I’m not sure if I see things clearly Joseph. It may seem that way. I can only put it down to the fact that I have been terrified at a time when the Church I knew and loved had disappeared. Others who know this terrible fear may draw some strength from hearing a fellow-traveller’s journey out of it. And if other layfolk who have left the Society can contribute how they use their faith would be a good start to us helping each other. We do not need lectures from people who are not suffering this dilemma.
Fear stems from a misconceived idea of God’s judgement – the ‘fear of God’. The Church has always emphasised, rightly, that each one of us will face God’s Judgement when we die. That no-one is likely to escape some time in Purgatory except the great saints who sometimes did experience it. We are told to offer this and that sacrifice to reduce our time in purgatory. We use our faith to cope with God’s Judgement. Well and good! A sensitive and humble soul sees no end to Purgatory which has been graphically likened to a step above hell. If a just man sins seven times a day how does an ordinary soul ever get to heaven? This is not the holy ‘fear of God’.
I make this point first because I think it underlies the fear that prompted you Joseph to see if I could offer suggestions and solutions.
When Our Lord suffered the hell for each one of us he delivered us from going to hell.
If we believe that we have to progress to knowing it. Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary offers a choice between two outcomes. I may receive His Mercy or His Judgement. One or the other. No in-between. An attentive soul realises that whichever befalls him he is guilty of sin. Accepting mercy he acknowledges his sin. Rejecting mercy his sin remains with the ensuing banishment. Either way, he is a sinner. But God loves to give mercy, requiring only our recognition that we desperately need it, and that He, just as desperately, wants to pour it out on us.
Fear has the capacity to obliterate Mercy. Why do we use our faith fearing God’s judgement when we could use it to accept His Mercy? Is he going to send me to hell if I miss Mass on Sunday because I want to keep my faith, not lose it in the conciliar church? Do I see God as a legalist? Didn’t he come to free me from the letter of the law? Isn’t he insulted when I treat him that way?
All around us we hear talk, talk, talk. People these days seem to love arguing about this or that point/interpretation of theology; or have meetings telling each other brilliantly what is wrong with the world today; or how we should view the Pope who practises heresy; which society of priests should we adhere to when they condemn each other; this Catholic is opposed to that Catholic because he believes in priest A instead of priest B; that priest hasn’t got supplied jurisdiction, this one has; this Mass is valid, but not legitimate etc. etc. etc.
None of the above has anything to do with my faith. My faith is a gift from God to me a sinner full stop! Nobody can take it away from me – no-one.
How can a priest who gives Catechism classes refuse to give good Catholics the sacraments? Are we not justified in turning our backs on such a priest even if it is for the salvation of their souls? Who is left to teach the traditional faith when this generation of priests can do such a terrible thing?
In the end what is happening? Or not happening? Discussions are becoming centred on what Father so-n-so should be doing, and not only Father, mind you, but each other….my husband/wife should have done this; said that. Going aside, I had to ask myself what I should be doing. It was so easy to blame others, but it does keep fear at bay. I do not have to make decisions when I can blame somebody else, or when I abdicate my responsibilities by leaving it to the priest to tell me what to do, or not do.
The more I blame others, or leave the responsibility to others, the more I retreat into doing nothing and waiting for God to do something when all the time He is waiting for me to do something. But what is he waiting for me to do?
The answer is clear: He wants me to use my faith! Stop gabbing and take my faith for a walk….give it a workout. I do not need a theologian or whatever to tell me about my faith. I need to use what I already have. We already have our models in the courageous priests who will not be silenced. They are using their faith. This is what we have in common with them. They need us as much as we need them. If we do not join in the fight we will lose them and they will lose us. Ergo – we lose the Church! But since Christ has promised He will be with us all days even unto the end of the world, then it is only because there are people like us who keep fighting for it.
Just like the saints and martyrs have done before us. They gave their lives that we may live. Now it’s our turn.
Suggestions and solutions? All of the above. Some points come to mind:
i) Use the measure of faith that God has given me by taking the first step away from where I am being led by the neoSSPX and let Christ open doors he is dying to open for me.
ii) Stop depending directly on this or that priest, but on the ‘Priesthood of Christ’ which is present in the world til the end of time by uniting myself spiritually with faithful priests saying Masses throughout the world, whether I know them or not by praying the daily Mass at home and saying my Rosaries. Meditate specifically on the Liturgy by praying it and contemplating its meaning. Mercy and everlasting life are offered on every page.
iii) Use my faith a hundred percent to depend on his mercy. Do not waste one tiny drop of it by fearing his judgement.
iv) Use the forums to express our fears and share our faith rather than fill them up with chit chat. Have we ever heard sermons such as our heroic resistance priesthood is showering on us today?
v) Resistance forums to link up with one another. The States of a country unite under the banner of their Patron Saint then unite countries under the Kingship of Christ. The laity needs to form a worldwide unity. Get to know our fellow-fighters.
PS. I have noticed a small example of item v) on the following forum. It is a tentative start that needs to grow in strength when brave people contribute.
Read more: http://cor-mariae.proboards.com/conversation/55#ixzz2fiTgfsce