In this season of joy, some profound insights into the value of suffering

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Saint Pope John Paul II
– All of those who suffer, especially the innocent, may feel themselves called to participate in the work of redemption, carried out through the cross
– The suffering of the innocent is especially valuable in the eyes of the Lord
– Even when the darkness is deepest, faith points to a trusting acknowledgment: ‘I know that you can do all things’

Sacred Scripture
– Is it not logical that we accept suffering?
– Taking up the cross is the obligation of whoever follows Jesus
– The sufferings of Christ are a cause of rejoicing
– The future glory surpasses all suffering

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Death and all consequent bodily defects are punishments of original sin

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Original sin subjected all human nature to suffering
– Sufferings: a means of cooperating with God
– Means of purification and of salvation
– From the greatest of all moral evils God has brought forth the greatest of all goods

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– A new meaning for suffering – participation in the saving work of Jesus
– Makes a person more mature, helping to discern what is not essential

Saint John Chrysostom
– The remedy against pride; the power of God in weak men

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A reader comment reveals much about the current state of the Church

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“With Pope Francis I have nothing.”
Indeed, you are right. You have had this poison – that was all you had to eat – taken away and are through the withdrawal and are now faced with the task of rebuilding your strength on wholesome, real food.

Having been forced to abandon your Papal Positivist heresy, you have nothing false, nothing deadly, nothing soul-killing, you are no longer taking a daily dose of poison. With Pope Francis you, we all, have had the glamour stripped away from Novusordoism so that we can all finally see it for what it is. You have had the unworthy caricature of Catholicism taken away from you, as it was shown to be a worthless fraud, a counterfeit. I would suggest that this is a positive step.

To switch analogies for a moment, imagine that the Faith is a life preserver.

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Because he was not open to God’s will, Satan is entrapped in a lower existence, imprisoned in currents of unredeemable chaos below this world.

 

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Satan’s “NO” to God
Non serviam – Latin for “I will not serve”

Saint Hildegard sees how the Ancient Adversary is at work to lure and coerce into this same pit all those whose lives he invades and touches.

Obedience begins with the realization that one cannot bring into completion the work God has begun.   The ambiguity surrounding this life is beyond human capacity to understand or master, and left to ourselves, we are always at risk of being mastered by it.  Following our own whims is not enough because even the whims of the heart are subject to this confusion.  Our dignity, our integrity, our existence require firm ground on which to stand, or they all fall.  This understanding, this saving truth is found somewhere beyond our natural capacities, from Someone above us, who comes down to us, who calls to us and who waits for us to welcome Him.

Rather than allowing oneself to be consumed with the confusion of doing what one wishes, we only begin to redeem the ambiguity of life by searching out the most appropriate way of serving the Lord who reveals Himself to us.

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The prevailing doctrinal chaos and confusion is not clarified by the 2nd Vatican Council; on the contrary, dissent takes inspiration from it and finds refuge in it.

The purpose of a Church Council is to declare the Faith in a way which can change over time only by increasing in depth and clarity. Vatican II did not do so, and thereby failed in its purpose.

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Editor’s note: Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s abundantly clear that Vatican II was and is a total disaster – very similar to the way the Supreme Court’s Row v Wade abortion decision was handed down, then swiftly and recklessly foisted upon an unsuspecting public. Both led to abortions on a massive scale: Abortions of faith and abortions of human lives.

Act in haste – repent at leisure!

So what is a “mystery”? It is something that can be experienced even if it cannot be explained.

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This is one of the first steps of faith–to trace in your life and in the ways of the world the mysterious way God works. He does not work according to our plans and our sensible ways of organizing everything. He is always busy under the radar and behind the scenes doing his work. Faith is being able to see what is going on and how he works in his strange and mysterious way.

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Once a Catholic, always a Catholic – you hope!

One of the sweet things about being a priest is being able to minister at a person’s deathbed. The veil between this world and the next is very thin at that point, and you can see so much. When I say you can “see” so much what I mean is that so much is revealed. At that point the person who is dying is usually very vulnerable and open. Their worldly facade is fading. Their accomplishments and pride are forgotten. They realize that all the stuff of this world will soon be left behind.

Often the person is quietly sleeping. The family is gathered around and there is no response as the last rites are given. On the other hand, sometimes the process is very conscious. More than once I’ve been called to visit a man or woman who has called the parish office specifically because they know they are dying and they want to see a Catholic priest.

So I once made my way to a small apartment in a not so good part of town. I was admitted to find a man in his sixties with a haggard expression gasping for air. Call him Ralph.

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How can the Church think and act in a missionary way when she does not believe any more in her own identity and mission?

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During the past fifty years nothing has been more harmful to the safeguarding and the transmission of the Faith than this escalating ecumenism which is nothing other than the religious “dictatorship of relativism.”(Cardinal Ratzinger) This evil has changed the way in which the Church sees Herself.

She no longer comprehends herself as the Mystical Body of Christ, as the sole Bride of the Lamb that was slain, as the unique way of salvation. It is exactly this ecumenism which transformed the missionary Church into one ecumenical community of dialogue amongst others.

Against this background of ecumenism, it is a tragi-comedy in the making to summon the Church to joy in the Gospel and to attempt her into change her into a missionary Church.

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