Posted by: Thomas Richard | June 15, 2019

Will God Give Us a Third Chance?

America on the Brink

The 2020 election approaches, Democrat hopefuls are already campaigning, united by one passionate desire: get control of this country. They still believe that Trump was an anomaly, an aberration, a bad dream. They want power, and they can’t wait to resume the Obama transformation of America – uncompleted in his term, the transformation postponed by Clinton’s defeat and Trump’s “theft” of the election – but soon, yes soon; they can see it just around the corner now.

The transformation of America that Obama worked toward, has become only more frightening and possible now, than it was then. The “advance”, from liberal to progressive to socialist to the end of our democratic republic, is today more clearly and obviously the Democrat Party trajectory, than it was before. The quest of man – a godless City of Man – was made visible in the ancient Tower of Babel (Gen 11), and has been sought ever since. Man lusts for the freedom from God that gives him full reign to do whatever he pleases. The danger to all of our authentic and God-given freedoms as Americans, from the freedom of religion on down, is more threatened now than ever before in our history. As St. Mother Teresa observed, where a child in the womb is not safe, having no intrinsic right to life, no human person is safe; no human right is safe.

The culture has been dumbed down sufficiently, the churches have been secularized sufficiently, that both democracy and living faith are no longer safe. Both could virtually be lost at the same time in one election cycle. Man’s lust for “freedom from religion,” growing today, could be satisfied under force of law, in one election cycle. Socialism is no longer a bad word; God is optional, indeed, irrelevant; right and wrong are mere passing opinions, and besides, see how our economy is booming! We were close to the tipping point in 2016, indeed a majority of voters were fine with the “new morality” of godless “political correctness” and we are even more perilously close now, 2019. Some say the progressives lost only by the out-dated system of the Electoral College: they “actually” won by the popular vote. I say no; you lost because God had mercy on America and on the world – perhaps just this one more time.

When in 2016 Clinton was defeated and Trump won, as most of America I was stunned. But I was also trembling inside, knowing that God had just given America, and the rest of the endangered world, one undeserved and perhaps last chance. The Church – the Church He sent – He gave one undeserved and perhaps last chance! His Church was sent to be light in this dark and darkening world! His Church was sent to bring Truth to lost human persons! That creation sent to be His Church, I weep and groan within to say, has become so compromised, so institutionalized, so impoverished within and so monetized and commercialized outwardly, that she is hardly distinguishable from the culture she was sent to save. This Church has learned nothing these past three years! She continues on her own way as before; she continues her outward adornments, she chases the latest fashions, she echoes the latest fads; she ignores the disease in her soul.

The Faith of the Church

“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Lk 18:8)

There are traditionally four “pillars” of the Faith, corresponding to the four parts of our Catechism: the Creed, the Sacraments, the Moral Life, and Prayer. There is today great and deep confusion in the Church in each of those four pillars, due to the weakness or complete lack of adult catechesis – a work, no doubt, craftily advanced by the evil one – the father of lies and the enemy of souls.

A few solid and faithful teachers in the Church have recently written down and cosigned a document, “Declaration of the truths relating to some of the most common errors in the life of the Church of our time .” The whole document, published May 31, 2019, can be found HERE. The signers of the document are:

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Cardinal Janis Pujats, Archbishop emeritus of Riga
Tomash Peta, Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Karaganda
Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

This “Declaration of truths” reaffirms several of the traditional and defined truths of the Catholic Faith, because many truths of the Faith have been put into doubt amid the confusions and ambiguities promulgated in our time. The signers of the Declaration want to assure the faithful that the Church still teaches what she has always taught; what was true Catholic teachings then are true Catholic teachings now, regardless of modern confusions and ambiguities. In many churches there is silence concerning truths that demand a voice! The world is proclaiming the lies of evil from the housetops! The churches dare not whisper anything “controversial” or “divisive.” God have mercy on us.

But this Declaration does seek to give Catholic clarity in critical areas of the Creed, the Sacraments, and the Moral Life. It does not include the fourth Pillar of the Faith – Prayer – I wish it had. Prayer is foundational, being as it is the present, lived relationship of the person with God in Christ. And Prayer itself, the fourth Pillar, is I’m sorry to say also profoundly confused by many, many modern teachers in the Church today, and in need of reaffirmation.

Yes, I am deeply grieved to report that I have seen pastors of Catholic parishes promulgate and support and endorse not the trustworthy, traditional teachers of prayer in our Catholic tradition, but instead modern writers with their own ideas, interpretations and adaptations of the traditional masters. The result has been a dumbing-down of our interior life, our life of prayer – just the opposite of God’s call to us to grow in Him! Catholic adults are being led away from, not toward, the supernatural. Catholic adults are being led away from a comprehensive grasp of holy Truth under the guidance of Christ and His Holy Spirit, instead of toward it. The Catechism is “too deep,” many say. Masters of prayer such as St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross are ignored, “too hard to follow,” many say. Instead, contemporary motivational speakers, salesmen and vendors of excitement are all the rage in the market of parish renewal. The Virgin Mary, our holy Mother in Christ, is “too old-fashioned,” some say – even, “Mary is divisive!” What has happened to our Church? Divine Truth, such as that for which the martyrs died, is now “boring and takes too much time.”

How can this be? How is this even possible? How has the Church become weakened and compromised in every precious aspect of the holy Truth and the holy Life that God has entrusted to us? All I can say is, read the Holy Scripture:

Mt. 13:24  Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field;
Mt. 13:25  but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
Mt. 13:26  So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
Mt. 13:27  And the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’
Mt. 13:28  He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’
Mt. 13:29  But he said, ‘No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
Mt. 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'”

Let those with ears to hear, hear.

The Church needs divine supernatural grace – His holy Life! The Church needs our Mother Mary! The Church needs His Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth! In His grace, if we will entrust ourselves to Him, with His sacraments, in the Catholic moral life, growing in prayer with and through our Mother Mary, we can again find Him, we can again receive and believe Him, we can again live our human lives in holiness, in Him. This is His will: our holiness – which will be light in this darkening godless world. Light meant for the many, is entrusted first to the few, that they might carry it to the others, those meant to be our brothers and sisters.

We the Church need to repent and return. The world needs the Church, though they know it not, and the Church needs to repent and return, though many seem to know it not – even now, we are preoccupied with trivia and neglectful of the essentials, “while men were sleeping.”

I don’t know what it will take, for our pastors to reject the ever-incoming waves of “the latest” parish renewal programs and turn to the saints, the fathers and doctors of the Church for the time-tested and proven sources of faith formation. We have an excellent Catechism – why aren’t we using it? We have teachers of prayer who have “been there” on the mountain top, and have left us a heritage of spiritual wisdom – why won’t we listen to them?

The promise of Jesus remains true now, as when He first said it:

Mt 7:7  “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Mt 7:8  For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Indeed, your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit, to those who ask Him. (Lk 11:13)

References to relevant blog essays:
America: Is This One Last Chance? (Nov 22, 2016)
The Ordinary Path to Holiness
The Interior Liturgy of the Our Father


Responses

  1. Dear Thomas,

    Thanks for writing this well-focused article, explaining both causes and remedies possible by God’s Grace for the Church, our country and the world God loved so much He sent His Son. Each of us needs to look seriously within our souls, asking to receive, seeking to find and knocking for the door to open.

    Let us pray with Mary, Mother and Model for the Church, that we may say our “yes” with her, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and begin anew to live as God intends us to live in Christ. Indeed our Father knows how to give good gifts to His children who ask Him. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.

  2. To me, one thing that stands out that our beloved President Trump has done and to all the numerous good things that he keeps on making to keep his promise to Make America Great Again is his bringing back “Christ” during Christmas in the White House, where He appropriately belong. I am a Bush supporter and every time he sends me his Holiday card makes me feel very sad. The department stores such as Wal-Mart thru the encouragement of this God fearing President began saying Merry Christmas again, with hesitation of hurting the feelings of non believers and the non Christian followers…May the Good Lord keep on blessing you in leading us President Trump!

  3. Dear Thomas, Beautifully written, this article should be a wake up call for all Catholics. I’m so sad to see many who won’t come to Bible Study unless it is fun, funny antics, perhaps a meal being offered. The Word is so comforting and beautiful how can that not be enough? Mary Mother of God pray for us and the whole world. Jesus most Holy have mercy on us.

  4. Thank you Deborah and Thomas. It’s so sad to see the depth of sorrow in our beautiful Church. Only one thing is satisfying to me. It is that I am living in this time and am eager to assure the Lord I will remain faithful to Him, His Church, His Mother, His Sacraments, His holy Mass and yes most definitely, holy Prayer. I want to keep telling Him that over and over though he knows it from all time that we are here and still faithful no matter what the world says or does.

    I ask that God will send the fire of His Holy Spirit to cleanse our minds and hearts so we may know Him better, love Him purely and serve Him worthily.
    We are here for Him Who came for us.

    God will do anything we ask Him and we will be pleading with Him for the elections. President Trump is coarse for sure, but he is a must to combat the secular tsunami.

    Prayerfully and with love,
    in the Two Hearts,
    Ann

    • Dear Ann,

      So good to hear from you again, to hear again your love for God, for Mary our Mother, and for your faithfulness.

      Yes, how we need the Fire of His Holy Spirit, Ann. He came to Mary to bring Jesus into our world and He continues to come to souls like hers who are open to receive God’s Love. By His Grace, may we remain faithful to Him and continue loving our Mother Mary, given to us from His Cross.

      As St. Louis de Montfort wrote in the Introduction to his treatise on “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin”:

      “13. My heart has dictated with special joy all that I have written to show that Mary has been unknown up till now, and that that is one of the reasons why Jesus Christ is not known as He should be.

      If then, as is certain, the knowledge and the kingdom of Jesus Christ must come into the world, it can only be as a necessary consequence of the knowledge and reign of Mary. She who first gave him to the world will establish his kingdom in the world.”

      Prayerfully and lovingly in their Pierced Hearts,
      Deborah Mary

  5. A beautiful blog that I wish everyone would see & read. If we would continue to live according to the truths in the Bible, God’s words, their should be no confusion in what is the true way to believe and live. The Church seems to be teaching in a different way which makes Catholicism more liberal. Mary is not given the recognition and respect she deserves. She is the way to Jesus. He said when she stood at the foot of the cross,”Behold your Mother”.She is Mother of the church. So why is she talked about so little.

    • Dear Janet,

      Thanks so much for your reply. I agree with you: there are some in the Church who seem to have forgotten Mary — if indeed they were ever taught or heard the Scripture you quoted: “Behold your Mother!”

      Perhaps too many of us do not ponder all Jesus said and did as Mary our Mother pondered all in her heart. Perhaps too many of us are listening to what the spirit of the world is saying, and we are not imploring the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and strengthen our wills to hear Jesus, Who is our Way, our Truth, and our LIfe.

      Yes, God sent Jesus through Mary to save us and God continues to send Him through Mary, by the power of His Holy Spirit. Thanks again Janet for your faithfulness to Jesus through Mary.

  6. Thomas,

    I can not agree with you more. I am at a loss as what to do about all this except pray. Every Sunday I watch the cafeteria Catholics go through the motions. Arriving late wearing their unholy attire, socializing after they arrive, going to the bathroom during the consecration. Lining up for communion like they are in line to get a ticket for a movie. Polls show that more than half of them do not believe they are receiving the real presence of the Lord and also leave the abortion issue up to the mother and God, Then after receiving communion with hands in pockets chewing on our Lord like he is a candy bar and walking out of the Mass.

    I attend 4 different Catholic Churches and see the same thing. The Pastors see the same thing I see but never talk about it. They just give Homilies about the Gospel with most attendees not paying attention. I have talked with several Priests about this including a Bishop and all I get is, well that is the culture. I do not even hear the Priests tell the people that when they leave before the Mass has ended they have not fulfilled their Sabbath obligation. I do my best to not look during Mass but it is hard. Thank God for daily Mass.

    I do not recall Pope Francis ever addressing these issues. I am not judging as I feel we are addressing these issues with the people that are not going to change. I do not think they cover a lot of this in RCIA. I get into discussions with some and their side of course is that at least they are attending Mass and Jesus does not care how they dress.

    It seems that with the liberalism that is infiltrating the Catholic Church that it is just a matter of time? My main church had 4500 families when I arrived in Arizona in 2013. Today we have about 2900.

    Francis Forcione

    • Dear Francis,
      I totally understand you, as I felt the same way. Going to those masses and being with cafeteria “Catholics” is a source of frustration not helping our peace of mind. I, like you, also went to see the bishop many times regarding the sacraments, the respect, the teaching, including a “lady” serving communion with a VERY low cut tight sweater! And other “ladies” in procession with him (the bishop) going at the alter with tight provocative pants, etc. I use to teach catechism but I had to stop as it was a total waste of time. At the confirmation our bishop elevated a picture of Elvis Presley to show the children that the spirit is for everybody. One child told his mother: “ Mom, why did the bishop talk about; sports, cars, playing with blocks, and about people we do not know. I thought he was going to talk about Jesus…” I have the proof of this I kept the picture of our bishop promoting Elvis Presley and a lady divorced and shacked up. Totally inappropriate! Now I go to the Latin Rite mass where the mass and the liturgy was not changed, the same mass we had for almost two thousand years until Vatican ll, when 6 Protestants and a Freemason changed it . You have to do your search and find out who changed the mass and why. Just go on your search and write: “7 Reasons why I love the Traditional Latin Mass – YouTube” and you can look at the beauty of the mass as was meant to be. I keep you in my prayers. Gaby Burke Vienneau

    • Hello Francis – and thank you for your comments. It is painful to read your experience; I know how deeply troubling it is, to witness irreverence in the Presence of the Holy. Maybe you could look into, as Gaby suggested in her comment, a parish in your area where the Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated. Deborah and I visited a parish in our diocese to participate in such a Mass – it is too far away to participate regularly there, but we both were struck with the reverence exhibited by all who were there, priest and laity.


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