Our Catholic Church is in a battle for survival
Just recently I saw a news item that in Ireland many of the older Catholic churches are being torn down. That may not be startling news since a lot of dioceses have had to reorganize their parishes. As the population changes and many people are now moving to different areas from their childhood the need for worship places also must change to fit the population. However, the sad news of buildings being demolished due to lack of attendance is more than heartbreaking, it is a sign of things to come.
Those of us who are past the age of late 70’s and 80’s remember when Sunday Masses usually were standing room only and Saturday evening confessions became arduous due to the large number of penitents standing in line for their turn in the confessional.
These have become history and there are no long lines or standing room only, except maybe Ash Wednesday, throats being blessed on St. Blase day, and of course Easter and Christmas Masses. Our parish church, St. Bernard, was designed to seat 1,000. The largest Sunday Mass attendance might reach 500 at one Mass, and the other Masses will find much lower numbers at any Sunday Mass.
Once there was an incident where St Michael the Archangel was late for an appointment of angelic help because of a demonic encounter. The battle mentioned above is ongoing and the people in the pews were not aware before, but now are learning the real words of Paul: “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Eph 6: 12).
We, the Church militant, have found a fight that just prayer alone is not enough. Prayer is good, but it must be coupled with the Blood of Christ. That is the single entity that will destroy Satan and his demons in the end. Satan knows that the Catholic Church with Apostolic Succession, Transubstantiation of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, and the very essence of the Holy Trinity at our side will be his downfall. His armor of battle is to first weaken the faith of the parishioners, and once he can control their belief in Christ, he will bring the Church to its knees. This is what is happening throughout the world, with clergy falling into grave sin, and the trust of the Bride of Christ, which is the church.
As Paul said, our battle is not with flesh and blood (in a human sense) but with powers beyond the average person. We are in a battle for the Church and we must call down the Precious Blood of Christ to save us and his Church. There is no other armament strong enough to beat Satan and his demons except the wounds that Jesus emptied his Blood. From that will become the final onslaught and final victory found on the Cross.
Ralph B. Hathaway