Under Attack From Within
As we know only too well from recent news, the Church today is in an unprecedented crisis. As more revelations come to light almost daily of the highest ranking churchmen’s crimes and complicity in sexual immorality and cover ups, Catholics all over the world are quite rightly angry and at the same time worried about what this means for the Church. Pope Benedict XVI commented on his way to Fatima in 2010 that “the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church.”
We are in a fearful storm right now and it doesn’t look as if it is going to end soon. So we need to keep our eyes fixed on Our Lord. But perhaps He is saying to us as He said to Peter when he began to drown in the storm on the lake. “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” (Matt 8:26). If we take our eyes off Our Lord we could be tempted to think that our faith is based upon the human dimension of the Church. Although we may be discouraged, we have to have a supernatural response to what is happening. Our Lord promised the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church. The fact He said this means they would surely try. We are under a diabolical attack from within, but we must not fear. Trust in God. Even though we are weak, Our Lord wants to use us so as He can say to us with St Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).
So this crisis makes us realise we cannot do anything without Him (John 15:5). Every crisis in the history of the Church has resulted in God raising up great saints. So authentic reform must always begin with ourselves. In spite of our individual weaknesses, we have to become as holy as we can. Let us therefore arm ourselves with spiritual weapons – I urge you all to take up the daily Rosary. Go to Confession regularly. Get to Mass in the week if you can. Pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Make sacrifices. Do small acts of penance. Wear Our Lady’s Brown Scapular. If we all do these things, we will be reforming the Church and the world. This is the message of Our Lady of Fatima whose centenary we celebrated last year. Our Heavenly Mother has given us the remedy which we must now all urgently put into practice.
Fr Paul Gillham, IC