The Task Before Us (continued)
The person with eyes to see the spiritual warfare. A warfare which shows itself in conflict and division against a supernatural faith does not loose heart. He resists a secular mindset whos diversionary tactics are to find refuge in political ideology or simple avoidance by a negative silence. When faced with the truth delivered to the Saints there are those within the body of the Church who actively seek to recreate a new Church in their own image. The action of the Deceiver is to clothe himself in a semblance of reasonableness. In safeguarding the Traditional Catholic Faith the man of faith does not waste his energy but makes full use of the spiritual weapons given to us which the enemy lacks.
Penance and prayer
Love of the Holy Mass
Practise of the moral virtues
These are the weapons which help us in our daily counter-revolutionary struggle. Indeed, we find a mention of this struggle in Holy Scripture itself. St John, under the dictation of "He that hath the seven spirits of God and the seven stars", that is, under the dictation of Our Lord, addresses himself to the Angel of the Church of Sardis by saying "Esto vigilens et confirma quae moritura errant" which means "Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die" (Apoc 3:2)
It is our sacred duty to protect "the things that remain", the unbroken cord of Apostolic tradition and faith. For when the Master comes it is necessary that He finds us vigilant. Those that understand God's plan and who seek to comply with it, form, one will agree, "the few" to whom Our Lady of Salette appeals when she says "Fight, children of light, you, the few who can see".
What is the significance of this few, in terms of the supernatural order, and what can one expect of it in our earthly fight? God always gives strength to the few when humanly speaking it all seems lost. Often to a single man For example Moses had only his staff, and his faith, to take the Hebrews out of Egypt. David too, had only his sling and faith to overcome Goliath. Also, at the time of the incarnation, a single family was perfect, the Holy Family, the head of which was St Joseph.
So for us God has given us the weapon of prayer to which must be added penance which gives wings to prayer.
Our Lady has shown herself to us by her solicitude and anxiety in the face of the rise of iniquity so that we would not lose heart. By the prophetic words she gave us at Fatima. She consoles her little ones and fulfils before us the celebrated prophecy contained in the Canticle of Canticles:
"who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array" (Cof .6a)
The Task Before Us.
When we talk of the crisis of the faith in our times, when we desire the true renewal of Christian life we must not put or hope in any outward solution. For the struggle in which we are engaged is a spiritual one against the heresy of Modernism. This system of thought believes that the Church must accommodate itself to the world by changing the essentials of faith given to us by Our Lord in sacred scripture and tradition. It finds refuge in endless changes and projects, always avoiding a truly supernatural faith as witnessed in the lives of the Saints. Of the unknown saints, the good and humble men and women of the past, who lives their lives in humility and hiddenness.
The face of the Church is the face of Christ and it is a thing of beauty. No Church reform that is not faithful to tradition, to a supernatural faith, can draw souls to that beauty. Rather a distoration a rupture takes place. Nothing lasting has or will come from this as we see all around us. The springtime of renewal that was promised decades ago has become the chill winter of discontent. Everywhere the "experts" began making change after change thinking in making a pact with the values of the world it would win respect and be listened to in the marketplace of babel.
The way to go is another: "Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls"
The way of the ancient path is that of working every day in the education of souls to live the Mass faithful to holy tradition. To help everyone to understand its sublime beauty, the face of Christ.
Intelligent fervent priests are needed, able in prayer, study and sacrifice to teach, help and support their people to rediscover this divine beauty so that they can strive to be saints passionate for the work of God.
Human games of continuous change are the sign of the bored man, always in search for the latest novelty, always restless, never still, fearing the silence of the Divine gaze.
There is nothing external that can replace our conversion to sincere personal devotion, to an authentic love of Christ. Our conversion, however, worked through grace, will spring from the prayer of the Church which Tradition has given us and which is the prayer of Christ Himself.
People raise every conceivable kind of objection to making their Confession, and give a hundred reasons. I can give you another hundred, but they are completely useless and I can tell you where they come from. They come straight from the devil, the father of lies, who tempts us to think that we are in complete control of our destiny. The sin of our first parents was the sin of pride. All sin is pride and that pride makes us resist the light of the Holy Spirit that searches our inmost conscience. We fear surrendering ourselves, we fear inward changes even though it will give us freedom from the burden of an unexamined life. I can't make anyone go to Confession, I can't make them have a shower, but I know it is a good thing to have a shower and I know it is a good thing to go to Confession. Our Lord wants to make us clean from the odour of sin. For this odour impairs our relationship in knowing Him and loving Him.
All I can do, as any other priest, is to tell you that this Sacrament of the Lords healing and mercy helps us to grow in holiness. Daily examination of conscience will help us prepare to come to this sacrament. There is nothing to fear if you have been away from Confession for a long time for the priest is there to help and guide you. Remember there is no sin that the Saviour cannot forgive if you are truly sorry and make a commitment to a new beginning. It is not the number of sins that matters but knowing our need of the Lords healing and forgiveness that sets us free. And this I know, that every priest on the day of his personal judgement will be asked this question by the Lord: "Did you teach the people this way of forgiveness?".