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The “Catholic Church, the City of God, whose King is Truth, whose law love and whose measure eternity” (Saint Augustine, Ep. 138 Ad Marcellinum, C. 3, N. 17), preaching fearlessly the whole truth of Christ and toiling as the love of Christ demands with the zeal of a mother, stands as a blessed vision of peace above the storm of error and passion awaiting the moment when the all-powerful Hand of Christ the King shall quiet the tempest and banish the spirits of discord which have provoked it. — Summi Pontificatus, 110 by Pope Pius XII.
Reading the words of Pope Pius XII in Summi Pontificatus, I am inclined to think that the storm has lasted a lot longer than most of us thought. Certainly, Pius XII had to steer the barque of Peter during very difficult times. His enemies Hitler and Stalin did not survive that gentle Pontiff that went to his eternal reward before his successor called a new Council of the Church.
Pope Pius talks about a storm of error and passion inspired by spirits of discord. His words come at the end of almost five centuries of disobedience and disorder, the five hundred years that followed the Protestant revolt of 1517. Luther’s ideas had consequences that none of the early “reformers” ever imagined. Illuminism, Liberalism, the French Revolution, Socialism, Fascism, Communism descended on mankind like a storm of worldwide proportions. Looking back we can confirm the wisdom of the old Spanish proverb: “De aquellas aguas, estos barros …” (transl. “from those rains, this mud.”)
The storm has reached our very hearts. We are anxious, weary, impatient to see “the all-powerful Hand of Christ the King that shall quiet the tempest and banish the spirits of discord which have provoked it.” We long to see that day and wonder how many more abominations we will have to endure until Our Lord wakes up and calms the raging sea.
I wonder if Our Lord is waiting for us to look into our own hearts and calm the storm of useless anxiety that is now agitating us.
In the last few weeks I have been moved to concentrate on the Blessed Sacrament. Because I am so thick, it takes weeks for me to see the signs that gently try to guide me. Grace is powerful though. After a while I “get it” and begin to move in the right direction. A number of recent events — some of them quite violent — called my attention to the fact that things are changing fast. Peace is coming but there is one condition: I need to calm the storm in my heart before the Lord calms the sea around me. That is crystal clear.