“Lord, if your people still have need of my services, I will not avoid the toil. Your will be done. I have fought the good fight long enough. Yet if you bid me continue to hold the battle line in defense of your camp, I will never beg to be excused from failing strength. I will do the work you entrust to me. While you command, I will fight beneath your banner.” (St. Martin of Tours, Bishop and Confessor, Patron Saint of Soldiers)
Two-plus years ago, Marge Fenelon wrote a Veterans Day article (here) for the National Catholic Register on Saint Martin of Tours, the Patron Saint of the Military. For whatever reason, I saved it then as the basis of some future blog post (my "Draft" folder is full of such articles) which, ostensibly at the time, would be one pertaining to the military.
Fast forwarding to this morning and my irregularly scheduled review of what's-in-my-Draft-folder-today perusings, I came upon this gem of an article and immediately decided it was the proper time for its presentation, but not for whom you'd think. Upon reading Saint Martins quote, I immediately thought of how it glaringly applied not only to active duty soldiers, sailors and airmen (of any country) but to another class of soldiers as well:
The Bishops and Cardinals of the Catholic Church, Soldiers of Christ by virtue of each's Sacrament of Confirmation .
If, as the title of her article states, the above quote is the motto for each and every soldier, how much more is it the motto for each and every Bishop, Cardinal and Pope of the Roman Catholic Church? (More importantly, the words burn into one's mind the actions of the current Pope "Emeritus" too, for that matter.)
I can do no better than to excerpt a portion of Marge's article that paints a broad, black brush as to the actions of some Bishops and Cardinals - and Pope - of today's Modern Church:
"I will not avoid the toil. Six little words that say volumes.
Not avoiding the toil means hanging in there, day after day, through thick and thin, and remaining faithful to my Christian ideals and all that the Church - that Christ himself - asks of me.
It means not shirking my responsibilities to my fellow man and not skimping on my prayer and sacramental life.
It means following God's every command without question and to the best of my ability, regardless of whether I agree with it or not.
It means showing fervor and love of Christ in all I do, in spite of human frailty, laziness, or indifference.
Sounds a lot like the life of a soldier, doesn't it?
It is. It's the life of a soldier for Christ."
And it is also the life of Bishops, Cardinals and Popes (as well as us ordinary pewsitters, to whom I believe the original article was addressed).
But how many Bishops and Cardinals today are shirking that life? How many today are outright refusing to even fight (except with those who already DO fight as a Soldier of Christ and for Christ, whether lay or clerical)? How many seek the life of luxury, its gilded throne and all that comes with it (including a sodomitical lover-boy)? How many seek the glory of man? The glory of earthly adulations? The glory of spitting in the Holy Face of their King and Maker?
The definition of impunity is "exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action."
Do these people truly believe they are exempt? That any of their actions that violate the words and commands of Our Lord Jesus Christ will be free of any consequence? That the extreme prejudice with which some now openly violate the 6th and 9th Commandments shall remain unnoticed - and unpunished - by their Savior and King?
Perhaps they do. Perhaps they do because they no longer believe in Transubstantiation. Perhaps they do because they no longer believe in Hell. Perhaps they do because they long ago rejected the Roman Catholic Church, the Church that was instituted by Christ to bring all men to eternal Salvation.
But perhaps they also should well remember the words concerning the intentions of Bishops (and by extension, Cardinal and Popes) spoken by a couple of their ancient predecessors (courtesy of the blog Traditional Catholic Priest):
“The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.” St. John Chrysostom attributed.1
“The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
St. Athanasius, Council of Nicaea, AD 325 attributed.3
Death. Judgement. Heaven. Hell.
The Four Last Things that should be on every Catholics mind every day of every minute that they are allowed to live. As well, a cultivation of a very healthy fear for three of the four. Contrary to popular opinion, there is a Hell and more will go there than go to Heaven.
It remains a certainty that there will always be enemies of Christ, because there will always be a Satan. But it is equally as certain that there will also be courageous Soldiers of Christ, willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater honor and glory of God. Where the trouble lies is that it seems that for the last 56 years or so they have chosen to remain hidden, except for a brave few (and no, Cardinal Burke is not one of them.) It seems that many of our Shephards - up to and including the current Pope - have forgotten the most basic tenets of our Catholic Faith.
And so, during this Season of Lent, already into its 2nd Sunday, let us all remember to pray for our Shepherds, and especially the Pope, that all return to the Church and the Catholic Faith as instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
I would like to borrow a phrase from today's secular world and sanctify it into its broader meaning: "Let's make the Roman Catholic Church great again". But actually, I'd be a little late. That was done 115 years ago, courtesy of Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical E SUPREMI:
"Instaurare omnia in Christo"
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