When Godly People Do Ungodly Things
if the time is right?
It's not that we mustn't do anything at all; we have a duty to work for justice. But in working for justice, we must be very careful that we follow the structure and method God has laid out.
"Take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men...keep away from them and let them alone; for if this plan or work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it--lest you be found to fight against God" (Acts 5:35-39).
"We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel, between Christ and Antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence.It is therefore, in God's Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously" (On the Present Age, John Paul II).
In the meantime, there are many radiantly faithful clergy, and a glorious batch of faithful seminarians in the works; we must pray them through the danger they will surely one day encounter.
But most of us are laity, and in the shadow of this time of widespread, fading clerical influence, John Paul II prophetically said, "...the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council marked a decisive turning-point. With the Council the hour of the laity truly struck, and many lay faithful, men and women, more clearly understood their Christian vocation, which by its very nature is a vocation to the apostolate" (Jubliee of the Apostolate of the Laity).
We are called, within our sphere of influence and the bounds of authority, to work in apostolate for justice, and it has never been more important that we do so:
"The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church; within her too, Adam continues to fall. When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs, for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall; he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church, you will remain prostrate and overpowered. But you will rise again. You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all" (Cardinal Ratzinger's Meditations for the Stations of the Cross, Prayer at Ninth Station).
This is our Church, and come sin and hell and scandal, anti-pope, antichrist, or personal faults and failings, "the gates of hell will not prevail against her." THANKS BE TO GOD!
Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic speaker, Scriptural evangelist, and a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit pursuingthesummit.com to book Sonja for your next great event, or to order her CDs or 10-week, DVD-driven Bible study Soul of the World on the Old Testament tabernacle as prototype of the soul and Church.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: faith, clergy, scandal, misconduct, authority, obedience, justice, Sonja Corbitt
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