A reader wrote this and it deserves a post. I am deep into reading Pascendi right now and am astounded. That encyclical plus this post of yours calls to mind a question. I wonder if you could instruct a little on God's punishing/chastising His children. I seem to be having difficulty understanding how this works. There is certainly every indication that this is now happening (and will be increasing). I'm having trouble understanding how this works if the majority of Catholics do not even recognize the punishment and even enjoy and encourage the circumstances they're in. How will they learn or benefit from this? How will this be a curative? We only have to look both at Old Testament history and even recent history to see how God allows evil to chastise those who have become mediocre. The entire history of the Old Testament, including that of the Maccabees, some of which is on this blog, reveals an awareness by the prophets and some of the leaders, that when very hard times occurred, such as the desecration of the Temple, that God was permitting evil for a reason. The Hebrews, being easily influenced by the neighboring countries and nations regarding idolatry, were disciplined by God over and over. One only has to read the eloquent speech of the first martyr, St. Stephen, to see how aware some Hebrews were of their own discipline. Obviously, the forty years in the Wilderness provided ample proof that God needed to purified His People so that they could take over the Promised Land, which was full of child-murder and other horrible sins. In recent times, Our Lady of Fatima warned us and asked us to pray for Russia. She meant, of course, the great lies of communism and atheism. Sadly, the warnings went unheeded by the majority of Catholics and Russia's errors spread over the Europe, so that, to this day, Marxism is alive and well in the continent. The tremendous sufferings of the Ukrainians for their faith is only one example of persecution in modern times. That God gives humans free will indicates that evil will be chosen by some and good by others. When the real persecutions begin, and I believe we are on the edge of the last stage, (see persecution posts), Catholics will have lost many civil rights. This is already happening regarding those Catholics who do not want to sell bridal dresses for ssm, or cakes, or takes photos of such. That some Catholics have always gone along with the powers that be will happen again and some of our persecutors will be Catholics. This happened in England under Henry VIII and Elizabeth and even later, up to the killing of St. Oliver Plunkett in 1681. Catholics were outlawed from certain things in England up until the 19th century. Sadly, the younger generations in the States have not been made to study history in school and so have no clue as to these once commonly known facts, at least among Catholics. Hard times should cause people to stop and pray and ponder their own sins. When one is being disciplined, one takes a hard look at one's life and repents. This is the purpose of discipline. If one does not reflect, one cannot move forward into being purified, which is all explained in the Dark Night series. So, when God allows evil, Catholics can make heroic choices against such evil. This is happening. Real Catholics do not dispense aboritifacients as pharmacists and lose their jobs. Real Catholics do not teach that ssm is ok, and move out of teaching grade school in some states. Real Catholics do not sing for ssms and, therefore, may get sued or taken to court and so on.
St. John Houghton, thanks to Wiki
That the governments of most nations, if not all, now follow laws against God's natural law, one can expect hard times. There are other laws now in place which keep Catholics from living what was the old way of moving between countries freely, as we are members of a universal Church. Movements of peoples are becoming greatly restricted in Europe, to the point where in some countries, seminaries who apply from other countries to study for the priesthood cannot be accepted. That Nigeria has over 700 seminarians, I am told, will no longer help Europe, as the EU decides who comes in and who does not and missionaries of all denominations are being stopped. I know this. A preacher was stopped two weeks ago and detained by immigration in an EU country just because he was coming to give a series of sermons. This will happen more and more. The Catholic Church is the only institution in the world which transcends national boundaries and the free movement of Catholics will be more and more circumscribed. Those Catholics who are paying attention see that they will be marginalized and then fined, and then imprisoned for being Catholics.
St. Philip Howard
When one is under lock and key, one must give one's self totally to Christ. One is in a passive state, without freedoms. St. John of the Cross was imprisoned by his own order. He learned about the Dark Night there. St. Thomas More remarked that he learned lessons in prison he should have learned outside. His remarks on the Carthusians, who went to their deaths singing, show us that the monks were ready because of their chosen lifestyle of the denial of comfort and their discipline of prayer. We should and can be doing these things now-denial of comforts and deep prayer. That is what we learn in hard times--to trust in God completely, to become like little children, meek and mild, forgiving those who hate us and moving on into sharing the Passion of Christ. Will all respond? No, of course not. Will some? Yes. Remember, all the saints were people like you and me. So, too, all the martyrs were just Catholics not willing to compromise the Faith for life. The Pope Emeritus Benedict told us years ago the Church would be smaller and stronger. Such is the result of hard times. Read my play here--it might help. http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com/2013/06/walsingham-drama-in-three-acts.html