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Many believe that we are living in the Postmodernist age. That is false concept because after Modernism is done, there will be nothing left. Nothing is not a post-something. Nothing is nothing. Since the beginning of the so-called Reformation in 1517, the forces of Modernism have been eroding the walls of the Catholic faith day and night. That is why I agree with those who affirm that we are living in the apotheosis of Modernism. If this process were to continue unimpeded, there would be nothing left.
And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:22 Douay-Rheims)
It does not take a genius to figure out that we are careening towards the complete destruction of the Catholic Church. Modernism has ascended to levels no one thought possible only a few years ago. It has taken me, a convert and a rather slow one at that, nearly twenty years to barely grasp the extent of the problem. I was helped by the fact that I am seeing the Church with fresh eyes. Many who have grown up within the Church seem to have had trouble seeing how things were changing. That brings to mind the old parable of how to boil a frog: very slowly.
Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, Pope Pius X reigned at the beginning of the 20th century. Coincidentally, the word sarto in Italian means tailor, someone who measures and cuts fine clothing. Honoring his surname, good Pope Pius X examined the Modernist proposal and found the fabric defective and the measure short. He called Modernism “the sum of all heresies” and clearly proved his assertion with simple and luminous reasons.
Slightly over a century later, we find ourselves in this awful predicament: the Modernists have managed to complete the infiltration of the Church. This reminds me of Paul Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as presented in Walt Disney’s Fantasia. The apprentice tries to avail himself of some magic to complete some simple chores. In the end, he nearly destroys his master’s house. In the same manner, the Modernists have taken great pains to infiltrate the Church in an effort to reform her, to bring her up to the times, etc. But all they have managed to do is to bring the Church to the edge of the abyss. That is where we are now. If our Master does not save the Church, we face certain defeat.
The Protestant error with its defiance of the wisdom and authority of the Church gave birth to many other errors. Sects multiplied among Christians, false philosophies appeared and quickly poisoned politics. In time, more poisonous schools of thought developed and soon we had revolutions challenging the Christian order that had taken centuries to consolidate in the West. That wave of darkness has polluted every level of human society and now the Church herself is facing a wave of impurity that would be hard to believe if it was not happening before our very eyes.
Fortunately, we have been forewarned. Our Lord told us that the forces of evil would not prevail. He also told us that there is one will behind this wave of wickedness:
Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. (Revelation 12:15-17 NIV)
Yes, the operator behind the scenes is that ancient serpent, the devil. He has been permitted to get this far. This is part of a spiritual war but for us it is also a lesson. Some may ask: “What kind of lesson this could be?” I think we are about to be taught how to defeat darkness with the light of Christ.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5 NIV)
The enemy has managed to spread darkness within the Church by infiltrating priests and bishops that do not believe in God, in the Church, and in her sacred mission. Just as it happened in times past, it is up to the laity to make the light of Christ shine in the midst of darkness.
At the center of this problem there is a fundamental lack of faith. That lack of faith is the result of bad (or heretical) catechesis that impedes the people to learn about the marvels of the faith. I will illustrate by means of an anecdote.
Something extraordinary happened to me when I was doing the research to write the book Guadalupe A River of Light. The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe From the First Century to Our Days. I thought I have learned nearly everything about St. Juan Diego and the miracle at Tepeyac Hill, the miraculous tilma, etc. As I started following one thread and then another, beginning with the Nican Mopohua and examining all the related historical facts, I discovered a structure, a parable that extended from the days of St. Luke in the first century even to our days. I found the whole thing astonishing and immediately I thought: “That is why so many people converted when they saw the image and made all the connections that could be made in that age!”
That realization was followed by a question: “Why is it that I was not told this?” In my simple mind, I thought that perhaps there should be magazine articles, books, movies, etc. shouting to the world about the unfathomable mysteries presented to a simple and pure Mexican in 1531. But here I was in the 21st century and I had to dig deep into old books and do research on my own to see the glorious beauty of the miracles of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The reason for that lack of information is one: spiritual darkness. One person high up in the Church hierarchy informed us not long ago that Our Lady of Guadalupe should be called “Our Lady of Tepeyac” instead. That wrong assertion (you will have to read the book to see why that is plainly wrong) is practically all we hear about the miracles at Tepeyac these days. It is comparable to forget we have a million dollars in the bank and yet go diving into a dumpster to get something to eat.
So, the problem we face is really simple: ignorance of the faith and its rich history.
- Lack of faith comes from ignorance
- Ignorance comes from bad catechesis
- Bad catechesis comes from a lack of interest in learning the depths of the faith
- Lack of interest in learning is a form of sloth, a capital sin made more deadly when it causes the spiritual death of those who are left in darkness.
In this age we have been given great educational tools. Allow me to brag a little (in the Lord, of course). My money is limited (to say the least!) My education is barely standard. I only have one old computer, one (slow) Internet connection, and some time. With those limited tools I have connected with thousands of readers, I was able to publish a few books that are now helping some to learn more about the faith than mere platitudes. Only 20 years ago I was not Catholic, not even religious at all. I am just one guy with more limitations than advantages. Those who spent hundred of thousands in higher education should be doing much more –and some do– but what we are doing is apparently not enough to curb the tide of darkness.
Now imagine what could be done if all of us, according to each individual’s capacity, could show the fullness of the faith to all those who are craving for truth.
Many are doing it now; the list is long but not long enough. We have to pierce the darkness enveloping the Church and the world with the faith that was once given to the saints. This is our moment. St. Paul, St. Peter, and all the other saints are in Heaven now. We have to do this. Our bishops have neglected the faith for many years. Too many of our priests can do nothing but preach bland homilies that could put a horse to sleep! How many write brainy books about the complexities of theological thought and neglect to feed the Catholic family with the milk of the Gospel! Erudition is good food but only for those who can digest it. We need to raise the people to the level of the Gospel. We do not need to lower the message of Christ to some simple “goodism” and leave it at that.
Make it a daily habit to learn the faith a little deeper every day. One little bit at a time does it. Be patient and persevere in praying, learning, and teaching. We are all in the same boat and we must row together if we want to get somewhere.