|What will happen to the flock in 2017?|
How are we to respond? In times of confusion and crisis Catholics must cling to the doctrine promulgated by Holy Mother Church for two millennia. Let me suggest a good starting place.
We see the Mystical Body of Christ being torn apart. So read Pope Pius XII's very clear encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, on the Mystical Body of Christ. Two more short encyclicals that will lead you to the truth are by Pope Leo XIII whose pontificate focused on bringing back those in error. Their subjects are the Holy Spirit and the unity of the Church. In a time when many consider us in de facto schism unity is certainly needed and we can only reach it through the power of the protector of the Church, the Holy Spirit. We are called the Church Militant and, as Christ's soldiers, our duty is to fight for the authentic faith and for the Church founded by Jesus Christ on the rock of Peter. Any teachings, St. Paul reminds us, that preach a different Christ are false. But in order to defend the faith well we need the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, and piety all emanating from fear of the Lord. Through Baptism we received the gifts which were strengthened at Confirmation. They were given to us for the purpose of increasing God's kingdom here on earth by spreading the truth in a spirit love. We must never fall into error no matter who is leading us toward it.
There is a principle in Aristotelian logic that is called the law of non-contradiction. It essentially says "a given something can’t be both that something and not that something at the same time." But Pope Francis has made many statements that contradict that principle. Can fornication be an evil and a good at the same time? Can adultery be evil and good at the same time? Can a man be woman and a woman be a man? When the very highest leaders of the Church begin to preach a message of contradiction we are in chaos in the Church. And if the Church is in chaos how can the culture be anything but chaos on steroids?
The priest who witnessed our marriage became a great friend. He told us something that imprinted on my soul. "Historically, the laity always bring the Church back." We married in 1969 another chaotic period following Vatican II. It was an era of drugs, sex, and rock and roll. The papal birth control commission was urging approval of contraception. The pill was revolutionizing attitudes towards sex. Nuns were throwing off the habit and both clergy and religious were leaving the Church in droves to find themselves. In many places the Mass was turned into a three ring circus with a clown in butterfly vestments at the altar. Devotion to Mary was thrown out the window. The progressives had clearly won the day and the battlefield was littered with the poor souls falling to their errors.
fight despite the slings and errors of a pope who call us rigid and mentally ill. Remember that rocks are rigid unlike shifting sand and truth is rigid unlike moral relativism. So don't be ashamed to stand on the rigid rock proclaiming the unchanging truths taught by Christ. Remember, it was Jesus Himself who defined those who were rigid and had "hard hearts." It was the people who wanted divorce and remarriage. Jesus pronounced the indissolubility of marriage clearly. Today, some call that Jesus rigid and try to recreate Him as the Pillsbury Doughboy.
Have you ever been to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. and seen the mosaic of Christ in the main church?
He is not portrayed as an emasculated wimp, but the God of glory and majesty. He surely wants all to be saved, but He made the path to salvation clear: "If you love me, keep my commandments."
Pray for those distorting the faith, but don't follow them.