Spiritual Resolutions for 2019

Spiritual Resolutions for 2019

Few will disagree that 2018 was a wild year for the Catholic Church. Cardinals McCarrick and Wuerl, the Pennsylvania grand jury report, Archbishop Carlo Vigano’ breaking ranks as a whistle blower so he could have a clean conscience, Bishop Malone of Buffalo & 60 Minutes, and the doublespeak of many in the hierarchy confusing the laity and clergy alike. Many disruptions in the church were unprecedented. For example, never before in the history of the church have we seen the promotion of an LGBT rainbow and environmental rosary promoted by a priest no less. The priest is Father James Martin, S.J., and the only thing you need to know about him, is that he is as far out there as anyone can imagine. The LGBT rainbow rosary reminds me of what Sister Lucia of Fatima said the world would go through a period of diabolical disorientation.” It appears that not a single Jesuit has reprimanded him in print, and there are approximately 12,000 of them in the world. The Jesuits as a body of men need a Reformation. A renewal. Historically, as an order of men they have done great good, however, in the last several generations they have done serious harm. There are some good ones to be sure, but not many remain.

In the bible story of the adulterous woman (John 8), Jesus came to the aid of a woman who was about to be stoned. Jesus said, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Then it says, “The oldest among them dropped their rocks first.” The accusers left, and Jesus was left alone with the woman. Then Jesus says, “I do not condemn you, but go and sin no more.” Jesus does not condemn, but He instructs us to go and sin no more. He did not say, “who am I to judge.” We are not called to condemn either, but we are to put forth the strength and strong words of the gospel without compromise. There are clearly times where the Word of God cannot be altered, and the acceptance of this behavior is not scripturally or morally acceptable. Theologians may fiddle with encyclicals, but no one can change the Word of God.

Sin has become normalized, and we have grown accustomed to it. There is a fear to speak out. Not being outraged by an LGBT rosary defies all sensibilities. Martin is promoting a sacrilegious rosary, and leading Church authorities refuse to reprimand or discipline him. We know things in life by their boundaries, and this is way out of bounds. So, the question is, what will it take for moral outrage? Father Martin has been a darling of the Vatican under Pope Francis, and was even scheduled to speak on matters of the family in Dublin, Ireland, until he was canceled in 2018. This fact alone should tell you where the leading hierarchy want to bring the church. There is an overt agenda to normalize homosexual sin under the false guise of diversity and inclusiveness. Out of the tens of thousands of priests in the world to speak on family matters, Martin was a scheduled speaker in Dublin at a Vatican approved conference. To perpetuate an agenda like this is one with a darkened intellect, much in the same way Saint Paul spoke about the pagan Romans as “being given over to depraved minds.”

The church sex abuse scandal is coming from the top. This scandal will steamroll in 2019 as the state Attorney Generals get more coordinated to file suits against the church. As of today, 45 state AG’s are working with the Attorney General of Pennsylvania to plan a path forward. When finished, it may include all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. Pastors can expect to see donations shrink like never before, as the laity and people are no longer buying the lies and cover-ups. Donations will dwindle worse than most think affecting the entire spectrum of social services. It is the conservatives who donate to the Church, and the liberals to groups like Planned Parenthood.

The last week of December 2018, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston reported Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York to the Vatican after reading a story in the New York Times about abuse. The N.Y. Times reported about a known sex abuse incident by a priest that Dolan had lauded – after knowing of the situation. O’Malley would have known of Dolan’s conduct for years, but this gave him an excuse to turn Dolan into Rome.   This event is probably also a first as it was done in public. One is reminded of the prophecy of Akita, Japan that spoke of this in the early 1970’s when it was first prophesied, “Cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops, priests against priests…”   2019 will see more of this division, and it will be even more public and virulent as both sides dig in to promote their view of how they would like to see their ideology promoted.

The Deep State of the entrenched Vatican curia is a club of close interlocking relationships like the political arena, that have helped promote each others careers for generations. Again, if you think 2018 was disruptive, 2019 will be more so.

All of the above leaves us with the question, how to achieve peace of mind and peace of soul? How best to love our family, friends, and those around us?  A few practical suggestions:

The amount of time spent on screens of all social classes is enormous, and growing. It is not hard to be in a public place and not see the majority of people staring at a screen. For the most part, news is repetitive, inane, banal, and a time sapper. If a person is totally absorbed with social media, it would be reasonable to say there is little time left for a spiritual life. If a person is experiencing a time of crisis in their life, a good counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist will tell that individual to stop watching the news. The news is designed for shock value (ratings) and this is terribly disruptive to our spirits. People say they have no time for spiritual development, but they do have time for up to four hours of TV on weeknights, and more on the weekend. Spend more time in prayer and Eucharistic Adoration. Mother Teresa (Saint) often said her order grew when it started daily Adoration.

A quiet time is where we hear God speaking to us; it is where we get our guidance for our activities. If a person is unable to get to daily Mass, waking up a little earlier to get direction in a quiet time is a good start. There is no growth without spiritual reading. The bible is the word of God. There is nothing else like it. There are many great authors in world history, but the words of Jesus are the way, the truth, and the light. Jesus never wrote a word, never traveled more than probably about 75 miles from his hometown, but He is the central figure in all world history. His words bother many because they are beauty and truth in stark contrast to a world of darkness and sin. The apostle John addresses this when he says, “the reason the world does not know us…” (I John 3:1-2, 21-24). The world hated Him before they hated you.

We know the fundamentals of the faith the same way we know we are not to eat carbs and sugar if we want to be healthy. We just don’t follow through on the spiritual enough. Spending time with God for spiritual growth in prayer, fasting, scripture study, fellowship, frequent Mass, and confession. Start reading one chapter a day of the New Testament, and in one year you will have read it all. Develop new habits. In times of stress, it is best to stick to the fundamentals. Near where I live there are four different forms of martial arts and self -defense in a contiguous office complex. They cater to all age groups, and they are busy from early morning until 10:00pm on week-nights with older groups. This is all well and good for self -image and child development when balanced, but the odds are heavy, there is little time or effort being spent on spiritual growth in their most formative years. It is a total disconnect to what is most important in the life of a child. If a balance is struck fine, but usually it is not. We find practical atheism around us all day.

Study to show thyself approved ” (2 Timothy 2:15).   Study the word in 2019 like you never studied it before. Read it as a love letter not an academic document. Apply it to your self and make it a way of life. It was the little people who followed Jesus because He spoke to their hearts. People are screaming in their hearts for the truth, but few know how to present it naturally on a level the unbeliever can understand or follow. Start by building a relationship with a person before spouting scripture passages they can’t hear. Once they know you care about them, they will listen. The acorn doesn’t grow to be an oak over night, nor does a person.  Go slow, be patient, and love them as a friend.