loony-tune story and antic from the top down must not bring you down or even go to waste.

Think about each seeming set back as a personal challenge to become stronger, more dedicated, more motivated to work on your principle faults and pursue the good, the true and the beautiful.  Engage each and every negative with greater resolve.  Let every burden be a grace-filled way to strengthen your knees and hands and backbone.

The RUACH hasn’t stopped either in the Church or in your soul.

Bring it on, bad guys. They want some “lío”? We’ve got some “lío”.

You are amazing, strong warriors in this vale of tears and nothing and nobody can beat you down.  You have dependable resources and tools.  You have thousands of fellow Catholics praying with and for you. You have the sacraments.

Think of what that means!  You have the sacraments.  And you know how to use them!

You’ve been gifted with awesome spiritual armor and gifts.  Clean them up.  Put them on.  Forward!

If you feel like the antics of prelates and popes have knocked the wind out of you, bashed you down daily, get up off the ground.  Suck it up, buttercup. This is serious stuff we are dealing with.  This is the time God chose for us.  These times, not some other time, some other ecclesial fantasy land.  Therefore, if we are faithful and persevere, God will give us every actual grace we need.

Stand up, stick your chin out and move with purpose.

Start with this:

“Almighty God my heavenly Father, You knew me before the creation of the cosmos and You wanted me to come into existence to bring You glory.  Of all the possible universes You could have created, You created this one and You called me into it at exactly the time and place You chose for me so that I could fulfill my part in Your unfathomable plan.  You willed that I have the honor to be baptized into the Church You designed and You maintain for our well-being.  You willed that I receive the Body and Blood of Your Son and the indwelling of Your Spirit.   You willed that I should also be confirmed so that our relationship be even deeper and that I might be an even better instrument of Your will.  I now call upon that mighty Sacrament of Confirmation.  Through it make me strong to bear whatever burdens I must endure in Your service.  Make me wise to recognize accurately and then strong to resist, resolute, whatever is out of harmony with Your will as manifested especially in the beautiful Tradition You have guided in the authoritative, infallible and indefectible Church. Even if that disharmony should come from those whom you have endowed with the grace of Orders and seated even in the highest places of teaching, governing and sanctifying, make me steadfast.  With confidence in Your plan for me I ask this for myself and for the brethren through the Holy Spirit’s Gifts and in the Name of Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns with You, ever one God, world without end.  Amen.”

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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15 Responses to “This is the time God chose for us. Get up off the ground!” Wherein Fr. Z rants.

  1. Rachel says:

    “Think of what that means! You have the sacraments. And you know how to use them!”

    Amen! Thank you for this reminder.

  2. John21 says:

    This reminds me of a popular refrain that soldiers in the 3rd and 101st Infantry Divisions used to say during the early invasion days of the War in Iraq: “embrace the suck.” They’d say it after dust storms blew away their tents at FOBs or when working in the sweltering desert heat while wearing a protective JLIST suit in anticipation of a potential nerve gas attack on the base. They took their surrounding environment captive and used it to make them stronger.

    We could definitely take a hint from that example.

    [Funny you should mention that. This came from the dryer a few minutes ago.]

    US HERE

  3. Ms. M-S says:

    Thank you, Lord, for making it easy for us not to be indifferent.

  4. RLseven says:

    I can’t imagine living my faith as if I’m in a war. I find far more is accomplished by love.

  5. Curate says:

    RLseven,
    This is not an “imagination” of how to live one’s faith, but it comes from the Lord himself through the words of Saint Paul: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.” (Eph. 6:11)
    Also, war and love are not mutually exclusive.

  6. jaykay says:

    Rachel: “Think of what that means! You have the sacraments. And you know how to use them!”

    Absolutely! Loaded for bear… and for the prowling lion.

    RLseven: we are in a war. We have been for a very long time, so our Faith tells us.

  7. Andreas says:

    Father Z has reminded us that, “Remember that Popes come and go. There are good Popes and bad Popes, important Popes and forgettable Popes”. Although referring to another discussion, I believe that General Omar Bradley may have alluded to this notion when he wrote something to the effect that, “We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

  8. MitisVis says:

    RLseven,
    It was a war before we were even created when the angels fell and our first parents followed. It is only by God’s mercy and Christ’s passion that we can choose which side we’re on. The term “warrior” doesn’t define everyone’s role in this war as an army has teachers to train, cooks, support, scouts and latrine. We have all been given gifts, talents and abilities and a path to follow in this war. Some carry the sword, others carry the staff. A mother protects her children against all harm, a father guards and defends his family from any danger. But everyone in this war for hearts, minds and souls has the same objective goal, to pursue repentance and the redemption offered to us for ourselves, our family and relatives and anyone we come in contact with on our given path. This just isn’t war for war’s sake and there’s some better way. This is a war against an enemy in front of us fought for those behind us we love. Love is sacrificial and is one of our best weapons.

    I am reminded by your post and current events that those pointing the finger at Peter were Jewish, as was Our Lord and they were in the Temple. Judas was an apostle. Aaron was a High Priest yet he fashioned the calf. It is good our salvation doesn’t rest on the misdeeds or machinations of others. Great rant, I need to get in spiritual shape.

  9. Philmont237 says:

    This is the first advice that I can recall ever hearing or reading on how to use our Confirmation. I’ve never been taught to call upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit in times of trouble or temptation. You only gain proficiency on your weapons system by using it. I guess this is how you do it.

    This might be a game changer in my spiritual life.

  10. Cy says:

    But there is “the rub” Father.

    Not everyone has regular access to regular Sacraments!

    [Unless you are living in the center of Mongolia, or in the bush in Africa, or in some place where there are no validly ordained priests, … no. Just, no.]

  11. Luminis says:

    Love is what will win the war. Love is the weapon that defeats sin.

  12. Cy says:

    “…or a father of young ones living in the country during these ‘modern’ times.”

  13. Cy says:

    Oh yeah, and we don’t need to be stuck in the center of Mongolia or the bush of Africa or the Amazon (e.g.), because the ‘Amazon’ is coming to all of us!

  14. Skeinster says:

    MitisVis,
    There’s a Whitney Darrow cartoon from The New Yorker in WW2.
    A little girl swathed in a big apron with a dishcloth in her hand has opened the door to a salesman.
    She says: “Mother is at the Red Cross, Sister is at the canteen and Brother is at the Boy Scout scrap drive. Can I do anything for you?”

    All we can do is our part. Who knows if the gunner’s mitts knitted by some housebound little old lady saved the hands that operated the critical machine gun in the battle?

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    Thanks Fr. Z. Mitis Vis and Skeinster: Good one.

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