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Monday, 4 February 2013

Challenge to the Church Militant; Sacrifice a Splendid Isolation

The Church is only as strong as Her weakest member. We are all members. If we are strong, the Church is strong. If we are weak, the Church is weak.

So often I hear criticisms concerning priests, bishops, nuns. The laity create good families or not. From those good families come good vocations.

If seminaries accept weak men, the Church's hierarchy will remain weak, and become weaker. This is still happening in America and in Europe.

The laity can always do something. Pray. Fast. Write. Use the positions each lay person has in the Church to influence the Church for good.

The Holy Spirit directs the Church, but we must cooperate.

If we are disobedient, the Church becomes anaemic.

If we are grieved or disappointed or angry, we must pray.

Great saints flourished in times of weakness and the Church grew stronger.

St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Thomas More, St. Philip Howard, St. Maximilian Kolbe and so on.

Today, many of my friends are discouraged and even grieved with political events and governmental decisions.

Those who have lost the faith seem to be in control. But, the Church can still be strong in the winds of persecution.

The Church will last until Christ comes again. If She remains in your parish, as the True Church, it will be because the laity remain strong.

After the fall of Rome, millions of people witnessed a huge change in culture, civilization, personal comfort.

St. Benedict's own family were from the remnants of the fallen, enormous nation, which had created such great things from which we still benefit.

But, in the face of ruin, Benedict did something new. He went into a cave and prayed about what to do.

He created spiritual shock troops. Rome did not look like what She does today.

Make something new.  Think about what you can make new and how.

This newness must happen now.

Do not give in to discouragement, but pray how you and I can become shock troops.

The Benedictine Rule not only saved and re-created  Europe through prayer, fasting, discipline, reading, writing, making schools and libraries, building churches and even infrastructures of business, but created holy men and women.

Choose to be holy and choose to be a saint.

Surround yourself with good people. Create communities where and when you can. Do not waste time. I have studied the Bruderhof since the 1970s. I was a member of a large lay community at one time. I have stayed for months with Benedictines. I understand how a community withstands the world or does not do so. The laity cannot remain isolated and alone. Take people in. Move. Be prepared to sacrifice an splendid isolation.

The Church is only as strong as Her weakest members. Be strong. Choose to be strong.

Churches will be abandoned. This will shock some. It has happened before.

My son is one of only two seminarians in his year. The priests are horribly overworked now.

Things will change.

The laity must be strong and families must pray for more vocations.

Imagine a world without the sacraments.

Fathers, brothers, sister, mothers, choose to be strong.

Please be the Church Militant and not the Church Queasy. Create communities where you are. Do it now.

Pray and become perfect, cooperating with God's Plan for your life.