The Church these days can be a scary place, can't it? Well, I would imagine that there have always been scary aspects to the Church, in the Church and around the Church. Jesus Christ himself established the One, Holy, True and Apostolic Church, as a place where we could come and find him, physically present, body blood, soul and divinity in the Holy Eucharist. And we do find there, every day, every hour in every corner and country on Earth. I guess that alone is the true reason why the powers of Hell rage so violently and virulently against Her and have in every age.
We not only have the most obvious crimes of sexual abuse and predation in the headlines right now, occurrences and crimes that have reached havoc, mayhem and devastation on so many lives - body, mind and spirit; but I would like to assert that there is maybe even more devastating happenings occurring in our Churches. It seems that many practices of New Age and even the occult have crept in innocuously to our places of worship, our Bible Studies, our Retreat Houses, and most obviously our schools. In these places you find religious sisters and parish staff offering Rikki massage therapies, yoga "exercise" classes, centering prayer and meditation and divination practices shadowed and cloaked in the themes of Catholic spirituality. You find classrooms filled with Harry Potter and horoscopes. Catholics who would be considered faithful and devout attending and watching occult practices portrayed as everyday, normal occurrences with individuals like Lisa Cupito, the Long Island Medium, featured on prime time TV.
Things really have gotten crazy, when priests quote Harry Potter from the pulpit instead of the virtues espoused by Saints who gave their very lives for our Lord. How can the faithful laity overcome and stand a chance against the gates of hell? We are so easily sucked in with methods that are portrayed as good and holy, but are anything but. There is so much evil out there anymore and it is so intertwined with the Holy that navigating through all the muck becomes so very difficult, tiring and discouraging.
Yep, and that is exactly what the devil wants. Those Catholics among us who proclaim they don't need the Mass, and then refute and mock non-negotiable teachings and dogmas of the Church are falling right into the trap set by the evil one and taking multitudes with them. How many Catholics support pro choice movements and politics, and vote for politicians that make murder easy and convenient. Politicians that claim to be Catholic but then precise over so called same sex marriages. Then you see those like Father James Martin who embrace homosexual sexual practices and sodomy, the fact that so many of apostates are religious clergy and sisters, makes the reality all the more horrifying. They are easy to find, easier to find than the pure and orthodox.
We must be on guard, we must learn the Faith and all the pitfalls that can lead us away from it and into dangerous and perilous waters. THIS IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY. We can't claim ignorance later for Truth we failed to find, for Teachings we failed to acknowledge or accept because of pride, apathy and vanity. WE MUST STAND UP and fight against what this world sees as holy, and redirect that spirit to Truth, because if we do not, time might run out for so many, and souls may be lost, perhaps our own.
There is still enormous good in the Church, good and holiness are present in her Sacraments. Those sacraments and prayer will sustain us, but it does take effort and energy, and we must be able and willing to swim against the tide. It isn't easy, and never has been. It is our cross, the Cross of Christ. He did it first and told us if we were to follow Him we must do it too. So we must not give up hope. We must swim with every ounce of energy and might we have. Our Lifeguard, after all, walks on water, and has promised us that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against HIS Church. What He didn't promise was that there would be no storms.