Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

A Warning from a Future Saint

June 6th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The following words by the then-Cardinal Wojtyla were reported to have been given in an address during the Eucharistic Congress in August 1976 for the Bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Almost 44 years ago, yet it seems to be so profoundly prophetic for our own times:

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community, realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously…” 



One Response to “A Warning from a Future Saint”

  1. christian says:

    I don’t think the Catholic Church is being singled out in the restrictions enacted in the face of COVID-19, as other Christian denominations, and those of the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh religions have been banned from practicing their religion in person in public gatherings. The aforementioned religions have had to conduct worship virtually through an online format. Some religious publications and religious-affiliated groups have been sharing texts via online and additionally sharing uplifting messages of hope to their subscribers. Some are offering free online access to those unsubscribed as a community service due to the public worship restrictions due to COVID-19.

    I would think this current situation and the imposed restrictions are difficult on those without computer and Internet access. It would also be difficult to those without access to television and/or radio. The missal and the rosary are means that can be used despite lack of access to computer with internet, television, or radio, and even (hopefully not) personal telephone access.

    I would think this current situation and the imposed restrictions would be especially difficult for those who live alone and would normally be getting out and about to church, other places, and attending gatherings of various groups and organizations. It would be especially difficult if they are not part of a close family group which they could meet up together on a periodic, regular basis.

    Thomas Paine wrote “The Crisis” on December 23, 1776: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. …”

    Thomas Paine wrote the “The American Crisis,” or simply “The Crisis,” as a way of motivating the Thirteen Colonies to persevere through the conditions of the harsh winter and continue their fight for Freedom during the Revolutionary War. Thomas Paine conveyed that God Almighty was with them in their fight from Freedom from England.
    It is noted that Washington’s troops were ready to give up until Washington ordered Paine’s pamphlet “The Crisis” to be read out loud on December 23rd, 1776 and the men heard the first line, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” The pamphlet read out loud to the Continental Army three days before the Battle of Trenton, attempted to bolster morale and resolve among patriots, and attempted to shame those who were loyalists and those who claimed neutrality, to support the cause.

    Thomas Paine wrote in his Footnote: “The present winter is worth an age, if rightly employed; but, if lost or neglected, the whole continent will partake of the evil; and there is no punishment that man does not deserve, be he who, or what, or where he will, that may be the means of sacrificing a season so precious and useful.”

    Although Thomas Paine’s words were addressed to colonists to support the fight for Freedom and soldiers to not lose heart but inspire them to continue the noble fight for Freedom, we could use his words in our present Fight against COVID-19.
    Our way of life has changed profoundly and everyone has endured hardship to varying degrees, from loss of work, decrease finances, isolation, and the lack of public worship especially heightened during Holy Days. Additionally, the suffering of by those affected by the COVID_19, and those that lost their lives from COVID-19, and those who left behind to grieve. Irregardless of disease process or injury, particularly painful were those who had to die alone without the solace of family and friends due to visitor restrictions, and the pain of those family and friends not to be able to be with their loved one when they were dying and close to death.

    On this Pentecost, the words speak loud and clear from our Confirmation when we were called to be “a soldier of Christ” and “willing to suffer for Christ.” The martyrdom we were called to take on can take many forms. True, we may be killed for our faith, but we may suffer derision and persecution for standing up for Christ and our religion, and the precepts that go with it, in a bold yet loving, understanding manner. We do not abandon our fight for establishing God’s will to be done on earth due to its unpopularity among those who oppose it. And in this season of COVID-19, our suffering includes lack of public worship and Eucharist. But we know Jesus promised to be with us always. “Go, therefore,* and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.* And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”-Matthew 28:19-20
    Those are consoling words.

    There are those around the world who have been imprisoned for years for their faith without access to the Mass and the Eucharist or any form of worship, and often without any Bible or holy book. There are priests and religious among these holy people. I have heard of the rosary being counted off by fingers, and prayers and scripture retained by memory and recited, mostly to oneself. These people endure by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    I have been appalled and offended by people claiming to be good Catholics using strong language, sometimes rather vulgar connotations, in protest to their bishop for not allowing public Mass. Sometimes this strong language with sometimes vulgar connotations is directed at a public official in government as well. I understand why people are frustrated at not being able to attend public worship and receive the Eucharist. I also understand why people are frustrated at not being able to have a wedding venue, go to a fitness center, dine-out at a restaurant, or go back to work at their job which was deemed non-essential. But when a proclaimed Christian uses strong language, vulgarity, and partakes in an anger-fueled public protest, especially with a loaded shotgun, their good fight of Christ is being lost.

    Bishops throughout the United States are in a difficult situation in adhering to guidelines of the CDC, protecting their flocks from the spread of COVID-19, and finding ways to safely minister to their flocks among the proposed guidelines. I hope public worship can be opened soon, but when it is safe to due so, after an adequate plan has been put in place for deep sanitation, proper distancing for seating, and safe administration of the Holy Eucharist.
    Meanwhile, I can do my part by calling up people who are living alone to see how they are doing or if they need something. I can purchase and drop groceries off on a doorstep with notification for people who I know who are being quarantined. I can support those in tough circumstances. I can be a good neighbor. I can pray for those who are suffering or/and dying. I can pray for my friends and family.
    I can still practice my Catholic Christian faith despite the Church not being open for public worship.

    At our Confirmation when we became a soldier of Christ, willing to take on suffering for Christ, we were given the Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of God. Believing that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were given to all of us as Soldiers of Christ, we are not called to be “The Summer Soldier” of Christ or “The Sunshine Patriot” Catholic.

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