Monday, March 19, 2012

Spiritual Warfare

I have my problems with Father John Zuhlsdorf.  He posts some wonderful things on the liturgy and traditional Catholicism, but I think he tends to be politically partisan, siding with the Republicans, promoting people like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, who I feel are just one side of the same coin.  As I quoted Dr. Michael Jones, the Democrats are the party of sodomy, and the Republicans are the party of usury, and they have made a vow not to interfere with each other.  I think that can be plainly seen from the fact that no matter which party is in power, nothing ever changes except that everything keeps getting worse.  Abortion is still the law of the land, same sex marriage is spreading from state to state, we are still entering into war after war, our economy continues to spiral out of control, etc.  As I heard one person say, when it comes to choosing between Republicans and Democrats, it's like choosing between Satan and Lucifer. 

Father Z pushes the idea that if we just vote the right party into power - in his opinion, the Republicans - everything will be okay.  He has written on his blog that if the Republicans can take control, then the right judges will be appointed and that will solve many of our problems.  He tends to pit one side against the other.  He is, after all, a veteran of Fox News, where that seems to be what they are expert at - pitting one side against another. 

But Father Zuhlsdorf posted something well worth reading about the spiritual warfare going on in the world and how to deal with it.  And lo and behold, he did not use this post to push his "swag store" or ask for money or for someone to buy an item for him from his Amazon wish list. 

Maybe Father Z is having second thoughts about what will really destroy the evil in the land, and that it goes far beyond politics?

Of Penance and Preparation and Pilgrimage

We are headed into a time of true spiritual warfare [headed?  I think we are already there, and have been for some time]. The signs of this are thick in the air about us now.

We would do well to get ourselves ready. We need good examinations of conscience, good confessions, good Communions - always GOOD Communions. We might also do well to unite ourselves to larger groups in specific tasks. One reader here in another thread suggested a daily Rosary until Divine Mercy Sunday for the reconciliation of the SSPX. That’s just one idea, but it is a good one, since the potential division of those many good people from the Church is one of those signs I am talking about, especially when the Church is under grave attacks from secular forces.

We need good spiritual reading, and some silence each day [the Holy Father has been stressing the importance of silence, as I posted here and here]. We should introduce small mortifications if we haven’t already.

My I also suggest trying to cultivate a habit of saying during the day (along with your Angelus, etc.) and quite often little phrases such as “My Jesus, mercy!”?

I am talking about basics, right? Things we should be doing anyway? Prayers before meals? Examining our consciences daily? Mortifications? Turning our minds to God and calling on help from His holy saints? Asking our Guardian Angel for help? Works of mercy? Catholics should do all these things. I suppose what I am driving at, beyond just doing them, is to do them with an increasing sense of gratitude for God’s gifts and a rededication of our hearts to His.

As I have mentioned more than once, the concept of the pilgrimage, in particular the Camino of Santiago de Compostella, has been growing in my mind.

Another Catholic practice for doing penance for past sins or also readying oneself for a major change in life is a pilgrimage. Arriving at a Holy Shrine and praying there can be a grace-filled turning point, but so is the actual journey to get there.

We of the Church Militant are warrior pilgrims on the march to our heavenly Fatherland. In making a pilgrimage we manifest outwardly something of that interior identity we have as baptized members of the Lord’s Mystical Body here on earth.

Perhaps you could think about a trip to a nearby Shrine, if not that of Santiago or the other great pilgrimage places. There are any number of “National Shrines” around our respective countries. For example, in my neck of the woods there is the National Shrine of St. Paul, the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota. Near Detroit is the Shrine of the Little Flower. In Washington DC is the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In NY state there is a Shrine of the North American Martyrs. In England there is a Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. In Quebec there is St. Anne de Beaupre. Once you start paying attention, you find shrines everywhere.

Just a few rambling thoughts, for what they are worth.

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