Friday, October 23, 2015

The Antidote to Despair

If despair is not an option for the Catholic, why are so many (myself included) tending to despair?  It is a tricky question and one that needs to be at least faced  if not answered.

Despair is a tool of the Devil.  We know that.  And he is an absolute master in manipulating events so that we can more easily fall into despair.  We know this as well.  So, why do we fall into despair?

I'm afraid the answer is all too easy: the people who run the Church now, and have run it for decades (many decades), are, at least far too many of them, cowards, mediocrities, traitors, idiots and poofs.  They grab the microphones and are the ones heard by most of the world.  For example, a near-illiterate priest named Thomas Rosica is the man Rome thinks is the best spokesman for the major events going on in the Vatican. But nonentity that Rosica is, he is only one of many.  These past few weeks simple Catholics have been thrown into, or are on the brink of, despair.

Despair has to be fought off....but how?  In the face of such monumental evil and betrayal by our own Churchmen, what attitude should we Catholics assume?  It seems now virtually impossible not to fall into despair, and yet...

If my readers will permit I would like to recommend an antidote to this frame of mind.  It comes from the pen of Brother Andre Marie over at Saint Benedict Center.  We recommend reading this short essay in full.  But a sample is in order:

When considering the multiple scandals and heresies besetting the Church in our time, three Biblical verses come immediately to mind:
“And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea” (Mark 9:41).
“Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh” (Matthew 18:7).
“For there must be also heresies: that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you” (1 Cor. 11:19).
These two utterances of Our Lord and one of the Apostle to the Gentiles would be appropriate matter for our meditation, especially considering them in their tropological sense (concerning which, see here and here).
In a piece I recently wrote, I made a statement that I think is important — not because I wrote it, obviously, but because of the dogmatic truth that it expresses, one that is often forgotten today by the anxious faithful:
The work of conversion — and the work of living the Catholic life, which is an ongoing conversion — is the work of grace. The Mediatrix of All Grace is more powerful than the purveyors of ecclesiastical novelty, who will come and go while the Cross stands still.
The rest can be read here:

A common retort to people who tell this writer to avoid is despair is this: easy to say, hard to do.  But I believe Brother Andre's timely attempt to address this great problem is better, and more apposite.  It is also a workable antidote.

Scandal....heresy....and grace.


C.H. said...

I'm not trying to be "look at me, aren't I great!" but I've found that I have far less tendency to despair when I pray my rosary, pray the Divine Mercy, say the Angelus, read my Bible and go to Mass (and this is even with having a meloncholic temperament, whose natural inclination is to look on the bad side of things).

Elizabeth said...

Good Morning, Aged Parent. Thanks, I needed this article and the link to Br. Andre's piece.

This came to my Inbox at 3:00am here in Chicago, from Michael Matt (Remnant Videos) in Rome. Utterly depressing. I feel as if kicked in the stomach. God help us all.

Siobhan said...

I don't know if you read Steve Skojec's article in the Washington Post regarding the Synod. It's excellent as always, but reading the comments are very depressing. The amount of ignorance in this society is astounding. God have mercy on us.

Anonymous said...

AP, the above is for you. I did not know how to get it to you other than posting it here.

Aged parent said...

Thank you C.H., Elizabeth and Siobhan for your comments.

C.H., Kneeling before God whether at Mass or at private prayer is, as you suggest, a way to fight the feeling of helplessness and despair. Actions such as yours do more good than all the so-called "good intentions" of certain Churchmen, who shall remain nameless, put together.

Elizabeth, I watched the Michael Matt video. I appreciate your sending it. I'm glad you found Brother Andre's article helpful. I sure did.

Siobhan, Thank you for sending the article. You've certainly hit it when you used the word "ignorance". Most Catholics, clergy and laity, are drowning in ignorance...and tolerance. Those twin evils will be the death of us.

Aged parent said...

Dear Anon:

Thanks for the link. I was aware that Syrian Churchmen were grateful for Russia's actions. That article was good and I have sent it along to some websites who may also be interested.

The Russians are ridding Syria (a land upon which Our Lord once walked) of lunatic murderers, while the Americans are bombing power plants and hospitals - and supplying the terrorists with weapons.

FYI: there is an email address at the sidebar which you can use to contact me direct whenever you like.

aly said...

Don't vote for Ted Cruz. Remember he walks out on middle east Christians who will not stand with Israel. Oh, after telling them he will not stand with them if they won't. Sick bags and emphatic vocabulary.

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