Tuesday 29th November 2022

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When All Seems Lost

November 24, 2022 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

As I look around and survey the general situation, things seem very bleak, as I’m sure they do also for many others. The world is at war, fighting and killing consuming lives, as well as livelihoods, homes, and wealth. Civilization is lost under the rubble as barbarism reigns. A war is waged in the womb as well as outside the womb, taking many lives every day. Poverty and hunger afflict so many. Inequity is a challenge for those who have yet to share more consistently with those who have not.
Politics seems ever to be a tearing down that overwhelms all attempts at building up. The current and rhythm of rise and fall, surge and ebb is a constant. More elections lost. Perhaps stolen. Evil forces seem to ever gain more worldly power. Abortion protections, fourth-trimester abortion and constitutional amendments have now passed in five states. Both parties in Congress are destroying marriage and family by advancing a “same-sex marriage” bill.
The enemy seems to be advancing in so many ways, using politics, using Church leaders to advance an evil agenda. There are many who urge us to see things differently, to close our eyes, to pretend everything is fine.
What hurts most is the ongoing attempt to destroy the Church on the part of those who have charge of protecting and defending her. Cardinal Mueller describes it as a “hostile takeover” of the Church by means of the endless synods. Bishop Mutsaerts in Holland has publicly condemned the “Synod on Synodality,” now extended through 2024. As reported by LifeSiteNews, he stated, “God is out of the picture in this vile synodal process,” adding that “the Holy Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with it.” He went on to say:
“Among the protagonists of this process are to me a few too many defenders of gay marriage, folks who don’t really think abortion is a problem and never really show themselves defenders of the Church’s rich creed, wanting above all to be liked by their secular surroundings.
“I have since dropped out of the synodal process.”
Amid this ongoing betrayal, we can turn to Benedict XVI who helps us to identify the sources of true reform in every age.
“Those who really believe do not attribute too much importance to the struggle for the reform of ecclesiastical structures. They live on what the Church always is; and if one wants to know what the Church really is one must go to them. For the Church is most present, not where organizing, reforming, and governing are going on, but in those who simply believe and receive from her the gift of faith that is life to them. Only someone who has experienced how, regardless of changes in her ministers and forms, the Church raises men up, gives them a home and a hope, a home that is hope — the path to eternal life — only someone who has experienced this knows what the Church is, both in days gone by and now” (Introduction to Christianity).
Mass attendance is falling in many parishes. Yet I still look with appreciation to and receive support from the few who remain. While the Traditional Mass is unjustly banned from our churches, I yet look to the Lord who humbly becomes present for love of us wherever the Mass is offered. The world and all that belongs to it is dying. For hope I look to Him who alone truly lives.
Spiritual afflictions endanger the family: schools, grooming, media, trans, LGBTQ+. Porn. Many signs seem to point to bleak outlook among corrosive forces. Society undergoes a thorough and systematic reordering for a Godless scorched Earth agenda. Ridiculous minutiae are examined and euphemisms abound to relabel evil as good. Realtors can no longer use “master” or “family” to describe aspects of home-buying options.
The trans attack on God is undermined regularly by the brave “de-transitioners” who recognize at long last that a spiritual problem cannot be solved by a material, physical solution.
Of course the inexorable attraction to likes and follows on the Internet has its undoubted role in encouraging the demonic agenda. But a finger click on a cell phone screen does not love and relationships make. Addiction to emptiness can be the greatest of tragedies, surely leaving delusion and self-destruction in its wake.
When we awaken from the phantasms of man’s own invention, we rediscover the capacity of the spiritual that we all possess. We seek once again the God-shape which alone can feed or satisfy our “heart” and soul. Life is in Christ.
There are ever small cells of grace everywhere, for the Body of Christ endures. I look to the young and growing families with two or three children who show up faithfully at Traditional Sunday Mass. Having children is hope.
I witness young priests learning the TLM or praying the new Mass in Latin on their day off. They challenge the mundane, horizontal pop psychology by standing up and asking about the missing supernatural perspective. Priests of various ages are praying the traditional Breviary. A more intense embrace of God through the integral faith is one of the signs of the times no less than the others. Those who truly wish to see by faith seek God with an unquiet conscience.
Yes, we smile and are kind like the people who vote for abortion, but theirs are the smiles of devils and demons, devouring their young, destroying the image of God. Yes, in many ways our lives will always look much like those around us. The supernatural life we nurture and protect is one they cannot see and that we perceive only by the power of faith.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith” (1 John 5:4).
“The world as we know it is passing away.” We live each day in the tangible impermanent. We must endure by the power of grace through faith if we would build, instead of mourn, among the ruins.
When all seems lost there is always faith. And for faith there is always God. And when we are honest with ourselves we must admit that it is only due to our weakness and ignorance, our lack of spiritual vision, that there ever seems more wrong with the world than right.
Faith is the light of the resurrection enduring despite the darkness of this world. It is a flickering flame of warmth divine to succor heart and soul. It is always as close as a prayer, though only fully realized in Heaven’s infinitude.
Perhaps Pope Benedict’s words in the Ratzinger Report can give us positive context for the hope that is in us: “Hence, true ‘reform’ does not mean to take great pains to erect new facades (contrary to what certain ecclesiologies think). Real ‘reform’ is to strive to let what is ours disappear as much as possible so [that] what belongs to Christ may become more visible. It is a truth well known to the saints. Saints, in fact, reformed the Church in depth, not by working up plans for new structures, but by reforming themselves. What the Church needs in order to respond to the needs of man in every age is holiness, not management.”
Practicing our faith intentionally, perseveringly, intensely and simply answers the greatest needs of our time. It is both that over which we have most control and that which we most need. Be not afraid.

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