The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross!

Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 14 September 2016 - 11:54:27 | by admin


A Timely Reminder

Today's feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross provides a timely reminder that the ultimate victory will be that of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

No matter how bad things get for the Church and Her members, we can rely on that great certainty.

During the last couple of days, I have read comments at other sites about people who were getting shaky in their Faith because of all that is happening to the Church: I read of one woman who had decided that Pope Francis had so contradicted previous Magisterial teaching that she had given up on the whole thing; I read of a man who had stopped going to Confession and was now beginning to have doubts about the whole notion of organized religion; and I read of others who thought their efforts to be faithful to Christ had all been in vain.

I feel for people in this situation. I really do. We can make no bones about the fact that these are extremely grim times for Catholics everywhere.

However, it is essential to bear in mind that Christ has promised that He shall remain with His Church until the end of time; and that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against Her (Matthew 16:18).

As we generally remind ourselves and our readers each New Year's Day: ''Jesus Christ is the Lord of the cosmos and of history. In Him, human history and indeed all Creation are 'set forth' and transcendently fulfilled'' (Catechism of the Catholic Church: CCC 668).

We also do well to have a solid grasp of real Catholic doctrine. For example, the Church teaches that popes are Infallible under certain clear conditions. The Church has never taught that popes are impeccable.

Awareness of Spiritual Warfare

Because of our fallen nature, it is a classical trick of Satan to try and get us to rebel against God, in the manner of our First Parents Adam and Eve, when things either go wrong, or appear to be going wrong for us.

Also, Satan being the ultimate deceiver can confuse us into thinking that things are much worse than they truly are.

Thoughts and feelings of despair come from the infernal enemy of our souls. Inspirations of faith, hope and charity come to us from God's grace; mediated to us by Our Lady, the Saints and our Guardian Angels.

Unfortunately, the person who chooses to despair and give up the Faith has at some deep level made a decision that they know better than God and the Church. This is a classical example of pride. It is important to grasp the fact that this final collapse has normally been achieved through defeats and compromises with incremental attacks from Satan and his minions.

For the person that has practiced the Faith, the destruction wrought by Satan once they leave the protection of the Church would perhaps be swift.

This is why it is essential to remain focused on Christ and His promises to the Church. There is no way that any of us, or even all of us together, could defeat Satan without Christ and His Church. We are fallen creatures with a tendency to sin and intellects far below that of Satan. Without Christ we can do nothing; with Him we can do all things (Philippians 4:13).

A Personal Experience

I have shared before that I was tempted to leave the Church back in 2009, when Modernists seemed to be stitching up the last vestiges of orthodox hopes here in England. I remember thinking that we had been through so much at the hands of dissenters, and that things had become so corrupt, that I was just getting out of the Church.

At that point, I saw a mental picture of myself standing at the edge of a ship, about to step off into a black and storm-tossed sea. Thanks be to God, this helped me to come to my senses and remain lashed to the Barque of Peter by the Sacraments, Sacred Scripture and Tradition, prayer and reading key spiritual writers.

God's grace enabled me to see that I would have been rapidly destroyed if I had tried to fight corruption by leaving the only supernatural means available to do this in this world. That is because I, like everyone else in this world, am also corrupted by my own sins and sinful tendencies.

Humility and Honesty before God

No, we cannot fight Satan by leaving Christ and His Church.

It is a good practice, I think, to pray each day for the graces to keep the Faith and to be given the grace of a holy death in God's friendship.

If we are tempted to give up resisting sin, going to Confession, or believing in the Church's doctrines because of the evil in the Church, we have an opportunity to honestly ask ourselves how much we are truly converted. These tendencies reveal to us that we still have attachments to sin and to our own will. If we are honest, we are really saying: ''They are sinning and getting away with it. Why shouldn't I?'' In all truth, this is hardly a sign of a deep conversion is it? Yet, even learning this about ourselves ought not cause us to despair, but to go to Jesus in prayer and the Sacraments and ask Him to give us a deeper conversion in these areas. In this way, the trials of the Church and of our own lives may become opportunities for ongoing purification.

Victory from Defeat!

Today's feast reminds us that our whole religion was built in the midst of the darkest event in all of human history. In one sense, it could never have been worse than the hours when man attempted Deicide by killing Christ on Good Friday. How the Devil must have ''whooped it up'' to think he had destroyed Christ the Messiah.

And yet, this truly was the darkest hour before dawn. In that defeat God was to bring the definitive victory over the powers of Hell.

The Introit from Galatians 6 in today's Missal for the Traditional Latin Mass proclaims: ''But it behoves us to glory in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ: in Whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection; by Whom we are saved and delivered.''

Keep the Faith friends and thanks for reading!

Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat!