Like you, I’ve recognized that what’s happening in the Church these days is pure evil. The confusion being created is intentionally being caused by our pope and hierarchy. What I hadn’t considered is that these men and anyone working with them could be “perfectly possessed” and must be left to [the devil]. They cannot be brought back into the Faith. For me, this was an earth-shaking possibility! Any thoughts? Thank you! — Received via email
A good friend sent me this comment in the mail today. I hope I can respond to it clearly. I will try to respond in order.
Firstly, I do not have any final thoughts about the situation in the Church these days. Yes, I have seen awful things happen, sometimes I was in the receiving end of evil actions. Yet, I know that the Church militant on earth will not be defeated. Through history, the Church — the only Church there is — has finished off formidable enemies and suffered under all kinds of bad Pontiffs, heresies, invasions, persecutions, etc. The Carpenter is still busy making caskets to bury his enemies. Compared with the fall of the Roman Empire this is nothing but … the night is still young.
I am sorry if my friend here believed in good faith that I think that what’s happening in the Church today is pure evil. I welcome the chance to clear the misunderstanding. Times are difficult no doubt but Christ has not been defeated so, we cannot speak of pure evil. I do not know for sure who or what is causing the confusion — I know only the appearances through the usual means — I have been fooled many times, so I must be prudent and I should not concern myself with things too high for my deductive powers. Even if I knew for certain what is the plan of the enemy, if I knew his heart and his name, I could still do nothing but pray for protection. I think our situation would be much more bearable if we were praying more, much more. That is our weapon and we are soldiers, not generals. Soldiers in battle care for their immediate surroundings. No soldier who distracts himself thinking of the battle strategy will survive long.
Let us suppose that we knew all that is to be known. What are we going to do? Pray. The same thing we would have to do if we knew nothing at all. If someone in the upper echelons of the Church is under demonic influence, that would be because God, who is all powerful, has allowed it to happen. Our Blessed Mother revealed something like that was going to happen one day: “Rome will become the seat of the Antichrist” she said in La Salette (1846) .
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 — Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Reading Matthew 16 we see the two extremes. At first, Simon is blessed and given a new name. He recognizes Jesus as the Messiah but Jesus says basically “that thought is not yours, it comes from God the Father”
Matthew 16: 15-20 — He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
A little later when Peter tells Jesus to stop talking about the cross etc. Jesus calls him a devil holding “thoughts of men”.
Matthew 16: 21-23 — From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Let’s take a look at both thoughts of Peter:
Thought 1: Jesus is the Messiah — It is a divine thought and comes from God
Thought 2: Opposition to the Cross — It is a human thought and comes from the devil
The whole import of Matthew 16 seems to me like a sort of eschatological map: Jesus leaves the Jews ashore and crosses the lake (history?) towards the country of the Gentiles (Caesarea) The image seems to represent the split between the Jews and the Christians. When Christ comes, some will accept him as the Messiah (the true Israel, the Catholic Church) and some will reject Jesus and go on their own. Those are the people that the evangelists often refer to as “the Jews” — they are not referring to people with a particular DNA but to those who clearly reject the Christ saying: “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15)
History is the battle between these two forces 1) those who will try to conquer the world through lies (chaos, deception, revolutions, uprisings, wars, perversion, usury) 2) those who will conquer the world by the “sword that comes out of the mouth” of Jesus (Revelation 19:15) — the Gospel, the word of God, truth, love, order.
The main battle is fought inside the human heart. Peter is chosen as a sign: inside him God and godly thoughts battle the devil and men’s thoughts. That will be the case all the way to the end of times. Peter represents the Papacy as the first Pope (when he hears God) and perhaps also represents the last Pope before the end of time (when he holds thoughts of men).
In a mysterious way, God will use both “states” to the advantage of his divine purpose, surprising the enemy at every turn and defeating the devil in the end.
Matthew 16: 24-28 — Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Our place is to pick up our Cross, our duty as followers of Christ. We are to “lose the world” to save our souls while those who reject Jesus will “gain the world” to lose their souls. Divine judgment will “repay each person according to their deeds” — Some will receive a glorious recompense by being taken straight into heavenly life, not tasting death at all. That is the goal that only a few will achieve by perfectly following Jesus no matter where he takes them. Some will have to suffer horrible pains, others abandonment, yet others will have to live under constant temptation due to their station in life: rich, poor, good looking, ugly, smart, noble, sick, etc.
While the battle for the world is beyond our control, we can do great things in the battle that is fought inside our own hearts. Saint Peter battled his whole life, oscillating between cowardice and bravery, between his Jewish roots and his Christian duties, his prejudices and the radical changes that the faith in Christ demanded of him.
What is going to happen in the Church? Oh! I can tell you exactly what will happen! Christ will win, the faithful will be richly rewarded while the lukewarm, traitors, and hypocrites will get their comeuppance.
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” — St Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)
I invite you to pray for my friend, for yours truly, and for all those friends who read this blog. One day we will look back at this hour of darkness and praise God for guiding us through it.
Please remember to pray for (and if possible donate to) this ministry during Lent season.