Sometimes Leon Trotsky is given credit for saying that you might not be interested in war but war is interested in you. He didn’t say that, exactly, but it is nevertheless true.
I have not infrequently challenged you readers to be ready and to get readier for sudden reversals of fortune and for what I think are inevitable long-term struggles, both on the general, human level and on the level of our being members of the Catholic Church.
At the same time I as I been pushing the old semper paratus line, the old “Si vis pacem, para bellum” line, some folks out there in the wider interwebs have been snuffling and sniveling and wringing their hands over bellicose imagery, hard stands, adherence to standards and – forehand – doctrine and law. They moan that the time for being culture “warriors” is over, nay rather, that such militant attitudes are counter-productive and, well, just not very nice.
To these I say: “Nuts!”
My friend, the awake and watchful Msgr. Charles Pope has written something which must be read. HERE
Please take note of this sample and then read the rest there:
Comfort Catholicism Has to Go; It is Time to Prepare for Persecution
We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well.
There is a growing consternation among some Catholics that the Church, at least in her leadership, is living in the past. It seems there is no awareness that we are at war and that Catholics need to be summoned to sobriety, increasing separation from the wider culture, courageous witness and increasing martyrdom.
It is long past dark in our culture, but in most parishes and dioceses it is business as usual and there is anything but the sober alarm that is really necessary in times like these.
Scripture says, Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1). Preparing people for war — a moral and spiritual war, not a shooting war — should include a clear setting forth of the errors of our time, and a clear and loving application of the truth to error and light to darkness.
But there is little such training evident in Catholic circles today where, in the average parish, there exists a sort of shy and quiet atmosphere — a fear of addressing “controversial” issues lest someone be offended, or the parish be perceived as “unwelcoming.”
But, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now.
Again, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now. It is zero-dark-thirty in our post-Christian culture. And while we may wish to blame any number of factors for the collapse, we cannot exclude ourselves. We who are supposed to be the light of the world, with Christ shining in us, have preferred to hide our light under a basket and lay low. The ruins of our families and culture are testimony to the triumph of error and the suppression of the truth.
More than ever we need to shift toward being distinctive from the culture we have refused to critique and call to reform. More than ever our faith needs to shine brightly and clearly in our churches and communities.
And if a world now accustomed to great darkness calls our light harsh, so be it. If our light does not shine, there is no light at all. Our Catholic faith is the sole and last hope for this world. It has always been so.
Simply put, it is time for clergy to prepare themselves and God’s people for sacrifice. Seeking to compromise with this culture is now unthinkable. Our only recourse is to seek to lance the boils. And the culture will cry foul. And we who do the lancing will be made increasingly to suffer. But we have to be willing to embrace and endure such suffering in increasing ways in the months and years ahead.
We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well. We must study our faith and be more committed than ever. We must also know our enemy and his tactics, and we must be prepared to suffer — and even to lose our life.
We have to retool and provide every opportunity to get clear about our faith. Sermons and other teachable moments must sound a clear call to personal conversion and to battle for souls and to stop treating lightly the sinful disregard for God’s law in our families and communities.
Our bishops especially need to shift into another mode entirely. Collectively and currently they seem more interested in protecting what little we have left, than summoning the Catholic people to battle. Priests too seem loath to summon people to anything challenging or uncomfortable. The image of Peter trying to keep Christ from the Cross comes to mind. Peter said, “This shall never be for you!” And the Lord severely rebuked him saying that he was thinking as man, not God, and was in the service of Satan.
I will say it AGAIN.
Among the things we must do – now – urgently – is revitalize our liturgical worship of God. This is a sine qua non for anything else we hope to accomplish in our Church and in society at large. Even if we want simply to fight a holding action, a defense war for the nonce, our greatest bulwark, our stone wall, is our liturgical worship of God. If we adopt the “Benedict Option” or the “Dominic Option” or another option… we must root its begins and continuation in our liturgical worship of God.
I think that one of the great “weapons” – remember that a sword and an AR-15 are also defensive – we Roman Catholics have is the older, traditional form of the Roman Rite. We must revive and revitalize it, restore it to prominence, pick it up and shine it up, polish it and hone it, clean, oil and adjust it, get it sighted in and then use it until it is an extension of our hand, mind and heart. It can be used side by side with other magnificent tools of our Catholic identity, other rites and rituals, other Rites of our sister Churches. But it must take its prominent place in our armory, for this is a time of war.
Back to Msgr. Pope for a moment:
It is time, past time, to retool. It is time to prepare for persecutions that will get bolder by the month and year. The dark movements that marched in under the banners of tolerance never meant it. And having increasingly gained power, they are seeking to criminalize anyone who resists their vision. No tolerance for us. Religious liberty is eroding, and compulsory compliance is already here. The federal courts increasingly shift to militantly secular and activist judges who legislate from the bench.
When will we as a Church finally say to the bureaucrats who demand we comply with evil laws: “We will not comply. If you fine us we will not pay. If you seek to confiscate our buildings, we will turn maximum publicity against you, but we still will not comply. If you arrest us, off to jail we go! But we will simply not comply with evil laws or cooperate with evil.”
Right now, most of us can barely imagine our clergy standing so firm. Quiet compromises and jargon-filled “solutions” will be a grave temptation to a Church ill-prepared for persecution.
The older form of Mass formed the priests and laity of the missions to 16th c. Japan, to the cities and countrysides of 18th c. France, 20th c. Mexico and Spain, among others.
I ask you: Is the preaching at your parish and the teaching in your parochial schools readying you for what is coming? Is the liturgical worship you experience forming burning hearts and backbones of adamant?
One of the element of one talk I give at conferences, etc., is that if way Holy Mass is regularly offered where you are isn’t preparing you for your death, then it is failing. The plain fact is that, even though Christ defeated the Enemy and Death once for all time, we still have to war against the Enemy, who wars on us, and we still have to die. We can mask our “daily winter”, as Augustine calls it, our fear of death in many ways. We can distract ourselves and we can soften the edges of the facts of life around us until they are fuzzy and meaningless. What we need as a remedy for our fear of death are hard and apophatic elements in our worship, which is the locus of our encounter with Mystery which transforms us, carries us across our fear into awe. Our worship must break us out of distraction and slumber and bring us to awe at transcendence, in that which is frightening yet alluring.
Dear friend, if you are not interested in all this war talk, I firmly think that war is still interested in you.
Years ago, I asked an American bishop what he thought about the state of the Church. “TERRIBLE!”, he rumbled. “What”, I asked, “should we do about it?” “The first thing we have to do is stop blowing happy gas at everyone!”… or words to that effect.
We was, of course, right.
Please give some time to Msgr. Pope’s article.
The moderation queue is ON.
Can I ask a question? How exactly does Catholics getting slaughtered left, right and centre give glory to God, and why on earth is it necessary? It might just be my poor understanding of fatherhood (my own left when I was 12) but most fathers would try and actively save their children from people with bloody knives. Plus God turning a blind eye to his children’s suffering would seem to contradict all that stuff in the Psalms about the lord ‘protecting’ his people.
All I want is to be good at my job, move up the career ladder, find a wife and raise a Catholic family. God has thrown so many curve balls in my direction in my short life I can’t take anymore. Right now my relationship with God is so bad that the only thing stopping me from saying ‘i don’t believe’ is that I read too much St Thomas at university.
Again it might just be my poor understanding of Fatherhood, but most dads don’t repeatedly hit their children (or use proxy’s) whilst demanding expressions of love. Oh and when you talk to most real people, they are actually quite comfortable with the fact that we Catholics dissent from the ‘secular orthodoxy’
Wow. What a powerful message straight from the gut.
Fr. Z., you ask, “Is the preaching at your parish and the teaching in your parochial schools readying you for what is coming? Is the liturgical worship you experience forming burning hearts and backbones of adamant?”
My answers, unfortunately, are “NO” and “NO”. My soul is sorrowful right now. Most of the time I think (and feel) that I’m a lone ranger out here.
This reminds me of the question (slightly edited) “if you were arrested for being Catholic, would there be any evidence to convict you?”
Without question you, and Msgr. Pope, are entirely correct.
One wonders what the response would be if another pope uttered these words.
Or a bishop.
At first I felt like Jonah after reading about Soros’s successful scheme to influence US bishops. Then I shuddered and thought we could be looking at the smoldering ruins of civilization a year from now (Lord, Have Mercy on Us). I can’t shake my gut instinct that war begins this coming September.
Oh Father, I was just frustrated today as I wrote a check out to the Alliance Defense Fund who is helping to defend the bakers, artists, etc. While there are a handful of Catholic activists groups (Thomas More Society, Fr. Pavone / Priests for Life, Bill Donnelly/Catholic League, etc), we are virtually absent on the culture war fronts. I’m reduced to donating to AFA, etc.
Our non Catholic Christian brothers and sisters (mainly the Evangelicals) are fighting the good fight virtually alone.
We do need to get more serious about standing up for ourselves. Liturgy strengthens the soul.
No one likes a warrior until the enemy is at the gates.
The tricky part is that we are very spread out. That means that they’ll be no glory in suffering for the faith. It will be ignominious and lonely. No earthly person will remember you and your story won’t be told. You’ll have to have faith that Our Lord knows and that’s all that matters.
The good monsignor is correct. The Church has been sucker-punched and pummeled and is currently struggling to stand back up. Expect the enemy to strike hard before we get any stronger. The hundred years the devil was given to attempt to destroy the Church are likely nearing their end, and the Adversary is not going to go down without a fight. The devil did not say that he wanted to defeat the Church, or weaken her, but destroy her. He is seeking the annihilation of the Church. The enemy is real and he means us very real harm.
Just reading up on St. Maurice and companions, looking to this coming month’s Saints’ Days. In the earliest source on them, St. Eucherius’s Passio Acaunensium martyrum, they are reported as saying, “Dexterae istae pugnare adversum implos adque inimicos sciunt, laniare pios et cives nesciunt. Meminimus, nos pro civibus potius quam adversus cives arma sumpsisse”, which includes that it can be preparing both for a moral and spiritual war, and a ‘shooting’ war.
John G, no Cross, no crown.
Your exclamation of “NUTS” reminds me of General McAuliffe, who lead American troops fighting in Bastogne in WW2. [Yes. That’s it.]
He received the following message when surrounded during the Battle of the Bulge: “There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town… If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term. All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.”
Gen. McAuliffe’s official reply consisted of simply: NUTS!
Thank you Father. I agree, wholeheartedly, with you, Monsignor Pope, and Father Heilman on these. I’m reminded of our family motto, Aut Pax, Aut Bellum (Either peace or war). We’re obviously at the latter half. I need to do more to prepare, and help my family do likewise. Do you think you may ever make talks such as the one you mentioned available, perhaps as a PodcaZt?
Disconnecting from this sick culture is a process. One area of persecution is in terms of finances. Great evil is perpetuated under the auspices of “having to pay the mortgage”. Imagine a large percentage of Catholics who become debt free and are able to withstand financial persecution. It is just one area of preparedness that people overlook when stocking up on “beans, bullets, and band aids”.
Erras, frater, erras, si putas umquam Christianum persecutionem non pati: et tunc maxime oppugnaris, si te oppugnari nescis. Adversarius noster tamquam leo rugiens aliquem devorare quaerens circumit, et tu pacem putas? (S. Hieronymus, ep. XIV)
Abp. Chaput has just told us that there is no significant difference between a lifelong abortion fanatic who has declared that religious beliefs that militate against abortion are going to have to change, and an opposing candidate who is explicitly promising to end government persecution of Christians.
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“Can I ask a question? How exactly does Catholics getting slaughtered left, right and centre give glory to God, and why on earth is it necessary? It might just be my poor understanding of fatherhood (my own left when I was 12) but most fathers would try and actively save their children from people with bloody knives. Plus God turning a blind eye to his children’s suffering would seem to contradict all that stuff in the Psalms about the lord ‘protecting’ his people.”
This is a mystery, but I can try to give a partial answer.
The people of the Old Testament did not have the example of the Cross nor understand the full extent of what love means:
“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” [John 15: 13, RSV]
Fathers lay down their lives for their sons. This principle was known even in Old Testament days. Priests are spiritual fathers to their people.
More than that, in the New Testament, since grace has, in a sense, been completed by the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the following two passages are meant to apply to all Christians (Romans 8: 14 – 39):
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now;
and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies; who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The children of God suffer, because the Child of God suffered (John 15 :20 – 27):
“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
He who hates me hates my Father also.
If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfil the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’
But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
God never positively wills evil to His children (no good father would), but when evil comes, He is so powerful and so Good that He can use even evil for His good purposes, if we will let Him. God is like our earthly Fathers by analogy, but don’t confuse an earthly father for the Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father is so much wiser, good, and loving than any earthly father that the tongue cannot speak of it, but the wisdom of God is not our wisdom and the goodness of God is not our goodness and the love of God is not our love. The best of earthly fathers is a mere echo of the love that the Fatherhood of God holds for us and the worst of earthly fathers cannot separate us, indeed, cannot block the true witness of the love that the true Father has for us, if only we will strive to look beyond the lessons, hurts, and pains of this world into the lasting Home where the lessons, joys, and love of the Unspeakable, known to us as, Father, are held in store for us. Every child, when he grows up, if he grows correctly, learns to see through his father’s eyes. As children of so gracious a Heavenly Father, may we be granted that gift. It is given in seed to every Christian at their baptism, by the infused gift of Faith. May we attain that sight, which is the understanding of a Father by his sons and daughters that makes our crosses and our burdens light because, in the midst of them, we know that there is a real Father watching over us.
I ask you: Is the preaching at your parish and the teaching in your parochial schools readying you for what is coming? Is the liturgical worship you experience forming burning hearts and backbones of adamant?
I think a good ol’ fashioned persecution is what the Church in the West is just what the doctor ordered.
Unfortunately, I DON’T think Catholics, at least here in America, Deserve to he persecuted. What is there left to persecute in the Church in America? Honest Question…
I understand your frustration. For me the answer is found in the book of Job, God allows Satan to test Job’s devotion to God by taking away all his earthly comfort, wealth, family, fortune, and finally health. God knows that the trials of this life prepare us for the next, it is by following His path and not our own, that we are able to be led to the next life because he knows the path that will lead us to Him.
I reconcile this with my own understanding of fatherhood that I have gained from parenting my own kids, and knowing how I felt as a child. When I was young and had a much smaller view of the world I would say, “when I grow up, I am never going to punish my kids and they will be able to stay up as late as they want, and eat ice cream every night for dinner!” My understanding of life was limited, and when I applied that limited understanding I could seen nothing wrong with me being allowed to do those things and only unfairness in the way my parents treated me.
Now that I am older and have children, and my understanding of the world has slightly broadened I am able to understand the need to guide my children. Because I love them I will not let them go down roads that I know will lead them to harm, physical mental or spiritual. To my children this sometimes feels like punishment, they don’t yet understand, but it is the gentle guiding hand of a parent with a larger view of the path in front of them that will keep them on the narrow path. Children have faith in their parents that they will keep them safe and raise them without harm (if only all parents made good on that).
Our Faith in God is much like a child’s faith in their parents. We know God exists and acts in our life, we know he is leading us to Heaven. We also know God is eternal and that our time here in this life is only a small dot in eternity we will spend (hopefully) with our Father in heaven. Jesus said “let the Children come to Me.” We all approach the Lord as Children, we cannot possibly comprehend how much father down our Path that he can see. He strives to keep us on the narrow path that will lead us to eternity. To us, like when we were children, it may feel like punishment, it may feel frustrating, but that is us putting our will ahead of that of God. He is the guiding hand that will lead us Home.
The Devil will put up obstacles for us, most of those obstacles will come in the form of our own wants and desires believing we know better than God what is best for our life. All we can do is remove those obstacles one at a time and trust that the Lord will keep us on His path.
Sadly, I think much of the persecution that Priests will face will come from “Devout Catholics” Those that sit on the parish councils, attend Mass, run up to distribute Holy Communion, want to sing and dance in the pews. The ones that threaten to leave at the slightest mention of reverence, chant, Latin. They make a nice bow but to allow their knee to hit the floor would be backward thinking. When Father tells them, “we are going to protect our Lord but not using Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion” ( by the way I do not like that translation, extraordinary in our current usage usually leads people to the idea of something more than or better than ordinary, not outside ordinary, I believe they should be called Abnormal Ministers of Holy Communion maybe people wouldn’t line up so fast for that), or when he says, “please don’t hold hands and waive them in the air during the Our Father”, or when he says “we are going to kneel ro receive the body of our Lord in only one species” they will throw a fit and threaten to leave and it is that last (or so perceived) remnant of Catholics that our Bishops are afraid to lose.
JuliB says, “Our non Catholic Christian brothers and sisters (mainly the Evangelicals) are fighting the good fight virtually alone. ”
Actually, they’re fighting a different war. Our common cause with them is quite limited.
John Grammaticus writes, “All I want is to be good at my job, move up the career ladder, find a wife and raise a Catholic family.” , to which I must respond as I have responded to my son – the one who keeps saying the teenage equivalent, because my wife and I express reluctance to having him participate in particular activities here in California: In a sane world, your position makes a certain sense, but the world you’re describing doesn’t currently exist here. I leave open the possibility that it might return at some point, but I’m not sure when.
On the other hand, we should always want to spread the Gospel so that others may enjoy the goods of God’s kingdom (the sacraments) so that they can spend eternity with God, so merely sitting back and enjoying life isn’t necessarily the right option. (If your sights are on the wrong target, it’s no wonder it looks “wrong” in your scope.)
…Father, thank you again for rousing the troops. Much of the preaching that is out there is “not” preparing Catholics and/or addressing the realities of life on the ground and the requisite need to prepare because those in authority have chosen the tactic of feigning friendship with the world as a so called means of “converting” them. (This means has sadly become an end in itself, as increasing numbers are convinced that fighting back or even speaking the truth is uncharitable.They forget Christ’s zeal for the House of God and, instead, fall asleep awaiting the arrival of Judas in the Garden, complete with a military force ready and able to take the truth away and attempt to kill it.)
That is, like a military operation, wherein the soldiers on the ground are left to rot because the political heads – those who want to assume greater power – pretend that their “soft pedal” approach, the same that is advertised to win over the “hearts and minds”, is nothing but a cover for throwing the sheep under the bus.
@John, I appreciate what you wrote. It is overwhelming. But that said, the sins of the fathers visit unto the third and fourth generation. What we are experiencing today is a direct result of those before us seeking perpetual compromise and not behaving in that fashion that God has set out to foment true peace. In other words, in many respects, even in the stripping of that which was most authentically Catholic for the supposed sake of welcoming those who do not have Faith, many have lost the Faith. Even though they’ve read far more and even dedicated their lives by receiving Holy Orders.
The Apostles are scattering. And the reality that those who paid Judas only did so to kill the truth is a hard pill to swallow. It is that which grows despair. But don’t despair. God does hear the cry of His people and that is why we are receiving the call as represented here by Fr Z and that of Msgr Poe.
He hears your cry. And whereas the world may be very comfortable with the notion that Catholics don’t embrace Catholicism anymore, you have said you desire a Catholic wife with whom to start a family. God bless you for this desire. God HAS blessed you – for that is where this desire comes from. And, perhaps, these times are the very thing necessary to vet that future spouse who will do her very best, no matter what influence from the world, to help you and your children choose the good.
Struggle on, John. That which is most beautiful and good is worth fighting for. And this low where you find yourself is exactly that which will prepare you to recognize that true gem that Our Lord is polishing for you even now.
There are two kinds of warriors the Church needs; some rare people are both.
The first kind is the ‘culture warrior’. We do need more of these, they do need to improve their skills and their efforts, and we do need to support them more.
The second kind is the men and women of prayer. This kind is the kind that we lack most relative to our need. This is the kind that it’s harder to become. This is the kind that wins the battles that the culture warriors fight. This is the kind that we are all challenged to become.
Fr Z, You have the makings of a first class Recruiting Officer for Cardinal Burke. When I joined Operation Storm Heaven in January there were about 16,000 Rosary Warriors. Now there are over 50,000 and the aim is to double that figure in time for Our Lady’s birthday. They are thinking big and want to reach a million one day.
No doubt about it, we are in a big fight.
“I ask you: Is the preaching at your parish and the teaching in your parochial schools readying you for what is coming? Is the liturgical worship you experience forming burning hearts and backbones of adamant?” I finally have realized that the “Church of Nice” that I belonged to wasn’t preparing me at all for the challenges to be faced and that the worship of God, like the tabernacle, was “off to the side”. I became tired of “homilies” that seemed to have little or nothing to do with the Gospel that was just read and too much priestly “I” talk when he should be teaching the faithful. After all, even when I am at work, I do not interject stories or talk about myself because that it not what I am supposed to be doing. Why don’t so many priests just “do their job” during Mass? I especially became angry when the new Rector had everyone sit down during the Gospel so that he could “make points” after certain passages, which turned out to just be a way for him to tell jokes about “clueless”men. I couldn’t believe it when I saw him laughing so hard at the podium that he could barely get the punch line out. Of course, once he did, well, I have never heard people erupt in such loud laughter in a Cathedral, as if it were a comedy club, in my entire life. I had to leave that mass and wait for the next one – a more reverent reverend, so to speak. I now attend St. John Cantius in Chicago and so impressed with the real worship that occurs there. That is the kind of church I want to attend to worship God and will support. I am so very, very thankful that God has led me there.
Here, for what they are worth, are my thoughts on this from three years ago: the Cruise Ship of Peter.
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Yes to the preaching (FSSP), and yes to the teaching (homeschool). Our priests are very good at reminding us of the need for daily mortifications and self-denial in preparation for the persecution that is coming. But you will never hear those things at the Novus Ordo parishes we tried around us, not in the Masses and not in the “religious education” classes. They’ve decided that the crucial thing is building community, because the protestants do it so well.
Honestly, I’m pretty sure most of the Catholics in our area will simply adapt what they believe or how they practice to whatever is the new societal normal. We saw how things played out with the change in the openly same-sex attracted youth membership policy in Boy Scouts of America. The vast majority of the Catholics said that it was wrong, and they couldn’t support it. This was followed by a whole lot of rationalizing, even by the clergy. (Thanks bishops and NCCS.) Families who decided to leave BSA were vilified, with one local pastor stating in a homily that he would not want to work with them in the future. Some who had vocally opposed the change quietly returned to BSA “for the good of the boys.” The parishes are still chartering troops even after the hushed-up decision by BSA to allow same-sex attracted adult leaders, which essentially leaves the chartering groups open to lawsuits in the future. And everyone pretends that nothing has changed.
Actually Father St Peter was told, “Get out of my sight” in modern words echoing Habbakuk.”God’s eyes are so pure He cannot see sin”.
crownvic- I agree completely with what you are saying. But I would add that faithful Catholics, those that actually believe in and try to live out the magisterial teachings, should try hard to be a financial force to be reckoned with. It’s not politically correct to say it, but the Israel lobby is very powerful for a reason and it’s not the number of Jews in America. Catholics should steal a page from their playbook and seek to steer young people who have ruled out priesthood and religious life into more lucrative fields. I’m 32 and it seems like I can count the number of orthodox lay people my age working as doctors, lawyers, MBAs, or engineers on one hand. Far too many of them go work in a chancery, as religion teachers, youth ministers, pro-life whatever. Not only do they not pay well for a Catholic family, but that also goes into the whole issue of lay people taking on clerical roles. Leave the Church to the priests, deacons, and religious. Lay people need to get out into the world and flex our muscle in the office of businesses, in halls of government, and in the marketplace. Because that’s what people actually listen to.
Andrew: I had to use google translate to read your comment – but it was worth it!
I sympathize very much with John G. because I have a young adult daughter who is autistic and certain to need lifelong care and supervision. Unfortunately, she is our only child, my husband is completely alienated from his side of the family, and I have no family other than a sibling who isn’t in the best of health. So she will probably end up being dependent on the government in some fashion. If Cathloics become persecuted and lose their civil rights, I maybe can live with that for myself; but what right have I to make such a choice for her? She may never have the capability to make such a choice on her own. This is a question that haunts me more than any other when this issue comes up. Sometimes I wonder if this is my punishment for all I failed to do to make us a better Catholic family. If Msgr Pope is right, this is NOT something we can do all by ourselves with no support except a few random strangers on the Internet. We need to develop a real community that looks out for one another.