Two crises in the past few weeks have made me reflect deeply on the current state of the Church and society. First we had the confusing video of this month’s prayer intentions released by the Vatican, which seem to approach the sort of religious indifference that we were warned about in healthier times. Such thinking comes easily to those who forget the “scandal of particularity” that is Christ (and His Church). The second crisis is the NDP’s 21st century attempt at a little caesaropapism here in Alberta, striving to push a confused agenda on Catholic schools.
With these two issues fresh in my mind, I was watching Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ with my RS 25 class this week. As we were watching the scene of Christ’s carrying the Cross, something struck me that I had never reflected upon before. Our Lord, whose Body has suffered innumerable wounds from the abuse and scourging He has received, is unable to continue His trek to Golgotha alone. Thus the Roman soldiers demand an innocent bystander, Simon of Cyrene, to lift the weight of the Cross for Him and assist in carrying it to the site of the Crucifixion. As I sat watching the movie, tears rolling down my cheeks, I was struck by the fact that Holy Mother Church has often had recourse to St. Simons throughout Her history.
The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, has often been scourged and wounded by enemies within and without. In such times, the Church, much like Our Lord’s body, is almost unable to complete its apportioned tasks by its own strength. Thus the Holy Spirit raises up new Simons who, by the grace of God, take the weight of the Cross upon their shoulders and carry it while the Body of Christ is temporarily weakened.
As I read through the second volume of Warren Carroll’s magnificent history of Christendom, I was struck by two “Simons” in particular: St. Alfred the Great of England and King Alfonso III the Great of Spain. These two men, living during the true dark ages (late 800s), kept and spread the Faith when the Church and the Papacy were in shambles, while fighting off almost constant attacks by barbarians or Muslims. If we have only a bit of the virtue of such men, perhaps we too can be “Simons”, helping the Church today. If Bishop Athanasius Schneider is correct that, “We are in the fourth great crisis of the Church,” then the wounds in the Body of Christ may require us to carry a little more of the weight of Our Lord’s Cross here on earth.
From the website Into the Breach , discussed earlier on the Guild’s blog, comes a new and very beautiful movie for all Catholic men – “A Call to Battle”. We would challenge you to watch the movie, then read some of the literature below it about the current NDP government’s current attack on Catholic Education.
The need to be educated and informed is ever increasing as our government increases its attacks on our Catholic Faith and families. Most recently the government of Alberta’s Education Ministry has increased its attacks on our children by trying to force their gender fantasies into our Catholic schools. Bishop Henry has come out and denounced Alberta Education as acting in a “totalitarian” way, attempting to force Catholic institutions to teach what they know to be contrary to the truth of reality and the Catholic Faith. It is no surprise that within hours of Bishop Henry’s letter being made public he has come under fire in the media.
We are incredibly blessed to have a Bishop who is courageous enough to proclaim the truth knowing he is opening himself up to the wolves of relativism, secularism and modernism. We are also incredibly blessed to have his Excellency, Bishop Frederick Henry, scheduled to be our speaker for our June event on June 16th 2016.
Here is the Ministry of Education’s newest policy:
You can read the Bishop’s letters here:
http://www.calgarydiocese.ca/messages-from-the-bishop/1367-pastoral-letter.html (Totalitarianism in Alberta)
(Heal the wounds, heal the wounds, so many wounds…)
“Gender Theory” and “Gender Ideology” – Select Resources (from the USCCB)
“They Are Not Everywhere. They Are Not Like Us” (from Crisis Magazine)
We are very fortunate to be able to have Fr. Jerome Lavigne come to speak to us this month, on Thursday, January 28. He is an exceptional speaker. By visiting the link above, you may listen to his homilies, as well as find out more about him.
When and Where: Thursday, January 28th, 2016
At St. Anthony’s Church (5340 4th Street SW)
— Holy Hour (Adoration and Confession) – 6:00 PM
— Benediction – 6:30 PM
— Holy Mass (EF) – 7:00 PM
At Old Town & Country Hotel (1825 50th Street SE)
— Dinner (Ribs and Sides) – following Mass
— Talk Presented by Fr. Jerome Lavigne on “Divine Mercy in Relation to the Jubilee Year” – after supper
Cost: $20 per person, which includes a wonderful dinner and an honorarium for the speaker. Drinks available for purchase.
Contact: To sign up for this month’s event, please send an email with your name and the number of guests to our email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
To find out more information about the event and how to attend, please view the link below.
The Father Lacombe Guild
Fr Lacombe Poster JANUARY2016