Saturday, August 2, 2014

Get Ready to Ride Like Conquerers

There is an excellent letter from a priest to a confused convert at Rorate Caeli on Caserta (if you're not heartily tired of that subject). The question is, more or less, "If we're all on the same road as part of a unity in diversity, why did I go through the trouble of converting?" It covers a lot of the same ground the Bear has covered from a more theological angle.

The Bear says never doubt your place in the Church. Holy stubbornness will see you through.

The Church we see may look like a mess to us, but demons see it, and still tremble.

The Babylonian Captivity lasted 70 years. Perhaps we have just 20 more to go. Many of us will see, God willing, the end. Who would even think of giving up now? The confused, enthusiastic and powerful Vatican II generation is passing before our eyes. They will will have their last stand. They know time is running out. Things will be hard. But all we have to do is hang on for dear life.

Wherever you are, whatever ugly church built in the 1960s, or old church that they gutted of everything sacred except the tabernacle (which they hid in a closet), that's where God has placed you. It is Christ's throne. That is your post to the end. God forbid you should abandon it.

Psalm 126 speaks of unexpected deliverance. The Bear believes we will see better days. Why? Because the Vatican II Church is such an abject failure. Only the most, shall we say determined, imagine "more Vatican II" will work. It is the tired old failures who think that what we need is more ecumenism, more interfaith, more Assisis, more Casertas, more conferences, more papers, more trips, more tweets.

From their defeatist viewpoint, the only hope is to somehow join forces with heretics and schismatics and work toward worldly ends. To become an NGO with a religious veneer.

But what we need is more holiness. And that starts with us. We don't have to wait for someone else to renew the Church. Our personal holiness makes a difference. There is a communion of saints. It is a real force, like gravity, even when we cannot understand it. When the Church remembers herself, we want to be ready to ride like conquerors.

Psalm 126 captures the joy of the Judean captives. They had lived in Babylon for 70 years without any prospect of rescue. Jerusalem was destroyed, their temple looted and burned, their homes gone. Yet in one of the most amazing reversals in history, they were returned. Everything was restored.


         When the LORD restored the captives of Zion,
         we thought we were dreaming.
         Then our mouths were filled with laughter;
         our tongues sang for joy.
         Then it was said among the nations,
         “The LORD had done great things for them.”
         The LORD has done great things for us;
         Oh, how happy we were!
         Restore our captives, LORD,
         like the dry stream beds of the Negeb.

         Those who sow in tears
         will reap with cries of joy.
         Those who go forth weeping,
         carrying sacks of seed,
         Will return with cries of joy,
         carrying their bundled sheaves.

New American Bible. (2011). (Revised Edition., Ps 126:1–6). Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really beautiful and encouraging post! Psalm 126 has been of so much encouragement to me in longing for that 'holy stubborness'. It seems that the Bear is reflecting ( in colourful ursine talk of nailing our foot to the floor in our pews) our Lord's wonderful promise of 'He that shall endure to the end shall be saved'. Thank you for this.


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