Saturday, March 21, 2020

Is this the Chastisement?

“Then He gave them into the hand of the nations, And those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, And they were subdued under their power. Many times He would deliver them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity.”
Psalm 106:41-44

A woman wrote to me in grief because the adoration chapel at her parish has been closed even to small groups or individual worshippers. She is a mother of five and her husband an infectious disease physician on the front lines of this pandemic.

Help me understand.”

I’m thinking the Lord has taken Himself away because of the so many scandals, the sinfulness and ingratitude of so many in the Church.

Here’s Cardinal Burke on the current state of the Church:

“We witness, too, even within the Church, a paganism which worships nature and the earth. There are those within the Church who refer to the earth as our mother, as if we came from the earth, and the earth is our salvation. But we come from the hand of God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. In God alone we find salvation. We pray in the divinely-inspired words of the Psalmist: “[God] alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (Ps 62 [61], 6). We see how the life of faith itself has become increasingly secularized and thus has compromised the Lordship of Christ, God the Son Incarnate, King of Heaven and Earth. We witness so many other evils which derive from idolatry, from the worship of ourselves and our world, instead of worshiping God, the source of all being. We sadly see in ourselves the truth of Saint Paul’s inspired words regarding the “ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth”: “they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever!” (Rom 1, 18. 25).”

We are doing what our enemies want: no access to Mass or the Holy Eucharist, and in some cases Confession as well. Worship is being treated as entertainment, canceled like the NCAA tournament, and less important than the natural food we obtain at the grocery stores, which remain open.

Again, Cardinal Burke:

“In our totally secularized culture, there is a tendency to view prayer, devotions and worship like any other activity, for example, going to the cinema or to a football game, which is not essential and therefore can be cancelled for the sake of taking every precaution to curb the spread of a deadly contagion. But prayer, devotions and worship, above all, Confession and the Holy Mass, are essential for us to remain healthy and strong spiritually, and for us to seek God’s help in a time of great danger for all. Therefore, we cannot simply accept the determinations of secular governments, which would treat the worship of God in the same manner as going to a restaurant or to an athletic contest. Otherwise, the people who already suffer so much from the results of the pestilence are deprived of those objective encounters with God Who is in our midst to restore health and peace.”

We are all sinners and no one is without some share of responsibility for this time of darkness and extreme spiritual privation.

We certainly can’t rule it out because it sure looks like a chastisement.

“Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD, And whom You teach out of Your law...”
Psalm 94, 12

We all have a part to play in returning the Church and society back to God. Let us use this precious time well.

Cardinal Burke’s full statement can be found at his blog CardinalBurke.com

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