For those of you who have not read Steve’s explosive commentary on the gravity of the Development & Peace scandal and how it now threatens the unity of the Catholic Church in Canada, I encourage you do so. At this very moment in history, we are headed for very sad and dangerous times in the Catholic Church in Canada. The consequences of 40 years of gross negligence and closeted dissent on the issues of life and family are now starting to impact the Church’s visible unity in this country. Beginning with the Winnipeg Statement, and throughout the past four decades, we Catholics have tolerated the “sacraments of separation” ( i.e. divorce, contraception, abortion, sodomy and (soon to be) euthanasia), and now we are reaping what we have sown. There is nothing that is hidden, as the bible says, that is not eventually revealed (Cf. Luke 8:17).
To divide the conventional family is to divide the supernatural family. Divide the Family. Divide the Church. Strike at the domestic church and bring down the institutional church in due time. That’s how the Enemy has worked it. Divide and conquer. Divide our unity. Scatter us. Then kill us.
A sword is coming to the Catholic Church, and it is separating us on the issue of the unborn and our fidelity to the Gospel of Life. Our Lady called it in Akita in 1973: “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church, in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.” (Akita was approved by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI).
Two years ago (almost to this very day) when the Development & Peace scandal was breaking out, I had an encounter with a crucifix. Here’s is how I described it:
Two Sundays ago, I happened to be in the sacristy of my church speaking with our pastor, when I noticed a beautiful crucifix standing up on a pedestal. It must have been about 3 feet high. A crucifix, of course, is probably the most powerful and popular sacramental in the Catholic faith and is a witness to St. Paul’s admonition to preach Christ crucified: “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified…” (1 Cor.1:21-23). For me, this crucifix had a much more powerful effect than any other crucifix I had ever seen. It made a profound impact. Seeing my reaction to it, the lady who was entrusted with it at our parish informed me that it was from Montreal, and it had been visiting various parishes in the archdiocese. It was scheduled to go back to its home on Friday (Apr.17), but she added nonchalantly, “You can have it for Thursday if you like.” As she made that offer, a very unmistakable thought immediately came to me, “You’ll need it. Say yes.” So we picked it up on Thursday morning after Mass and placed it on our little “altar” in our home. Here are a couple of pictures of it:
In the Catholic faith, there are sometimes supernatural manifestations which occur through sacramentals such as statutes and icons to remind us of the incarnational reality of the Christian faith – that pure spirit (God) used matter (the human flesh of Jesus) to save mankind. The same principle is applied through the use of inanimate objects like statues and pictures. It is not that the things in themselves have any real worth or power (like pagans wrongly believe), but it is that God uses these objects to communicate his power and love and therefore makes them holy and set apart, not unlike what the early Christians experienced with St. Paul’s handkerchief (Cf. Acts 19:11). In the case of this particular crucifix, the lady informed us that it oozes holy oil. When I touched it, it did indeed seem damp and if you looked closely at the body, you could see little pockets of an oily substance emanating from some apparent pores. (I, myself, am not making any supernatural claims about it. I am simply observing what I saw and the fact that the Church does recognize that these manifestations do indeed occur. Whether this particular phenomenon is, in fact, supernatural is not my declaration to make or to deny.)
Embroiled in the whole Development & Peace fiasco, I thought the offer of hosting the crucifix might well be related to this…that some negative thing was going to happen on Thursday. And sure, enough, Thursday rolled around and indeed bad things did happen. It was probably the most difficult time for me as a Catholic, and so the presence of this powerful crucifix at my home helped me regain my confidence and love for the Church.
In my contemplation and prayer on Thursday night and as I gazed on His face, I was consumed by that look. The profound sadness of that face…the empathy that it evokes….the helpless expression. As I sat staring at it, enraptured by His gaze, I felt a strong sense of Our Lord’s helplessness and betrayal during his crucifixion. It was a consolation to me as I united my small suffering with the Master’s suffering – to accept it, to understand it, and to share in it.
And that is what was being repeated now through our laxity, complicity, and negligence in fighting for the innocent and the helpless unborn children.
They are crucifying me again, and few are helping me.
The disunity in humanity. The separation. The hatred. The divorce. The violence. All of it was being manifested through abortion which was separating the Church, the body of Christ. This was the ache I saw in our Lord’s face that night.
Why does this have to be?
That Thursday (Apr. 16, 2009) which I mentioned above was the day that Fr. Rosica called me and we got into nasty argument…and it really has not stopped since…nor has the scandal surrounding Development & Peace which now threatens to split this church and whose abortion scandal this blog has played a secondary, yet major role.
That face of Our Lord has haunted me for two years…and I had a suspicion (and a horror) that I was going to be involved somehow in a significant way. But the idea seemed so outlandish that I brushed it off. A blogger with an insignificant readership? “Don’t be ridiculous”, I thought to myself. But as things have deteriorated these past two years with the Development & Peace Abortion scandal, my mind would race back to the image of that anguished gaze…a gaze of love and helplessness. That crucifix from Quebec continues to speak to me each day.
And so here we are. Two years later, to the day.
Dear reader please join me in praying a rosary every day until Divine Mercy Sunday for the unity of the Canadian Church and her bishops. Pray also for their fidelity to the Gospel of Life.