Tuesday 30 December 2014

Facing A New Year

The past two years have been, perhaps, the most trying for Catholics. We have seen the open schismatic movements, which many of us knew were there from experience, coming out of the woodwork and wreaking havoc in the perceptions of Catholicism.

We have seen the persecution of Catholics worldwide increase to a point where it is hard for anyone concerned with news to keep up with these financial losses, mutilations, deaths.

We have witnessed confusion among the laity regarding sound bites and statements from a new pope, who is not European and a Jesuit. We have seen our favorite cardinal sent to the Knights of Malta.

We have seen, on the other hand, a rising of the laity in such groups as Voice of the Family, and SPUC coming into a maturing regarding lay involvement and fidelity to the Teaching Magisterium of the Church.

We have also seen more people in the Church realizing that prayer is the number one priority and that sainthood is the call for all.

As we face a new year, some with sadness, some with hesitancy, some with a muted joy, I am reminded of the words of Our Lord to a church which no longer exists, one which was persecuted to the death and to exile. Eventually, the Ghazi, the Islamic warriors, destroyed the Christian presence in Smyrna, overcoming the Knights of Malta in the process. We have been warned, but also promised life through all of this persecution, which is beginning and not yet in earnest.

Revelation 2:8-11 Douay-Rheims 

And to the angel of the church of Smyrna write: These things saith the First and the Last, who was dead, and is alive:
I know thy tribulation and thy poverty, but thou art rich: and thou art blasphemed by them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tried: and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life.
11 He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: He that shall overcome, shall not be hurt by the second death.
Let us pray and hope that the Church in Great Britain, and, indeed, in Europe, will not suffer this type of almost complete destruction.
I am not optimistic and believe in a very small remnant.

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