For two thousand years, since our Lord founded His Church upon St. Peter, the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Faith has been handed down from generation to generation, preserved and guarded by the Holy Spirit.
In this two thousand year period, countless men and women have tried to destroy the Catholic Church without success. People outside the Church have tried and failed as well…
Enemies of the Church
There have been enemies of Christ within and without the Church as long as the Church has existed. Don’t forget that Judas was an Apostle chosen by our Lord Himself. In times of difficulty, such as the previous decades, there is also a way forward. The only way forward is fidelity.
Fidelity to Christ means fidelity to His Church. This means the Church as she was founded and currently subsists, not as we would have it, but as Christ intended and the Spirit sustains. There is no room for infidelity. It is true that we are one Body in Christ, and fidelity and infidelity simply cannot coexist. Among the laity, men and women religious, and even amongst our bishops and priests, there is a great spiritual sickness that has made many the enemies of God rather than His friends.
The friends of God keep His commands. His moral commands. His revealed truths. His command to teach what He Himself has given to the Apostles. Those who seek to fundamentally change the Church from within or without are enemies of the Church.
Fidelity to the Church means following the Church’s declared Moral teachings. This means following, without compromise, the Church’s complete prohibitions of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual “marriage.” This means accepting in humility and obedience the Church’s teaching on contraception, on in-vitro fertilization, and on sterilization. This means fighting for peace. This means protecting and defending all human life, both within the womb, but also the poor and marginalized in our society.
Revealed Truths of Faith
Fidelity to the Church means holding without doubt the Church’s declared teachings of Faith. John Henry Cardinal Newman once said a thousand difficulties do not one doubt make. By sin, mankind fell from grace. God prepared the way by gathering His people back to Himself. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to share in our humanity and redeem us. He suffered and died for our sins. He truly rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended into Heaven and sent His Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins.
A Sacramental Vision
He founded His Church so that salvation could be extended to all people in all times and places throughout the world. Through Baptism we are justified and sanctified. We receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and become partakers in the Divine nature. In Confirmation, the gifts of Baptism are amplified. Through the other Sacraments, we are sanctified and drawn to ever deepening communion with God.
All of these sacraments are ordered to the Sacrament of Sacraments, the Most Holy Eucharist, by which ordinary bread and wine are daily transformed into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ at the Mass. The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a true sacrifice where the entrance into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the Cross itself, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and Pentecost all become truly present before us.
If we believe in the miracle of the Eucharist. If we understand that the Mass is, at its core, the Son eternally offering Himself to the Father in the Spirit, in which we are invited to partake… then ought not our worship reflect this reality in an outward way.
Renewal of the Mass
Alongside the forgotten moral teachings and practices of the Faith and the dogmas and doctrines casted by the wayside, the Holy Mass has come to resemble in many parishes little more than a communal meal or an Episcopalian service. We have a long way to go to recapture a sense of the sacred and transcendent.
Mass is primarily what God is doing. It is Christ’s prayer to the Father in the Spirit. God reaches down and lifts up our humanity to transform us more into His image. With God’s grace may we more and more reject the spirit of the age which seeks to make worship, and God Himself, after our human image. God help us if the current trends continue.
Fidelity requires that we submit our intellect to the revealed truths of the Faith. Fidelity requires that we submit our will to the moral teachings of the Church. Fidelity requires that we reform the liturgy to be what Christ intends, not what we intend or want. All of this is only possible by the gratuitious grace of God, with our willing cooperation.
Glory to You, our God. Glory to You!
“O heavenly King, the Comforter; the Spirit of Truth, Who are in all places and fill all things; Treasurer of blessings and Giver of life, come and dwell within us and cleanse us from every blemish and save our souls, O blessed One. Amen.”