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Monday, May 3, 2021

Finding a Glorious Safe Harbor in This Intensifying Storm

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Finding a Glorious Safe Harbor in This Intensifying Storm

One of the Vatican’s most recent grave scandals — the conference exploring the “Mind, Body & Soul” — has provided further evidence that Pope Francis and his entourage no longer feel obligated to keep up the appearances of trying to honor God or save souls. If they occasionally ramble off something that resembles Catholic thinking, they invariably follow with ideas that mock the Church’s traditional beliefs and practices. Even if everything else in the world was ideal, the current state of the Vatican hierarchy would be enough to convince us that we will soon see the wrath of God.

Those of us who actually still have the Catholic Faith know how this ends (God wins), but we understandably have some anxiety about the details that will unfold between now and that day of victory. How bad will it get? How long will we have to endure? Will we completely lose access to the sacraments? Are we in the last times?

 

The storm did not begin with the pandemic, with Bergoglio’s Pachamama, or even with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Wherever we are in salvation history, we now face a storm that threatens to engulf us all. But the storm did not begin with the pandemic, with Bergoglio’s Pachamama, or even with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Regardless of when it started, it was already evident to those with eyes to see during Vatican II. We know this because a collection of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s writings and addresses, A Bishop Speaks, includes a text the archbishop wrote on October 11, 1964, in which he described the still nascent “Spirit of Vatican II”:

“Let us beware of allowing ourselves to be influenced by a spirit wholly irreconcilable with that which the Roman Pontiffs and earlier Councils have unwearyingly striven to diffuse among Christians. It is not a spirit of progress; it is a spirit of rupture and suicide.”

It took nearly sixty years for this spirit of rupture and suicide to become obvious to most serious Catholics. Now that it is so obvious, we naturally wonder what we should do about it.

The prince of darkness and the many members of the Catholic hierarchy who serve him are using a counterfeit Catholic faith to attack and obscure the true Faith.

Fortunately, Archbishop Lefebvre’s text also includes practical guidance that is even more pressing today than it was decades ago. “Faced with such a storm and all that it has unleashed, what are we to do?” He answers his own question with four tasks for us: keep our Faith indefectible; be objective; publicly profess our Faith without flinching; and pray and do penance. Beginning with the one task that must be the foundation of our entire lives — to keep our Faith indefectible — we can learn to find safe harbor as the storms he saw intensify today:

Keep Our Faith Indefectible. “Keep our faith indefectible, our attachment to what the Church has always taught, and never let ourselves be moved or discouraged. Our Lord puts our faith to the test as He did with the Apostles and as He tried Abraham. In order that He may do so we must really have the impression that we are about to perish. Thus the victory of Truth will be indeed that of God and not our own.”

The prince of darkness and the many members of the Catholic hierarchy who serve him are using a counterfeit Catholic faith to attack and obscure the true Faith. If you knew that your enemy was trying to poison you, would you let him prepare your meals? It is even more foolish to allow the enemies of our immortal souls to contaminate our Faith. And just as a small amount of poison in an otherwise fine meal can kill a person, a seemingly small error can completely corrupt a Catholic’s faith.

As Archbishop Lefebvre wrote nearly sixty years ago, God allows our Faith to be tested so that we turn to Him with humility and trust. The fact that the most vile enemies imaginable are so dedicated to making us abandon or alter our Faith should make it clear that we must never do so.

As many Catholics are realizing, we need to turn to God because it will take His intercession to stop the evil forces that seek to destroy us.

Be objective. Archbishop Lefebvre saw that a small group of Council Fathers and periti (experts) were pushing novelties, but he remained optimistic: “The Council Fathers, who have an important part in the Church of Rome, as well as the greater part, if not almost the totality of Roman theologians, do not side with the innovators.” He saw the dangers, of course, but did not lose his objective and peaceful outlook. His assessment changed as the realities later changed, but he remained objective.

Today we know that the innovators prevailed and that the “infiltration” of the Church has had unspeakably tragic costs not only for Catholics but for society as a whole. So, objectively, we face serious troubles. As many Catholics are realizing, we need to turn to God because it will take His intercession to stop the evil forces that seek to destroy us.

However, we must not let the grim picture of the Vatican and society obscure the fact that our personal earthly missions have not changed. In particular, we must live our lives so as to die in the state of sanctifying grace so that we can go to heaven and avoid hell. God will give us the graces we need to save our souls, but it seems foolish to presume that we can avoid hell by leading lukewarm spiritual lives. Perhaps that has worked for some people in other times, but we live in perilous times.

In her conversation with Fr. Agustin Fuentes in 1957, Sister Lucy (the oldest of the Fatima seers) explained one of the reasons she believed “we are in the last days of the world”:

“In the plans of Divine Providence, before He is about to chastise the world, God always exhausts all other remedies. Now, when He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever then, as we say in our imperfect manner of speaking, He offers us with a certain trepidation the last means of salvation, His Most Holy Mother. It is with a certain trepidation because if you despise and repulse this ultimate means we will not have any more forgiveness from Heaven because we will have committed a sin which the Gospel calls the sin against the Holy Ghost. This sin consists in openly rejecting with full knowledge and consent, the salvation which He offers. Let us remember that Jesus Christ is a very good Son and that He does not permit that we offend and despise His Most Holy Mother.” 

It is stunning to think about how much the world has continued to offend God since 1957. Surely we are running out of time to accept the means of salvation that God offers.

Let us remember that Jesus Christ is a very good Son and that He does not permit that we offend and despise His Most Holy Mother.

Sensing that our time is running out, many of us see the crisis in the Church and the world and want to “do something!” to help improve the situation. We ought to reflect that our enemies have clearly anticipated our natural responses to their mayhem and have proven themselves quite capable in overcoming our countermeasures through a series of misdeeds including, among others: commandeering the Catholic Church to promote anti-Catholic agendas; locking down, masking, and “vaccinating” much of the world through manipulation of the Covid-19 response; undermining the U.S. presidential election in broad daylight; and making it difficult to tell the truth without being “cancelled.”

Of course there have been other crisis within the Church, frequently requiring saints to rise to the occasion. In Dom Gueranger’s entry for St. Catherine of Siena in The Liturgical Year, we read the following:

“The great question, at the close of the fourteenth century, was the restoration to the Holy City of the privilege of having within its walls the Vicar of Christ, who for sixty years had been absent from his see. One saintly soul, by merits and prayers, known to heaven alone, might have brought about this happy event after which the whole Church was longing; but God would have it done by a visible agency and in the most public manner.”

And so St. Catherine of Siena “did something!” by being a saintly soul who was docile to God’s inspirations. Being docile to God’s will does not mean that we are “passive” — rather, it means that we have sense enough to know that we cannot make even the slightest real progress in this battle without God. As Jesus told His disciples: “I am the vine; you are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing” (Matthew 15:5). Without God we can do nothing.

Logically and objectively, it seems that the best path for all of us is to try to be as faithful as possible in accepting God’s graces. In doing so, we will surely save our own souls, help others reach heaven, and perhaps even expedite the defeat of the evil forces that seek to send us to hell.

These considerations should make us better appreciate the two remaining tasks the archbishop described.

St. Catherine of Siena “did something!” by being a saintly soul who was docile to God’s inspirations.

Publicly Profess Our Faith Without Flinching. “Publicly profess our faith without flinching, in the press, in our conversations, in our letters . . .” Consistent with our duties of state, we must promote and defend the Catholic Faith. The so-called experts try to convince the world that everything will be fine if enough people take the “vaccination,” but we know that it is far closer to the truth that we can end this crisis if enough people return to God and commit to doing His will. But they cannot do this without knowing the true Faith, and it falls upon the small remnant of faithful Catholics to continue teaching the true Faith through our words and actions.

One of us may be the only practicing Catholic a potential covert will encounter. If we hide the light of our Faith, that person may understandably conclude that Catholics have no real claim to God’s Truth and never consider converting. Perhaps the world would be much different if a strong Catholic had unflinchingly professed the Faith to nominal Catholics such as Bergoglio, Biden, Pelosi, etc. before they became hardened in their anti-Catholic ways.

Pray and Do Penance. “Pray to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, for she is at the heart of all these disputes, and she has always defeated heresies . . . . If we are to deserve the help of Our Lord’s grace, we must do penance; penance in carrying out the duties of our state with no flinching, yielding nothing, undiscouraged. This we must do despite the infernal background of license, immodesty, scorn of authority, failure of respect for oneself and one’s neighbor. Let us trust. God is all powerful and He has given our Lord all power in heaven and on earth.”

Our Faith tells us that we ought to be doing all we can to serve God, especially as the nominal princes of His Church conspire with Satan to destroy souls. If we do not do this, why would we expect to deserve the help of Our Lord’s grace?

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As we read in Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence, resigning ourselves to the will of God is our only sure way to find salvation and security in the face of great trials.

“When we find some difficulty in obeying God or feel inclined to rebel, let us say with David, Why art thou downcast, O my soul? He has given you everything you have, He has provided everything for your salvation. I will not resist Him, I will obey His orders, for He is my saviour and my God; and if human nature refuses to do what He orders, He is my strength to overcome it. Let us say with Our Lord during His agony, Father, not my will but thine be done. ‘These words of our Divine Master,’ says the great St. Leo, ‘are the salvation of His whole Mystical Body, the Church. These words have instructed all the faithful, inspired all the confessors, crowned all the martyrs. Let all the Church’s children, redeemed at so high a price, justified without any deserving on their part, learn these words and using them as a safe defense when they are assailed by any strong temptation, they will resist the attacks of nature and suffer tribulation with courage.’”

Trustful surrender to God’s will is difficult, but Our Lady, Queen of All Saints, will guide us to this safe harbor if we earnestly seek her assistance. As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote:

“Just as sailors are directed to port by means of a star of the sea, so Christians are directed by means of Mary to glory.”

God has given us the Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the means to overcome the forces that threaten to steal our souls and destroy all that is good in this world. Let us follow her through this harrowing storm to the glory prepared by God for those who truly love Him enough to do His will. Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!

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Last modified on Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist

Robert Morrison is a Catholic, husband and father. He is the author of A Tale Told Softly: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Hidden Catholic England. 

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