Saturday, October 8, 2016

Undermining of St. John Paul II’s Legacy”?

From a Catholic Website:

"....numerous statements and programs from the Vatican demonstrate the expression of excessive anger at St. John Paul II’s remarkable legacy and prophetic writings. The new light shed upon Our Lord’s plan for marriage and sexuality, so badly needed in our time, has been very beneficial to Catholic youth, marriages, families, educators as well as the priesthood and the episcopacy over the past 35 years. It has begun to have a noticeable and constructive effect upon marriage preparation and the priestly vocation. Attempts at undermining St. John Paul II’s legacy are, therefore, almost inexplicable" (my emphasis).


And:  

"As we follow the continuous succession of ambiguous statements from the Vatican, it’s troubling to see the obvious anger expressed toward St. John Paul II and his teaching. This anger is not expressed in a clear and direct manner, but rather in an anger of the passive-aggressive type, i.e., anger expressed in a covert or masked way. This anger has been manifested primarily by ignoring his work, much as a spouse expresses anger in marriage by the silent treatment." 


Now, for the legacy of Pope St. JPII the Great's teachings on marriage and the family:

According to research by the Barna Group, Catholics had one of the lowest incidences of divorce, with 28 percent having been divorced out of 875 interviewed. The Gospel Coalition noted that there is a somewhat significant difference between those who are actively practicing Catholics and those who consider themselves nominally Catholic. (No surprise here, given JPII's legacy-italics mine) The coalition found that nominal Catholics are five percent less likely to divorce than non-religious persons, while Catholics who are actively practicing in their parishes are 31 percent less likely to get divorced than non-religious persons.

But I must take issue with the following: "
Attempts at undermining St. John Paul II’s legacy are, therefore, almost inexplicable." No, there is an explanation, offered by Pope Blessed Paul VI:

"
We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation. And how did this come about? We will confide to you the thought that may be, we ourselves admit in free discussion, that may be unfounded, and that is that there has been a power, an adversary power. Let us call him by his name: the devil..... Don't be surprised at Our answer and don't write it off as simplistic or even superstitious: one of the Church's greatest needs is to be defended against the evil we call the Devil..... This matter of the Devil and of the influence he can exert on individuals as well as on communities, entire societies or events, is a very important chapter of Catholic doctrine which should be studied again, although it is given little attention today."

As we know, Our Lord when he commissioned Peter “the rock” upon which He would build his Church, also said that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. He never said Hell would not try to prevail. In St. John’s gospel, Jesus calls Satan “ruler of this world,”  teaching that the salvation he would bring us as God’s gift involved the destruction of Satan’s power in this world. Just before His passion, Jesus told the apostles that an eternal fire awaited Satan and his angels. Sacred Scripture teaches that The Prince of Darkness will be allowed by God to test us for a time, but in the end will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”  Thus, in Catholic teaching, the reality of spiritual warfare, though often dismissed, is something the Church Militant here on earth must be prepared for. It is in this light that we must view the questioning, dissatisfaction and eventual confrontation  that stem from the continuous succession of ambiguous statements from the Vatican, it’s troubling to see the obvious anger expressed toward St. John Paul II and his teaching. 

I suggest that whenever one feels that certain events seem inexplicable, remember that although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him." (Rom 8:28.)