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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Acts of the Apostles Reminds Us That God Always Brings Good from Evil

Martyrdom of St. James
I generally read Acts of the Apostles during the Easter Season. How that book impresses one with God's Providence. No matter what persecution falls on the heads of the apostles and disciples of Christ, good comes from it. 

  • The persecution of the Christians in Jerusalem, particularly after the execution of James by Herod (about 15 years after the resurrection), sends Christian disciples all over the known world spreading the gospel. The blood of the martyrs is, indeed, the seedbed of the faith.
  • As the early martyrs go singing to their deaths, the faith spreads not only among those already oriented toward faith, but to their persecutors converted by their amazing witness. 
  • The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. accelerates the exodus and sends believers out en masse to evangelize the known world. What looked like an unmitigated disaster becomes an important means of spreading the faith.
Look at the history of the Church and see how often adversity, even martyrdom, brings incredible, holy returns. As Gamaliel warned the Sanhedrin:
But one in the council rising up, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, respected by all the people, commanded the men to be put forth a little while. And he said to them: Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do, as touching these men.For before these days rose up Theodas, affirming himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all that believed him were scattered, and brought to nothing. After this man, rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the enrolling, and drew away the people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as consented to him, were dispersed. And now, therefore, I say to you, refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this council or this work be of men, it will come to nought; But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. And they consented to him. (Acts 5: 34-38)

When I examine my own life, I see how often what looked like a terrible event was actually a blessing for my life. At the time, I may have grieved or been disappointed or even angry; but in retrospect I can see God's Providential hand at work in my life. Today I'm going to reflect on one incident in my past that seemed like a disaster at the time, but became a source of blessing or conversion or a deepening of my walk with Christ. 

My favorite scripture passage is, "All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and serve according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) All things -- even those that appear negative, taken in the light of Christ, serve His Providential purpose. 

3 comments:

Al Schroeder said...

You knew it was coming but I would like to nominate Pope Francis for our Good from Evil award. Even though he will go down in history as one of, if not THE most horrible pope in church history he is waking up sleeping and lackadaisical Catholics from the poison jab of Vatican II. He is also creating stronger Catholics who refuse to give up the traditional faith. I see that on a weekly basis with the ever increasing number of large young families attending mass at my ICKSP oratory. Catholics will no longer give up the real faith as easily as we did when the Vatican II KoolAid was being ladled out in the late 60s/early 70s.

I would also like to bring out another good from evil scenario, or at least I hope that will be the outcome. I think as we all know the now persecuted Carmilite nuns of fairfield. A few months ago they had put up their monestary property in Pennsylvania for sale. As soon as I saw this I gave the information to a friend who is on Father David Hewko Marian corps board of directors. Father Hewko has a building fund drive going on with the goal to buy property to establish a traditional monastic community and seminary. Father toured the property and said it was ideal, 90+ acres for self sufficiency, 20 cells, and a more than adequate chapel configured to the Tridentine rite. Marian Corps made an offer on the property which the Nuns realtor said was “more than fair” and gave the offer to the nuns. The Nuns refused sale for the sole reason of Fathers affiliation with the SSPX. I then sent an email to the Carmilites asking them to reconsider the offer. The next paragraph is pretty much the jist of the letter.

“It is now apparent there are only 3 logical paths the sisters can take. One is follow and accept the Novus Ordo, that concept nauseates me. Two is Sedevacantism, I think that can be ruled out as well. Three, I think the most logical, stay the course for holy mother church even if you must go it alone. On this reason I wish you and mother superior would reconsider Marian corps offer. In this you would gain a validly ordained priest who could help enhance your chrism and the rule of St. Theresa which you now follow but what Francis wants you to scrap. Once Father establishes a head quarters, other like minded priests will join him there assuring you will always have priests to minister the real sacraments, the traditional sacraments to you. You will also help in fostering young priests who have expressed interest to Father in a vocation should he establish a monastic community and seminary. Lastly in practicality you will have an injection of cash money to finish work on your new monastery and needed cash flow. Logically its a win/win situation.”

Father Hewko continues to look for property and has a building fund drive going on. Anyone who wishes to contribute can find information on my website tridentinecatholic.com or in the sites social network, Brother Alberts Pub.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thanks for your comment, Al. And what a wonderful letter you sent to the sisters. I hope they reconsider. It would certainly be better than selling the property to a Protestant sect or a secular project.

Al Schroeder said...

Thank you Mary. I hope they do too! In fact I say prays to St. John Vianny and Archbishop Lefebvre that they help the nuns decide and also to help Father Hewko find property even if this fails. I am sure they got bombarded with emails since Francis last tie raid so I hope they at least saw it there. Here is the full letter I sent. You know side note, Chicago Blase Cupich has just sold a Catholic church to a freemason group who will build a lodge there. When will this nonsense stop!

Dear Catherine,

It is with a heavy heart that I contact Mother Superior and the good sisters on this Tuesday of Holy week of all days. I have just learned about Francis latest chapter of his scorched earth policy which unfortunately has you in the cross hairs. Life site news had a very revealing article.

I have contributed modestly to the good sisters periodically and mention them in my morning prayers specifically to St. John Vianny for protection against the antics of the Bergolian papacy. I also pray for all the ecclesia Dei groups and mostly traditional Catholic groups which will cling to the faith regardless what goes on in Rome. This brings me to the main reason reason for this email.

Archbishop Marcel LeFebvre had stated Rome can no longer be trusted. Couple on to that the statement made by Archbishop Vigano who stated that because Vatican II has shown to be so destructive to the Catholic faith it would be best to scrap it and return to our roots. This leads me to a priest that I follow, Father David Hewko. Father’s group SSPX Marian corps had made an offer on your monestary which was rejected because of his affiliation with the SSPX. I pray you reconsider for the following reasons.

It is now apparent there are only 3 logical paths the sisters can take. One is follow and accept the Novus Ordo, that concept nauseates me. Two is Sedevacantism, I think that can be ruled out as well. Three, I think the most logical, stay the course for holy mother church even if you must go it alone. On this reason I wish you and mother superior would reconsider Marian corps offer. In this you would gain a validly ordained priest who could help enhance your chrism and the rule of St. Theresa which you now follow but what Francis wants you to scrap. Once Father establishes a head quarters, other like minded priests will join him there assuring you will always have priests to minister the real sacraments, the traditional sacraments to you. You will also help in fostering young priests who have expressed interest to Father in a vocation should he establish a monastic community and seminary. Lastly in practicality you will have an injection of cash money to finish work on your new monastery and needed cash flow. Logically its a win/win situation.

I feel we are entering a period in the Catholic church where we will see many new saints and martyrs created. Remember the martyrs have died for the true mass in the past and with Francis at the helm many more will be asked and I am afraid the good sisters are now in the cross hairs of Rome. Consider too the faithfull who follow and trust you to keep the true faith alive. Personally I have rejected all of Vatican II years ago and I currently attend a Institute of Christ the king Oratory in Illinois. I fear its only a matter of time before they will be next in Francis sites. If that happens I will be in the same boat as you with the same choices only I will latch on to Fr. Hewko but unfortunately he only comes to Chicago to read mass once in a month or two. I may have to turn to the live streaming masses on the internet as Father Hewko produces them constantly from peoples homes.

In closing, our church has now returned to the catacombs. Like in Cromwell's time we will be forced to practice the true faith with the never ending fear of persecution hanging over our heads. I am afraid Francis left us no other choice.

I will continue to mention you in my prayers daily.

Al Schroeder jr. Elgin Illinois