The Catholic Faith is invincible and heavenly beautiful in the truths of the doctrine, in its sacred liturgy and in the lives of its Saints. The Invincibility and beauty of the Catholic Faith sine forth with a special strength particularly in times of persecution, either a persecution by the enemies from outside the Church or from inside the Church.
Because of their unshakeable fidelity to the integrity of the Catholic Faith and Catholic Liturgy Catholic lay faithful, priests, religious and sometimes even bishops have to experience increasingly un unheard persecution, that is to say a persecution on behalf of those who have authority in the Church. The only crime of which they are accused by some ecclesiastical superiors is their fidelity to the purity of the Faith and the Liturgy of all ages, of the Faith and Liturgy of their forefathers and of almost all the most known Saints.
The present situation of the world and partly of the life of many Catholics and ministers of the Church could be characterized as a great apostasy, an apostasy from the faith in the true Divinity of Christ, from the faith in the unique way of salvation through Christ and an apostasy from the faith in the perennial validity of the Divine commandments. Such an apostasy signifies ultimately to renounce Christ and to accept the spirit of the world, diluting Christ in a gnostic manner into the materialistic, naturalistic and esoteric spirit of the world. Recently Cardinal Robert Sarah made the following striking statement on the real current spiritual situation inside the Church: “Political Europe is rebuked for abandoning or denying its Christian roots.
However, Divine Providence established a sure place where the Catholic Faith will be integrally kept and handed over, and that is the Catholic family. The family was in the past and so it will be in the future the first and original place, where the integrity and the beauty of the Catholic faith is taught to the children, and by this way handed over to the future generations. Indeed, from this transmission of the faith depends the spiritual healthy of a nation as taught by Pope Pius XII: “The family is holy. It is the cradle not only for the children, but the entire nations. Man and woman should pass on the torch of the physical and also spiritual, of the moral and of the Christian life to the future generations” (Radio message on 13 May 1942).
The Catholic family is the original place of the experience of the beauty of the Catholic Faith. The Catholic family represents the first bulwark against the current great apostasy. The two most efficient weapons against the modern apostasy outside and inside the life if the Church, are the purity and integrity of the faith and the purity of a chaste life.
True Catholic families – and desirably large families – will strengthen the Church of our days with the beauty of the Catholic Faith. From that faith will come out new Catholic fathers and mothers, and from them there will come out a new generation of zealous priests and intrepid bishops, who will be ready to give their life for Christ and for the salvation of the souls. The Christianity was born out of the family, the Holy Family, so that the family may be born again out of the Christianity. The first fruit of the redemption is the Holy Family, just as the first blessing of the Creator was given to the family. Indeed, what the current world and the Church mostly need, are true Catholic families, the original places of the beauty of the Catholic Faith.
The more in our days, members of the clergy and even of high clergy spread doctrinal ambiguities, errors, or even heresies, the more luminously will shine the pure Catholic Faith of the little ones in the Church: The Faith of innocent children, of religious sisters, the Faith especially of the hidden gems of the Church, the cloistered nuns, the Faith of heroic and virtuous lay faithful, of Catholic fathers and mothers from all social conditions, the Faith of individual priests and bishops. This pure flame of Catholic Faith, oftentimes nurtured by sacrifices and expiation acts, will burn more brightly than the cowardice, the infidelity, the waywardness, or the spiritual blindness of unfaithful and unbelieving members of the clergy.
In this times of en enormous crisis of the Faith, we have an invincible protection and most powerful intercession, and that is the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady, the Mother of God and Our Loving Heavenly Mother, since She wins all heresies.
A true child and a true servant of Mary will always keep intact and pure the holy Catholic faith. To sin against the purity of the Catholic faith will signify to slander the virginal purity of the Blessed ever-Virgin Mary. The sins against the purity of the faith, that means the sins of heresy, spoil the soul and so the soul is loosing its virginal purity of the mind, of the intellect and as a consequence usually also the chaste purity of the body. The virtue of the purity of the faith is deeply linked with the virtue of chastity.
Saint Pius X. encouraged Catholics to take refuge to Our Lady in times of the persecution of the Catholic faith: “We earnestly desire that everyone in the world who is called a Christian will draw near to this love of the Virgin during this time when we honor the Mother of God in a more solemn manner. The persecution of Christ and the most holy religion He founded is now raging bitterly and fiercely. At this present time, therefore, there is a serious danger that many will be deceived by the increasing number of errors and ultimately abandon the Faith. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10:12) More than that, let us all humbly beg God through the intercession of the Mother of God that those who have fallen from the path of truth may repent. The Church will always be attacked, “for there must be factions, so that those who are approved may be made manifest among you.” (1 Cor. 11:19) The Virgin, however, will always assist us in even the most difficult trials; She will always continue the battle She has been waging ever since Her conception. Thus every day we can say: “Today the head of the ancient serpent was crushed by Her” (Antiphon of the Office of the Immaculate Conception). (Encyclical Ad Diem Illum, February 2, 1904).
Let us often invoke our Lady with confidence and filial love: “Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, for thou alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world. Mother of God, intercede for us!“
+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana