When the world was aflame with the Albigensian heresy, the Blessed Virgin Mary armed the humble servant of God St. Dominic with the powerful spiritual weapon known as the Holy Rosary. The devils themselves have been forced to admit how powerful it is, because of the intercession of the glorious Lady to whose honor it is addressed.
Since we find ourselves very often tested as to the true fervor and intensity of our spiritual desires, it will stand useful to us all to take some solid instruction from the life of Our Lord Himself.
With loving hearts we pour out prayers for poor sinners, for family members, and even for our own sinful souls. We forget, however, that all things happen in God's time, and according to His will, as we see in the Gospel of St. John: "No man can come to Me, unless it be given him by My Father." We must constantly rely on His grace, and beg of it earnestly through the intercession of His Holy Mother, who will always answer our prayers if they are sincere and persevering.
Sometimes, we feel almost slighted that our prayers and desires are not accomplished immediately, believing, it seems, that we don't need to patiently endure as Our Lord did, even though He commanded us expressly to follow Him.
Perhaps it has escaped your mind that after Jesus changed water into wine, healed the ruler's son, cured the 38 year infirmity of the man at Bethsaida, fed 5,000 with five loaves, and walked on the stormy sea - STILL His disciples did not believe in Him. "For neither did His brethren believe in Him." John 7,5
Therefore, do not be alarmed when your defense of the faith goes unheeded, or when your attempts to reach a stony heart fail, o we of little faith!
Let the words of the Golden Tongue, St. John Chrysostom, provide some form of consolation, in reminding us that we are entirely dependent upon supernatural grace for every good thing. "Nothing makes one so dizzy as human reasoning, which says everything from an earthly point of view, and does not allow illumination to come from above. Earthly reasoning is covered with mud. Therefore, we have need of streams from above, so that, when the mud has fallen away, whatever part of the reason is pure may be carried on high and may be thoroughly imbued with the lessons taught there. This takes place when we manifest both a well-disposed soul and an upright life." This is taken from this glorious saint's Homily on the Gospel of St. John. Now, if we can only implement this in our own lives; which is entirely possible with the grace of God, for indeed, we can do all things in Him Who strengthens us.
May Our Sorrowful Mother deliver you the copious flow of graces that you need to maintain the battle for heavenly glory. +
The Church has always practiced civil tolerance, even while Her members were being torn apart by ferocious beasts, along with the lions and hungry bears at their disposal. The only desire for the persecutors in the days of the pagan Roman Empire was their conversion to the one true Faith, which was constantly sought in a spirit of Christ-like prayer and self-immolation. Civil tolerance is something that the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ has practiced to the superlative degree throughout the entire history of our inherited Apostolic Faith. It is undeniable that in this way specifically "The Kingdom of God suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Were those holy popes, bishops, priests, deacons, virgins, and widows who freely exposed themselves to the most barbaric torments the ones who committed this violence? In one very real sense, yes, indeed, they were. This is because they chose to allow violence to tear at their flesh, rather than for one instant to waver in their profession as true children of the Good Shepherd Jesus Christ. They bore Heaven away with this violence, instead of resorting to cowardice and the far graver violence of destroying one's conscience.
Civil tolerance is indeed a consideration worthy of notice; there is another type, however, that is so widely accepted in the name of Catholicism that it seems to escape notice. This type of tolerance, however, is the polar opposite of what Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, died for in His bloody torments on the altar of the Cross. This markedly un-Christian manner of acceptance has invaded like a horde of parasites the very heart of our holy religion: it is the distinctively demonic dogmatic tolerance that has spread across the entire world like a raging wildfire. It has caused the Church’s enemies, both horned and temporarily horn-less, to exult with their father, whom the Holy Church rightly terms the teacher of all heretics. This, of course, is the old dragon himself, none other than Satan.
At what point in time did any rightly believing Bishop ever condone the practice of any other Faith than the very one for which Christ shed His Blood? This is an area where fools have rushed in by the truckload, while even the demons, as we learn from the Prince of the Apostles, "believe, and tremble." While the Catholic Church has never ceased to pray, to weep, and to do penance for Her enemies, all tolerance and kindhearted piety comes to an abrupt halt when the matter at hand is altering or in any way reducing the severity of Her dogmas. Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. This dogma was masterfully hammered out with the illuminating guidance of the Holy Spirit by a Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ. No one may at any time "be led to salvation within the boundaries of his own respective religion", or any such philosophically excruciating nonsensical ideas. To those Elect who understand these words, they are written in simplicity and in truth, with no mention of names other than that of the Almighty Son of God.
"There is nothing new under the sun"; so said Ecclesiastes some 3,000 years ago. False religion, likewise, has nothing new with which to torment and destroy timid and devilishly captive souls. I say this with consolation amid the arid bitterness of the desert, because our holy forefather, St. Antony of Egypt, wept in the desert in the same way, and for the very same reasons, over 1,700 years ago. Hear his words and be fortified in your inner citadel of mind: "And to me, this poor prisoner of Jesus, this time to which we have come has brought joy and lamentation and weeping. For many of our generation have put on the robe of religion but denied its power. As for those who have prepared themselves to be set free through the Advent of Jesus, over them I rejoice. But those who do business in the name of Jesus, and do the will of their heart and their flesh- over such I lament. Those who have looked at the length of the time, and their heart has failed them, and they have put off the robe of religion, and are become beasts- for them I weep. Know therefore that for such men the advent of Jesus becomes a great judgment. But do you, my beloved in the Lord, know yourselves, that you may also know this time, and prepare to offer yourselves as a sacrifice acceptable to God."
We must now do as Our Lord commanded, and truly "lift up our heads", lest we be tossed about in frivolous conjectures with the sons of perdition. May the Holy Ghost deign to strengthen and guide you safely along the path of true Catholic doctrine. + Amen.