by Fr Richard Heilman | July 24, 2017 9:25 am
I am a Roman Catholic priest. I believe the Catholic Church was instituted by the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity. If our Church’s claim is true (and it is), then this Catholic Church was given to us as the very “hope for humanity” … as a way to lift civilization out of self-centered barbarism to a civilization of altruistic love. That’s no small thing. It is everything! This choice to establish this Church was “God’s Way” of redeeming His children.
As we look at the rise of decadence and immorality in our country, and the division that followed, everyone seems to be pointing fingers in every direction. The problem is us. Better yet, the problem is me. I am not going to get into what I believe all of us priests and bishops have done or have not done … I leave that up to their own personal discernment. I can only speak for myself.
I am a weak spiritual leader who has led us to a place where we can’t seem to find unity in our country without making horrible compromises. I take the blame on this one.
I sat by and allowed sappy, effeminate, profane liturgies demoralize and deaden the hearts of our Catholic men (and many Catholic women). I remained mostly silent as feminists stripped our men of their dignity as husbands and fathers and spiritual heads of their households. I remained mostly silent as men slipped into the soul-deadening addiction of internet pornography. I remained mostly silent as liberal ideologues captured the attention of our youth. I remained mostly silent when our own Catholic leadership watered down and compromised the values and principles and morals of a once solid bedrock of faith in a tempted world. I remained mostly silent as our beloved Catholic Church was turned from a powerhouse of prayer and supernatural grace into one among many secular non-government organizations.
As I stated, the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity established this Catholic Church as the hope for humanity, but I have allowed it to become something of little relevance in most people’s lives. Now, less then 25% bother coming to worship God on a regular basis (closer to only 5% in Europe). Now, it seems, even a vast majority of those who attend no longer even believe the Eucharist is God.
As a result of all of this, our world is unmoored from the Presence and Power of God, and so we have quickly reverted to the barbarism of those who once never knew God at all. Evil has accelerated on all sides, and we have no defense against its expansion.
As Chris Jackson writes, we are now “living in a secular republic with non-believers, hedonists, lukewarm and liberal Christians, and a smattering of conservative Catholics.”
Sunday’s Gospel, Matthew 13:24-28 said,
He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. The landowner’s slaves came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this!’ he told them.
Venerable Fulton J. Sheen wrote:
“Since the basic cause of man’s anxiety is the possibility of being either a saint or a sinner, it follows that there are only two alternatives for him. Man can either mount upward to the peak of eternity or else slip backwards to the chasms of despair and frustration. Yet there are many who think there is yet another alternative, namely, that of indifference. They think that, just as bears hibernate for a season in a state of suspended animation, so they, too, can sleep through life without choosing to live for God or against Him. But hibernation is no escape; winter ends, and one is then forced to make a decision—indeed, the very choice of indifference is itself a decision.
White fences do not remain white fences by having nothing done to them; they soon become black fences. Since there is a tendency in us that pulls us back to the animal, the mere fact that we do not resist it operates to our own destruction. Just as life is the sum of forces that resist death, so, too, man’s will must be the sum of the forces that resist frustration.
A man who has taken poison into his system can ignore the antidote, or he can throw it out the window; it makes no difference which he does, for death is already on the march. St. Paul warns us, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” (Heb 2:3). By the mere fact that we do not go forward, we go backward. There are no plains in the spiritual life, we are either going uphill or coming down.
Furthermore, the pose of indifference is only intellectual. The will must choose. And even though an “indifferent” soul does not positively reject the infinite, the infinite rejects it. The talents that are unused are taken away, and the Scriptures tell us that, “But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth (Rev. 3:16).”
“The very choice of indifference is itself a decision.”
As Fr. Steven Petrica writes:
“All the violence, extremism, libertinism, and hatred that plague us are but epiphenomena on the larger problem. Our culture has come loose from its spiritual moorings and jumped / fallen / been pushed into a spiritual vacuum. Until that’s fixed we’re only tinkering at the edges.”
The blame for the condition of our culture cannot be placed on any political party … it is about the decline of faith in America. Don’t blame the Party … blame weak Catholic leaders, like me. It’s my fault!
Let’s call out to God through the intercession of the Blessed Mother to ask God to heal out land!!
Last year, as we approached the centennial year of Fatima and during a contentious Presidential election season, we asked Americans to join together in prayer, as we called out to the Mother of God to heal our nation … 54 days of prayer from August 15 to October 7, just days before the election. Over 20,000 signed up for daily emails of reflections and prayers, and it is believed that tens of thousands more participated by going, daily, to the novenaforournation.com website.
This year, we are concluding our 54 Day Rosary Novena for Our Nation with St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Marian Consecration. We will be encouraging folks to join the Militia Immaculata … this is also the centennial year of the Militia Immaculata. And, we are also encouraging the enrollment and wearing of the Brown Scapular (or Scapular Medal). So, Rosary, Scapular and Consecration … we want to do precisely what Mary asks.
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