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 Have Confidence, I have overcome the world, by Luiz Sergio Solimeo

 

An abyss separates the world (understood here not in its cosmological but moral sense) from the Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. The world neither accepts being guided by, nor comprehends the Light that came to illuminate it.[1] The world does not live for God or for life eternal, but for itself. Closed off in its naturalist egoism, it divinizes the present, the passing moment.

 

The World’s New Emperor: the Media

That is why the world wastes no chance to attack the Church by distorting facts or taking advantage of the weakness of Her members, to come up with sophisms and mockeries that echo Voltaire’s sardonic laughter.

Not only does the world not accept being guided by the truth of which the Church is the custodian, but, through its emperors (as in the times of old) or the media (the new powers that be) it even wants to rule over the Mystical Spouse of Christ.

 

Taking Advantage of the Pope’s Resignation

Pope Benedict XVI disembarking a plane

Thus, the way the media is taking advantage of Benedict XVI’s resignation from the Papacy to force the Church to accept its secular agenda is not surprising in the least.

By this agenda, his resignation should become standard procedure in the Church, making future Popes as transitional as heads of government in present-day democracies, who govern for a few years and are replaced.

From this secularist agenda’s perspective, the Popes should be elected not just by the cardinals, but also by the bishops, and even by the faithful.

Last but not least, they want the new Pope to change Church teaching, making fornication, adultery, homosexual practice, divorce and abortion normal and morally acceptable.

 

False Theologians, Worldly Catholics

Catholics identified with the spirit of the world, as well as “liberal” or “progressive” theologians and lay leaders who have long abandoned the dictates of Revelation and the Magisterium, echo this agenda and invent sophisms which they present as theological arguments.

There is no doubt that His Holiness’ resignation was unexpected and thereby shocking. Even truly Catholic commentators have emphasized how this resignation can, at the present time, convey the impression of creating a new paradigm for the exercise of the Papacy.

 

Let Us Have Confidence

As Our Lord entered Jerusalem, welcomed and acclaimed by the populace, He alone saw the Passion ahead, and how these same people would clamor for His Crucifixion and Death. But He was not perturbed.In this situation, the most important thing that we, the Catholic faithful, must do is not to allow ourselves to be carried away by the media harping on one issue or another, with its spinning of hypotheses and counter-hypotheses, or burying us beneath an avalanche of known and unknown facts, which can leave us stunned, uncertain, and discouraged.

No matter what happens — and we should be prepared for huge surprises — it is essential that we hold fast to the promise of our Divine Savior that the Church is immortal and that the gates of hell will not prevail against Her.[2]

In the titanic struggle between the world’s naturalist mentality and the Church, we may suffer setbacks, we may be tempted, but we must never allow ourselves to become discouraged, as this fight has already been won:

Have confidence, I have overcome the world.”[3]

 

Confidence: Not a Fruit of Optimism, But of Faith

The confidence that comes from these words of the Savior does not mean optimism, superficiality, or willful ignorance of threats and danger. Above all, it does not mean giving up the fight.

It means that amid confusion, disinformation, and the fleeting victories of liberal Catholics and of the world, in the end, the Church will always triumph.

 

The Church Will Remain Faithful to Her Divine Foundation

By divine institution, the Church is a monarchy whose visible head is the Pope. He represents — but does not replace — the true monarch of Whom he is the Vicar on earth: Our Lord Jesus Christ, the invisible head of His Mystical Body, the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

 Statue of Saint Peter holding keysThou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” [Matthew16:18]

Amid the confusion, disinformation, chaos or fleeting victories of liberal Catholics and of the world, we have the promise of Our Lord, and His words shall not pass away.

The Church’s institutional form cannot change, nor can Her doctrine or morals.

By natural law and by Revelation — interpreted consistently in the same way for two thousand years by the Magisterium — adultery, fornication, homosexual practices, divorce and abortion will never be made good and acceptable. And no Pope has the power to change the sinfulness of such practices because, as the First Vatican Council reaffirmed, upon promulgating the dogma of Papal Infallibility,

the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth.”[4]

 

Fidelity to the Church

Let us therefore have confidence. Let us pray and ask God that He protect His Church. Let us have recourse to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Church, asking that these times of trial be abbreviated, and begging Her to help us remain faithful to the One, Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church, “the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,”[5] the Mystical Spouse of Christ, “without spot or wrinkle.”[6]

 


Notes:

1.John 1:1-9.
2.Cf. Matt. 16:18.
3.John 16:33.
4.Pastor Aeternus, Chap. IV, Denzinger, no. 1836 [translated by Roy J. Deferrari].
5.Apoc. 21:2.
6.Eph. 5:27


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 16, 2020

Today God invites you to do good; do it therefore today. Tom...

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July 16

 

Today God invites you to do good;
do it therefore today.
Tomorrow you may not have time, or
God may no longer call you to do it.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Elias saw the cloud as a symbol of the Virgin mentioned in t...

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel can be traced back to the hermits living on Mount Carmel in Israel during the Old Testament. This ancient community prayed for the advent of the Virgin-Mother through whom salvation was promised to mankind. In Hebrew, “Carmel” means “garden”. In ancient times this mountain was celebrated for its lush, verdant, and flowery beauty.

It was also on Mount Carmel that the Prophet Elijah prayed to God for rain during a terrible drought afflicting Israel for its sins and idolatry of Baal. The first sign that his prayer was answered was a tiny cloud that appeared in the sky out over the Mediterranean, the precursor of a great rainfall.

Elias saw the cloud as a symbol of the Virgin mentioned in the prophecies of Isaiah (7:14). The hermits took after his example and prayed likewise for the advent of the much-awaited Virgin who would become the mother of the Messiah. Praying thus became their spiritual mission.

Theologians see in that little cloud a figure of Mary, bringing salvation in the seventh age of the world. As the clouds arise out of the sea without the weight and the salinity of the waters, so has Mary arisen out of the human race without its stains.

In the twelfth century, St. Berthold, a Frenchman, pilgrim or crusader, came to Mount Carmel seeking to visit Elijah’s cave, and ended by founding a community imbued with the Marian spirit of the holy prophet and the hermits of old.

St. Brocard, successor of St. Berthold, set their way of life to a Rule, which was approved by Pope Innocent IV in 1247. From the time of St. Brocard, these monks were known as the “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel cannot be mentioned without also mentioning her brown scapular. On July 16, 1251, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, an English Carmelite monk, and then General of the Carmelite Order. On one arm she held the Child Jesus and on the other a brown garment called a scapular, to be draped over the front and back of a person. As she showed him this garment she said, “This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall be saved.”

This privilege is extended to lay persons who, wishing to participate in this promise, choose to be enrolled in a small version of the scapular by an officiating priest or deacon.

This practice must not be understood superstitiously or “magically”, but in light of Catholic teaching that perseverance in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity are required for salvation.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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