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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 24, 2021

It is easy to infuse a most fervent devotion into others, ev...

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July 24

 

It is easy to infuse
a most fervent devotion into others, even in a short time;
but the great matter is
– to persevere.

St. Philip Neri


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Charbel Makhlouf

Multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was fi...

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St. Charbel Makhlouf

Youssef Antoun Makhlouf was born in the village of Bekka Kafra in Lebanon on May 8, 1828 and was one of five children born to Antoun Zarrour Makhlouf and Brigitta Chidiac. His father was a mule driver who died when Youssef was only three years old, leaving his widow to bring up their children alone.

Although Brigitta was left nearly destitute, she reserved a profoundly religious atmosphere in their home and instilled in her children a deep spirit of piety. Because of this fidelity, Youssef became unusually devoted and inclined to prayer and solitude at a very young age. He was greatly attracted to the life and spirituality of hermits; and as a young boy tending his family’s small flock, he would often go to a nearby grotto where he had erected a little shrine to the Holy Mother of God and would spend his whole day there in prayer.

When he was twenty-three years old, Youssef, feeling the call to the religious life, left his home and family to join the Lebanese Maronite Order at the Monastery of Our Lady in Marfouq. Here he began his formation as a monk before later being transferred to the Monastery of St. Maron near Beirut. There he received the religious habit of the Maronite monk and took the name Charbel. He made his final profession as a religious brother on November 1, 1853 – he was twenty-five years old.

Brother Charbel immediately began his studies for the priesthood under the instruction of Father Nimattullah Kassab, who was also later declared a saint by the Church. Charbel was ordained on July 23, 1859, following which he returned to the Monastery of St. Maron where he lived a life of great austerity. In 1875, he was granted permission by his superiors to live a solitary life in the Hermitage of Sts. Peter and Paul, which was under the jurisdiction of the monastery; and there he resided for the remaining twenty-three years of his life until his death on Christmas Eve, 1898.

St. Charbel is renowned for his many miracles both during his life and after his death. His most famous miracle – which was also his first – occurred when, multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was filled with water. He is also credited with many healing miracles.

After his death, he was interned at the Monastery of St. Maron, now a famous pilgrimage site. His tomb was often witnessed surrounded by a dazzling light, and to this day his remains are incorrupt and an unexplainable blood-like fluid flows from his body. He was canonized on December 9, 1977, by Pope Paul VI, who held him up as an example to help us understand “in a world, largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God.”

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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