Since July 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, traditional Catholics have found themselves in a disheartening situation due to the Supreme Pontiff, Francis, publishing the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. Since the publication of the document, traditional Catholics have been inundated with articles, videos, and podcasts sharing different takes on the issue and pathways forward. Some personalities have, unfortunately, focused solely on this document and questioning the man currently serving the Church as Supreme Pontiff. Some have even went as far as suggesting that we “forget” that Francis is pope. If you have yet to read this article from Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, please do so, and may it be the last article you read on this issue.
Why? Because there is a much larger issue within the Church that needs our attention.
The Church is on fire and this, unfortunately, is not the fire of the Holy Ghost. Flames are engulfing the Church from all sides and there are many who are continuously adding fuel to the flame, some who are unfortunately writing such articles as mentioned above. I first heard of “the Church being on fire” in a homily from a dear priest following the 2018 "Summer of Shame." If there is something that I have retained over the past several years, listening to well over one-hundred homilies, it is this very line. The Sunday that followed the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, Fr. X ended his homily by sounding the alarm, “The Church is on fire, and I want you to run back in with me.” And yet, three years later, too many of us are still standing by, watching but not acting.
Any Catholic reading this article should easily be able to think of these fuels of the fire that, arguably, ignited following the Second Vatican Council or even earlier. And now in 2021 the Church is fully engulfed – but not lost. I have repeatedly heard Catholics tout the “Christ said that the gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church” when such issues as the poor catechesis, widespread disbelief in the Eucharist, acceptance of so-called gay “marriage”, sex abuse amongst the clergy and hierarchy, major finance scandal within the Vatican, and now, an attack on the Traditional Latin Mass. While it is true that the gates of Hell will never prevail against the Holy Catholic Church, Christ did not say that everything will be butterflies and sweet tea. No. This is not the way to think about this beautiful and solemn promise from Our Blessed Lord. It will get extremely difficult to keep the faith as we continue to progress with the draconian plans of the current Church hierarchy and secular officials. There will be many martyrs and you, my friend, will likely be among such a group to have their blood shed for the sake of the Gospel, that is, if you keep the Faith.
A few things:
First and most importantly, we must stay ever united to Our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist. Eucharistic devotion is the longest devotion within the Church and begs all the faithful to unite themselves to our Eucharistic Lord. In this current world of crazed media consumption, we must rid ourselves from such consumption and seek the silence, the consolation, and the love that comes from spending time with Our Eucharistic Lord. In the current state of the culture, we must also come to Our Lord to offer much reparation and to keep Him company since so few come to devoutly adore Him.
Second, we must associate ourselves to two other devotions. The Holy Face devotion and devotion to Our Lady. The Holy Face devotion is a devotion for times like these, I encourage you to listen to this podcast with Fr. Lawrence Carney. There are many messages from self-proclaimed seers from Our Lady, unfortunately, many of these messages are found to be contradicting the teachings of the Church and call on the faithful to subscribe to some erroneous things. What we must do is return to the message of Our Lady at Fatima. I have written extensively on the message of Our Lady of Fatima, which can be found here.
Third, if we must consume media, we must only give ear to wholesome and authentic voices. These voices come from both the hierarchy and that of the faithful. A trusted voice time and time again is His Excellency, Bishop Athanasius Schneider. From the faithful, we are fortunate to have such voices like Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Robert Moynihan, and the four voices of the weekly podcast “The Rundown.” We cannot subscribe to a way of life that revolves around refreshing several Catholic news sites or YouTube channels throughout the day – this is a very anxious way to live and is contrary to that of a life of one seeking to follow Our Blessed Lord. When it comes to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), it is best to delete all accounts and disassociate ourselves with an online “presence.” Such a “presence” is contrary from consuming wholesome media, adds to one’s anxiety, and takes away from the time one could be spending in front of our Eucharistic Lord, praying the Holy Rosary, and seeking repentance.
Fourth and finally, we must work daily to bring about the reign of Christ’s kingship on earth. Unfortunately, this work has been hampered by the “spirit of Vatican 2” – a “spirit” that Bishop Joseph Strickland has said was “not the Holy Spirit.” This is done by making Christ the King of your life, your home, and your heart. Christ cannot just be the King of your heart, as some would like you to think. He must fully be invited to have kingship over your entire being and all of those subject to you. Viva Christo Rey!
The Church is on fire, we must run into the fire and fight for our Mother, the Church!