Radicati nella fede – November 2013
What to do when everything seems to be immersed in tremendous confusion? What to do when nothing seems to exist with certainty?
Man is made to live in the presence of God, and in God to find his own substance and peace. At one time the Catholic Church communicated this peace. It was the world, far from God, that was in continuous agitation, but the Church - no. The Church was stability.
It was the godless world which was immersed in a continuous Revolution loved by unstable and desperate souls, who, discontent with life, sought anxiously after impossible novelties which could fill their interior emptiness.
But the Church – no: always the same, composed and pacific in the stability of God, She advanced through the sea of history and was a safe vessel for the souls who did not love the Revolution, recognizing it as false and deceptive.
It was the modern world no longer wanting to depend on God and any authority which criticized the Church, accusing Her of never changing! Not believing in God, the modern world did not understand the stability of the Church, because deep down it did not understand the stability of God.
So, amidst all the terrible revolutions, the Church with Her saints and the supernatural grace of Her sacraments, with the immutable truth revealed by God and transmitted by Tradition and Holy Scripture, walked in the world, pulling all the souls that She could away from the Revolution, which kills, in order to carry them in Her bosom, into the stability of grace, which edifies.
Many were struck by the marvellous peace that emanated from the Catholic Church, a peace that convinced and converted, a peace which is among the greatest signs of God.
There have also been many conversions to Catholicism from the Protestant world. Protestants had adapted themselves to a modernity more and more based on atheism and indifference. But this modernity did not transmit peace and so many returned to the Catholic Church. Carlo Lovera di Castiglione describes this situation very well in his famous work “Il movimento di Oxford” (The Oxford Movement). Addressing the crisis that broke out in the Anglican Church in the mid 18oos, he writes: “…of the faithful, some did not know what to think anymore, others sided with the innovators, many looked beyond the lines of the Established Church towards the Roman Catholics, where the serenity of the Faith and immutable doctrine was reflected in the possession of the truth full of certainty and peace.”
“The serenity of the Faith and immutable doctrine was reflected in the possession of the truth full of certainty and peace.”
How sweet these words are! They are the very sweetness of God and give serenity to every heart that seeks it in His Church.
But now all has changed… dreadful days have come upon us which the appeasing rhetoric of modernized Christians cannot hide: the Revolution of the atheist world has entered the Church and is wearing everything down. There is no longer any stability and the Church appears to have entered into a perennial Revolution which changes everything continuously: confusion in the rites, confusion in doctrine, confusion in morals, confusion in discipline. You do not know if the truth of today will be the same tomorrow. Many, priests and faithful, rush around anxiously in order not to be left behind, adapting themselves in whatever way they can, to this wearisome confusion.
The one who is truly seeking God in this revolutionary Church, is left frightfully alone.
What to do in this suffocating atmosphere? And what not to do?
First of all, it is important not to be beset by agitation, it is important not to react like revolutionaries: that would be like treating a disease, which is precisely what the Revolution is, with the same illness. The revolutionary spirit, even when it pretends to save the good, will never be the solution.
Instead, it is essential to stay really outside of the Revolution, by living Catholicism integrally in the stability that was there, before the Revolution invaded everything.
In the darkness of [the present] confusion, you need to decide before God to live a stable Catholic life. In order to do this you have to identify a place that transmits the peace of the Faith which possesses revealed truth. A place where the Traditional Mass is celebrated: choose it as a reference for your life, allowing yourself to be educated by this place. Do not live in agitation, in a perennial struggle, but live like Catholics in the Liturgy of all time, in the Doctrine of all time, in the Grace of all time according to the Sacraments of all time; and with that, do all the good that the Lord permits you to do.
Padre Calmel says it like this: “Despite the diabolical efforts of the new post-Vatican II Church, the things that will always be possible and guaranteed in the Church are: the goal for real sanctity, the opportunity of educating oneself, in a real group even if it is very small, about the immutable and supernatural doctrine, under a real authority, conserving the certainty that there will always be true priests and faithful Bishops, who will not have abandoned [themselves] (perhaps even without being aware of it) into the hands of committees and collegiality.” ( R.T. Calmel, Brève apologie pour l'Eglise de toujours [Italian edition], Editrice Ichthys, p 51).
Dearly beloved, if we live like this, the dreadful darkness of today will stay out of our hearts.
Let us pray to Our Lady to obtain this safe haven for us and that we always try to be worthy of it.
[Editorial: Radicati nella fede, November 2013, bulletin of the Catholic community of Domodossola and Vocogno, Diocese of Novara, Italy - Translation and tip: Contributor Francesca Romana]