We live in a time of trial for both the Church and the World.
I’ve seen commentary on the crisis in the Church suggesting it’s “the end” for her.
I’ve seen people I love believe this rhetoric and leave our Church, thinking the “True Church” wouldn’t have any of these problems of “modernism.”
Personally, I don’t understand how someone could discount thousands of years of history of the Church, both good and bad, because of what is happening today. Maybe these people have an overly romanticized view of the Church, and I’m more realistic. I don’t know.
What I do know is that this isn’t the first time in the Church’s history that we’ve undergone trying times: Alexander VI, the Protestant Reformation, the Avignon debacle, just to name a few. These have all been times where we have seen laxity and debauchery or pride and materialism from the hierarchy.
It is through these times that some of our most beloved and most well-known saints have stepped up and said, “Here I am, Lord.”
Saint Benedict, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Joan of Arc, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Thomas More, Saint Dominic…I could go on. These Saints didn’t abandon the Church. They stood up and said something, they stood up and did something, whether they be changes to monastic rule, fighting and standing up for the truth, or praying fervently and unceasingly. They listened to the voice of Christ when he said “Renew my Church.”
It’s important to recall the words of Christ, “The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail.” He didn’t say they wouldn’t try; he didn’t say they wouldn’t win a few battles. He DID say they wouldn’t win the war.
Times of trial exist because we are human, and we live in a fallen world.
God allows them to happen in order that we may renew our spirits, our love for the Church, our Faith in Christ, and remain focused on Christ. We are all of us chosen to live here and now. Think of that: WE WERE CHOSEN TO LIVE AT THIS TIME…what does that say about what the Lord expects of us?
This isn’t the time for sitting on our laurels, these are the times when saints are made. Let’s work on restoring the Church and making her whole, again. Go, be a saint.