Divine Providence & the “Crisis” of the Church
“And Jesus came near and touched them, and said to them, ‘Arise, and do not be afraid.”
This year we commemorate a very sad anniversary, namely the 50th anniversary of the Opening of Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962, which changed the Church to such an extent, that it cannot be recognized. The consideration of the last 50 years of changing and destroying the church gives us great sadness and anxiety, but if we look at the various grous in the so-called Traditional Movement, one might become very sad, since they too often are involved in an infight among themselves. It seems, every year brings another defection sometimes morally and at other times doctrinally in this so called “traditional movement”. “Traditional” Catholics are often discouraged and suffer under spiritual anxiety because of the unprecedented crisis of the Roman Catholic Church which has lasted now for almost fifty years since the closing of the Second Vatican Council and its consequent changes of the dogmatic beliefs and moral practice, not to mention the Liturgy of the Church.
This anxiety and discouragement continues to grow stronger, since the faithful face division after division and scandal after scandal in the ranks of the clergy during this time of the organized apostasy. And if we look at our own times merely in a natural way rather than in a supernatural way, we do indeed have reason to be discouraged. But if we truly want to understand the crisis of the Church and the current apostasy of the former Christian nations, it would be of benefit for us to read the story of Job in the Old Testament, referencing it to our own times.
We read in the Old Testament that Job had seven sons and three daughters. He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she-asses etc. … One day the Lord said to Satan: “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth?” Satan answering said: “Doth Job fear God in vain? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions hath increased on the earth. But stretch forth Thy hand and take away his possessions, then Thou shalt see that he will murmur against Thy providence. Then the Lord said to Satan: “All that he hath is in thy hand; only put not forth thy hand upon his person.” So it came to pass that on one occasion when the sons and daughters of Job were feasting in the house of their eldest brother, a messenger came to Job, exclaiming: “The oxen were plow-ing, and the asses feeding beside them, and the Sabeans rushed in and took all away, and slow the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell thee.”
While he was yet speaking, another messenger came to tell Job that fire fell from heaven, which struck the sheep and the shepherds, and that he alone had escaped. Whilst he was yet speaking there came a third messenger, who announced to Job that Chal-deans had taken away his camels and slain the servants, all but himself. Then came forth a fourth messenger, who, entering in, said to Job: “Whilst thy sons and daughters were eating and drinking in the house of their elder brother, a violent wind came on a sudden from the side of the desert, and shook the four corners of the house, and it fell and crushed thy children, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell thee.”
Then Job rose up and rent his garments, and, having shaved his head, fell down upon the ground and worshipped, saying: “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. As it hath pleased the Lord, so it is done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all these things Job sinned not by his lips, nor spoke he any fool-ish thing against God. And the Lord said to Satan: “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth?” Satan replied: “All that a man hath he will give for his life; but put forth Thy hand, touch his bone and his flesh, and then Thou shalt see if he will not curse Thee.”
The Lord said: “Behold, he is in thy hand, but yet save his life.” So Satan struck Job with a most grievous ulcer from the sole of the foot even to the top of his head. And Job sat on a dung-hill and scraped the ulcerated matter with a potsherd. Then his wife came, not to comfort, but rather to tempt him, for she mockingly said: “Bless God and die.”
But Job said to her: “Thou hast spoken like one of the foolish women. If we have received good things at the hand of God, why should we not receive evil?” Again, in all these things Job did not sin with his lips or his heart…
Satan challenged God several times and God gave power to the devil over Job and He permitted the devil to test Job in all kinds of different ways. But in the end God proved Satan wrong, because Job did not curse God for all these misfortunes which he suffered. I am convinced that a similar thing happened and continues to happen in the current crisis of the Church. Satan has challenged God since the beginning of time, but especially in the years leading up to the Second Vatican Council and even more particu-larly in the years following, in order that he might destroy the Church. And God gave to the devil power and has permitted him apparently to destroy the Church. Remember the vision of Pope Leo XIII which led to the institution of the Leonine prayers af-ter Low Mass. I understand that some of our traditional clergy question the authenticity of the vision, nevertheless it reflects accurately the current situation.
On October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a vision. When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about ten minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he com-posed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions that it be said after all Low Masses everywhere. When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices - two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the taber-nacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation: The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: "I can destroy your Church." The gentle voice of Our Lord then replied: "You can? Then go ahead and do so." Satan: "To do so, I need more time and more power." Our Lord: "How much time? How much power? Satan: "75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service." Our Lord: "You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will."
We must always remember in order not to despair at this apostasy and even looking at the divisions and scandals in the so called “traditional movement” that we are witnessing the final battle of Satan. Sister Lucy said one time: “She (the Blessed Virgin Mary) told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin. And a decisive battle is the final battle where one side will be victorious and the other side will suffer defeat. Also from now on we must choose sides. Either we are for God or we are for the devil. There is no other possibility.”
But we may also ask why God apparently complies with the challenge of Satan, just as he complied to his challenge in the story of Job, and gives him so much power and permits him apparently to destroy the church in our time?
God in all his wisdom allows the devil to believe that he could destroy His Church and for this reason He will even give him more power to do so, even to the extent that finally he attacks good priests resisting the errors of Vatican II. Why? In order to prove him wrong at the end, just as in the story of Job. He does so, in order to humiliate Satan even more in the end. God and his blessed Mother have complete control over the crisis in the Church as well as the problems in the traditional movement, and God and the Blessed Mother will be victorious over Satan and his abettors.
Our Lord says to each of us: “Arise, and do not be afraid.”
(By the Most Rev. Markus Ramolla)http://athanasiusofalexandria.blogspot.de/