The Challenge of Charity

As a young man, I was consumed by anger at the state of the world and hated those I thought responsible. Save me, Lord, from falling into that trap today regarding the Church.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been many years since I committed the particular sins that I will now confess again. You have already forgiven them in the sacrament of penance, during that first sacramental confession which I made when I was received into your Son’s Mystical Body, the Catholic Church, oh so many years ago. I want to confess them again as a remembrance of those sins. I want to remember them so that I remain mindful of the danger of descending once again into those days of darkness and into that daze of desolation.

As a young man, I was full of anger, an anger which turned into the bitterness of hatred. I believed that the world was in a mess and was getting worse. I hated those whom I thought were responsible. I attacked them with the violence of my words. As I did so, I shriveled and shrank into the grim and ghastly ghetto that I had made of myself. I had gollumized my heart until it could no longer love. I had ghettoized my mind until it could no longer think outside the box, the psychological ghetto, into which it had retreated. 

You saved me, Lord. You saved me from myself.

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

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By your grace, I received miraculous healing. My heart could open itself to faith, hope, and love, and my mind could open itself to reason. And so it was that I emerged from the ghetto into the fullness of your Presence in the beauty of the Mass. Thank you, Lord!

Being in communion with the Church meant being in communion with the saints and with saintly men and teachers. One such saintly man was Cardinal Ratzinger, whose teaching on the spirit of the liturgy allowed me to grow in my love for you, Lord. His Eminence’s teaching on the Mass enabled me to go further up and further into the mystery of your Presence. 

Oh, how I rejoiced when this holy servant of yours became pope. How I rejoiced when his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum shone forth your love on the beauty of the Mass of the Ages. How I rejoiced when he brought those millions of your children who love the beauty of the Traditional Mass out of the decades of unjust exile. As a lover of the Traditional Mass, I rejoiced that my family and I could now more easily experience its extraordinary splendor.  

I thank you, Father, for the gift of Pope Benedict, who loved those Catholics who had been marginalized for their love of the very liturgy that countless saints have loved over the centuries. He loved them, Lord, as he loved you. I know that he now has his reward and that he is with you in the Heaven-haven of that reward. May he pray for us.

I know that he is reunited with St. John Paul II, with whom he worked so diligently and faithfully. Together, as a divinely dynamic duo, they helped to bring your Church out of the confused and confusing doldrums in which it had been cast by those who had committed liturgical and theological abuse.

And now, Lord, we find that Benedict’s successor is trying to force us into exile again, thrusting us back into the ghetto. Once again, we find that we are being cast out. Although all sorts of liturgical abuses are permitted, and all sorts of sacrilegious desecration, none of which has ever been sanctioned by any council of your Church, it is the Mass of the Ages which is being singled out to be suppressed.

Lord, give us the grace to take this persecution as an opportunity that you have given us to accept the challenge of charity. Lord, give us the grace to love our neighbors, especially those neighbors who are seeking to be our enemies. 

I know, Lord, that if we speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and do not have charity, we become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And I know, Lord, that if we should prophesy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and do not have charity, we are nothing in your sight. And if we should have the fullness of the Faith and are as resolute as a rock and as immovable as a mountain, and we do not have charity, we are nothing in your sight. And if we should give everything we have to preserve your sacred Tradition, even laying down our very lives, and we do not have charity, it will profit us nothing. If we should give everything we have to preserve your sacred Tradition, even laying down our very lives, and we do not have charity, it will profit us nothing.Tweet This

Lord, I know that those who have succumbed to the heresy of modernism, wanting your Church to move with the changing fads and fashions of the world, are in danger of losing the gift of faith, but how much worse is it, Lord, if we were to lose the gift of charity? 

Lord, may we resist those who are seeking to keep us from the Mass of the Ages; may we resist them with resolution; but, Lord, heal our hearts and purify our minds so that we may always love our enemies. Keep us always in the Faith of our Fathers and in the love of our neighbors.

St. Pius X, pray for us.
St. John Paul II, pray for us.
Benedict XVI, pray for us.     

[Image Credit: L’Osservatore Romano]


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