We are in a difficult moment when our Mother Church is undergoing a deep crisis from within and without: disunity among the faithful, open attacks against Pope Francis’ orthodoxy, scandals and immoral behaviour especially among the clergy, the lack of orthodoxy among Catholic Bishops, the alleged infiltration of the Masonic agenda in the Church for more than 50 years to destroy the Church through the ordination of gay priests, and the persecution of Christians in many places around the world…
This is the moment when with profound faith we should ask God for the Church of His Son so that in this situation, She come out purified for God in His Omnipotence always “draws some good” from what is evil.
It is the moment that we, the members of the Church, should manifest our love for our Mother Church, the Bride of Christ, His Mystical Body, not only through prayers and sacrifices for those who are doing the damage and to make reparation, but also in our daily struggle to live our Catholic faith more fervently, with the help of God’s grace and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. Let us remain firm always in communion with Mother Church by being faithful to her teaching, united to her sacraments, and docile to the guidance of the Hierarchy, convinced of Jesus’ promise to Peter that the “gates of Hades shall not prevail over it” (Mt 16:18).
Below is a very helpful excerpt from a meditation,
“THE CHURCH WILL LAST TILL THE END OF TIME,”
taken from, In Conversation with God, vol. 2, no. 60 available at www.scepterpublishers.org
60.1 Indefectibility of the Church in spite of persecutions, heresies and infidelities.
Immediately after the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, when the multitude had already had their fill, Jesus himself sent them away and ordered the disciples to set off in the boats. The evening was already far advanced.
The Gospel of the Mass (cf John 6:16-21) tells us that the Apostles were heading towards the other shore, towards Capharnaum. It grew dark and Jesus was not with them. From St Matthew’s Gospel we know that He also took leave of them and went up into the hills to pray (cf Matt 14:23). The sea had become rough because of the strong wind that was blowing (cf John 6:18), and the boat was being strongly buffeted by the waves because the wind was against them (cf Matt 14:24).
Tradition has seen this boat as an image of the Church(cf Tertullian, De Baptismo, 12) in the midst of the world, tossed about in the course of the centuries by the waves of persecution, of heresies and of infidelities. That wind, comments St Thomas Aquinas, is a figure of the temptations and the persecutions that the Church is to suffer because of lack of love. Because, as St Augustine says, when love grows cold the waves get bigger… However, the wind and storm and waves and darkness will not cause the ship to be diverted from its course and be destroyed (St Thomas, Commentary on St John, in loc). From the very beginning contradictions had to be dealt with, coming from inside and from outside. Our Mother the Church suffers these attacks now in our own times also, and her children with her. This is nothing new. Since Jesus Christ Our Lord founded the holy Church, this mother of ours has suffered constant persecutions. In times past the attacks were delivered openly. But today, as yesterday, the Church continues to be buffeted from many sides
When we hear heretical voices about us…, when we see that the sanctity of marriage and the priesthood are attacked without fear of rebuke. We see people deny the Immaculate Conception and the perpetual Virginity of our Mother holy Mary, along with all the other privileges and gifts with which God adorned her. We see the perpetual miracle of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, the primacy of Peter and even the Resurrection of Our Lord put in doubt. How can anyone not feel tempted to sadness? But have confidence, for the Holy Church is incorruptible (St. Josemaria Escrivá, Homily, The Supernatural Aim of the Church, 28 May 1972).
The attacks on the Church make us suffer, but at the same time the knowledge that Christ is in the boat fills us with an immense sense of security and a great peace. He lives forever in the Church and therefore the gates of Hell will not prevail against her (Matt 16:18); she will last till the end of time. Everything else, everything human, passes away; but the Church remains always, just as Our Lord willed her to do. Christ is present in her and the boat will not sink even though it is rocked too and fro. This divine assistance is the foundation of our unshakeable faith: the Church in the face of all human uncertainties will remain ever faithful to Christ in the midst of all the storms, and it will be the universal sacrament of salvation. Her history is a permanent moral miracle in which we can always strengthen our faith.
Already in St Augustine’s time the pagans were saying: The Church is going to perish; the Christians are already finished. To which the Saint replied: Nevertheless, I can see you dying every day and the Church continues to remain standing; announcing the power of God to the succeeding generations (Quoted by G. Chevrot, Simon Peter).
What little faith we have if doubts begin to creep in because the storm has become stronger against her, against her institutions or against the Pope and the Bishops. Let us not be over-impressed by adverse circumstances, because if we allowed this to happen, we would lose our serenity, our peace, and our supernatural vision. Christ is always very close to us and asks us for confidence. He is beside each one of us, and we should fear nothing. We have to pray more for the Church, be more faithful to our own vocation, do more apostolate among our friends and make more reparation.
60.2 Attacks on the Church lead us to love her more and to make acts of reparation.
The indefectibility of the Church means that she is imperishable. That is to say, she will last till the end of the world; and likewise it means that she will not undergo any substantial change in her doctrine, in her constitution or in her worship.
The First Vatican Council says the Church possesses an invincible stability, and that founded on a rock she will subsist firmly until the end of time (Dz 1824).
The reason for the permanence of the Church lies in her intimate union with Christ, who is her Head and Lord. After going up to Heaven He sent the Holy Spirit to his own to teach them all truth (1 Cor 10:17), and when He charged them to preach the Gospel to all nations He assured them that He would be with them all days even to the consummation of the world (cf Matt 28:20).
The Church demonstrates her fortitude when she resists immovably all the assaults of persecutions and heresies. The Lord himself looks after her, enlightening and fortifying her rulers so that they may faithfully and fruit fully discharge their functions; and (especially in circumstances of greater difficulty) raising up in the bosom of Mother Church men and women of outstanding sanctity to give example to other Christians and so promote the increase of his mystical Body. Moreover Christ looks down from heaven always with singular love upon his immaculate Bride as she labours in this earthly exile, and when He sees her in peril He saves her from the waves of the tempest either himself directly, or through his angels, or through her whom we invoke as Help of Christians, and through other heavenly protectors; and having calmed the sea, he consoles her with that peace ‘which surpasses all knowledge’ (Phil 4:7) (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, 29 June 1943). The Faith bears testimony to the fact that this firmness in her constitution and her doctrine will last for ever until He comes (cf 1 Cor 11).
In certain surroundings, especially in the intellectual sphere, one sees and feels a sort of conspiracy of ‘cliques not infrequently aided and abetted by Catholics. With cynical perseverance they maintain and spread slanders to cast a shadow over the Church, or over certain individuals and organisations within it. All this is done in the face of all truth or reason.
Pray each day with faith: ‘ut inimicos Sanctae Ecclesiae’ — enemies, because that is what they proclaim themselves to be — `humiliare digneris, te rogamos audi nos!’ Confound, Lord, those who persecute you, with the charity of your light, which we are ready to spread (J. Escrivá, Furrow, 936).
The attacks on the Church, the bad example, the scandals, will lead us to love her more, to pray for those who are doing the damage and to make reparation. Let us remain firm always in communion with her, faithful to her teaching, united to her sacraments and docile to the guidance of the Hierarchy.