I am currently reading Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich’s “Dolorious Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ” and I just finished the portion where He sees all the sins of mankind, especially of those in the Church. She includes those yet to come (after her time-1800s), which I can see specifically being fulfilled in our time.
But after describing these outrages, she mentions another group who pains our Lord just as much who “passed on in disgust at the wounds of His Church, as the Levite passed the poor man who had fallen among the robbers. Like unto cowardly and faithless children, who desert their mother in the middle of the night at the sight of thieves and robbers, they fled from His wounded Spouse.”
We need devoted souls in the battle. All groups like the SSPX do is stay out of the fray and just watch and comment contemptuously or pretend the battle doesn’t exist at all or simply cause more problems–as St. Basil said during a similar time in Church history:
“For the saddest thing about it all is that the sound part is divided against itself, and the troubles we are suffering are like those which once befell Jerusalem when Vespasian was besieging it. In our case too, the Churches are reduced to utter helplessness by the war raging among those who are supposed to be orthodox.”
Instead we need to persevere patiently. I cannot stress patience enough, as St. Catherine says, “the love of divine charity is so closely joined in the soul with perfect patience, that neither can leave the soul without the other…”
This is the path to authentic reform (the Father speaking to her in The Dialogue):
“Therefore I give My servants hunger and desire for My honor, and the salvation of souls, so that, constrained by their tears, I may mitigate the fury of My divine justice. Take, therefore, your tears and your sweat, drawn from the fountain of My divine love, and, with them, wash the face of My Spouse. I promise you, that, by this means, her beauty will be restored to her, not by the knife nor by cruelty, but peacefully, by humble and continued prayer, by the sweat and the tears shed by the fiery desire of My servants, and thus will I fulfill your desire if you, on your part, endure much, casting the light of your patience into the darkness of perverse man…again I repeat my promise, that through the long endurance of My servants I will reform My spouse. Wherefore I invite you to endure, Myself lamenting with you over her iniquities.”
Maybe it is because I have been a greater sinner or committer of sacrilege in the past than the rest of you, but I can trust in the grace of God and prayer that if I have been saved from those ways, then others can too. I just need to always heed the words of the Apostle:
Titus 3 3 For we ourselves also were some time unwise, incredulous, erring, slaves to divers desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared: 5 Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us.
It is my own lack of humility and self-knowledge that allows me to be angry with others who commit crimes that in times past with less mediums of communication would never have been known beyond a small locale, but are no less abominable than my own, except mine were mercifully not broadcast across the globe. I should have the utmost compassion and pity for those in the state I was, pouring out my love and tears and groans as Christ did for poor sinners, even though He was spotless, while it is only from the mercy of God that I am not burning in Gehenna at this moment.
Complaining about sinners, fleeing from them, losing faith in the power and grace of Jesus Christ all will do nothing but allow our own souls to plunge into darkness. Patience, penances, prayer, and the fire of Divine love enkindled and spread by the Holy Spirit will make a difference.