by Fr Richard Heilman | August 3, 2016 10:49 AM
I don’t know how bad things need to get before we reach a point where we begin to realize “something drastic needs to happen in order to turn things around again.” I’M THERE!!
In the past 50 years, our world has suffered through a radical shift; an onslaught of secular humanism and outright debauchery and depravity. Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Times sums it up well …
“For the past 50 years, every major institution has been captured by the radical secular left. The media, Hollywood, TV, universities, public schools, theater, the arts, literature — they relentlessly promote the false gods of sexual hedonism and radical individualism. Conservatives have ceded the culture to the enemy. Tens of millions of unborn babies have been slaughtered; illegitimacy rates have soared; divorce has skyrocketed; pornography is rampant; drug use has exploded; sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS have killed millions; birth control is a way of life; sex outside of wedlock has become the norm; countless children have been permanently damaged — their innocence lost forever — because of the proliferation of broken homes; and sodomy and homosexuality are celebrated openly. America has become the new Babylon.”
Our Church has not been immune to this onslaught of secular humanism. I agree with Fr. Dwight Longnecker’s assessment. Here is a portion (you can read the rest here) …
People are leaving religion in droves because it’s not religion anymore.
It’s become a charity with meetings on Sundays, and the problem is modernism. Modernism is the idea that the supernatural is out of date and unbelievable. The “de-mythologizers” tried to weed out all the miracles and supernatural elements from the gospels. For the last hundred years their influence has gained in seminaries and pulpits across the world.
Tales of the supernatural had to be removed. They didn’t fit with the modern world. Doctrines about devils and angels, heaven and hell had to be quietly excised from the faith because they were primitive and medieval and incredible to modern folk. Transubstantiation? A pious medieval philosophical explanation of what we all know is really symbolic. Supernatural revelation? No. Religion is all man made. Miracles? We know they don’t really happen.
Religious leaders–and I mean Catholics and Protestants alike–turned the Christian religion into an organization that does good works.
Realize this … up until this Modernist infiltration, the Roman Catholic Church has ALWAYS been considered among the elite in “Spiritual Warfare.” Sure, there’s the old expression, “If you need an exorcism, who are you going to call?” But, I am talking about everyday spiritual warfare.
As St. Paul wrote,
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4
Catholics have always had a heighten sense of “spiritual realities,” whether good or evil. Why? Because they have always been well trained in the “art of spiritual combat.” Catholics knew full well, for example, that one should never face the forces of evil without, first, being “Armored Up!” In other words, they knew that once one fell out of a “state of grace,” they were an easy target for the assaults of the devil.
We need to build a great army of supernaturalized heroic warriors for Christ … Christ’s Superheroes! WE NEED WARRIORS IN A STATE OF GRACE!
Admission into Christ’s elite fighting force begins by knowing that by your baptism you have been “commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill a most dramatic mission; it is the mission of saving souls. This mission cannot be accomplished without entering into conflict with ‘the world, the flesh and the devil.’ It is not a mission for the fainthearted or for those who wish to take the wide road to heaven. It is the path of warfare, of spiritual battle.”
Jesus answered, and said to him: “If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him” (John 14:23).
Everything … and I mean EVERYTHING … depends upon OBEDIENCE. Obedience is the very “Key” that unlocks the door to the Divine Life … the paradise of God’s Presence and Power of Supernatural Grace, once lost by the disobedience of our first parents. Mary is the New Eve who, by her fiat (Yes), brought us a Savior. And, the very last words Mary ever speaks were at the Wedding at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you.” With that call to obedience, bland and tasteless water was turned into the “best of wines” … wine is symbolic of the “inebriation of the Holy Spirit.”
Two Common Acts of Disobedience (and, therefore, *disqualifies you* for enlistment in Christ’s Elite Fighting Force)
You Must Meet Minimum Requirements (based on the precepts of the Church)
The heroes of our faith are the warrior saints who have gone before us. God worked mightily and miraculously through them. Therefore, we must study their ways. In humility, obedience, and trust (“Go weapons H.O.T.”), we ask: How did they remain so well connected, in such strong friendship with God, so that His river of supernatural grace could flow so freely through them? What do these “SEALS for Christ,” teach us about the ideal spiritual disciplines, the ultimate daily regimen of prayer?
“Pray with great confidence,” St. Louis de Montfort says, “with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water that flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray.”
Prayer is our outstanding supernatural resource for fighting the wiles of the enemy. St. Alphonsus said, “Prayer is, beyond doubt, the most powerful weapon the Lord gives us to conquer evil … but we must really put ourselves into the prayer, it is not enough just to say the words, it must come from the heart. And also prayer needs to be continuous, we must pray no matter what kind of situation we find ourselves in: the warfare we are engaged in is ongoing, so our prayer must be on-going also.”
The following are based in large part on Fr. John McCloskey’s Seven Daily Habits of Holy Apostolic People and include:
Seven Daily Habits
What rank are you in God’s Army?
The more you pour yourself into your prayer life, the more God will entrust His missions to you and, therefore, the more grace He will pour into your efforts.
Whether it’s a Navy SEAL or a Saint, we admire those who put it all on the line — go “all in!” — those who are totally dedicated to the mission. In the military, this dedication is revealed in the Warrior Ethos, four simple lines embedded in the Soldier’s Creed:
Sustained and developed through discipline, commitment, and pride, these four lines motivate every soldier to persevere and, ultimately, to refuse defeat. What would happen if we dedicated ourselves to the training and mission of Jesus Christ with the same intensity?
Like the heroic soldiers on the battlefield who often go above and beyond the call of duty, so do many Catholics in our Church. These are the ones recognized as “Devout Catholics.”
In his classic spiritual work, The Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales wrote:
In so far as divine love beautifies our souls, and makes us pleasing to His divine Majesty, it is called grace; in so far as it gives us strength to do good, it is called charity; but when it reaches such a degree of perfection, that it makes us not only do the good, but do so carefully, frequently and readily, then it is called devotion.
Consider going above and beyond … enter “The Devout Life” …
Are you brave enough to join Christ’s Elite Fighting Force? For training for God’s Army, go HERE
Join prayer warriors from around the nation for “Novena for Our Nation,” that starts on August 15. Go HERE to sign-up.
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