The Passion of the Church

If the word has not converted,
it will be blood that converts.
—ST. JOHN PAUL II, from poem “Stanislaw“

Some of my regular readers may have noticed that I have written less in recent months. Part of the reason, as you know, is because we are in the fight for our lives against industrial wind turbines — a fight we are beginning to make some progress on.

But I have also felt drawn deeply into the Passion of Jesus, or more precisely, into the silence of His Passion. There reached a point when He was surrounded by so much division, so much rancour, so much accusation and betrayal, that words could no longer speak or pierce hardened hearts. Only His Blood could carry His voice and complete His mission

Many gave false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree… But He was silent and made no answer. (Mark 14:56, 61)

So, too, at this hour, hardly any voices agree in the Church anymore. Confusion abounds. Authentic voices are persecuted; dubious ones are lauded; private revelation is despised; questionable prophecy is promoted; schism is openly entertained; truth is relativized; and the papacy has all but lost its moral authority through not only continual ambiguous messaging but outright endorsement of a dark global agenda.[1]cf. here or here; see also Francis and the Great Shipwreck

Real Christianity is being eclipsed as the words of Jesus are reaching fulfillment before our very eyes:

All of you will have your faith shaken, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be dispersed.’ (Mark 14:27)

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers... The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675, 677

The Passion of the Church

The Passion of the Church has been at the heart of The Now Word from the very beginning of this apostolate. It is synonymous with the “Great Storm,” this Great Shaking spoken of in the Catechism.

In Gethsemane and the night of Christ’s betrayal, we see a mirror of the terrible factions that have recently emerged in the Body of Christ: radical traditionalism that draws the sword and self-righteously condemns one’s perceived opponents (cf. John 18:10); cowardice that flees the growing woke mob and hides in silence (cf. Matt 26:56, Mark 14:50); full-blown modernism that denies and compromises the truth (cf. Mark 14:71); and the outright betrayal by the successors of the apostles themselves:

Today the Church is living with Christ through the outrages of the Passion. The sins of her members come back to her like strikes on the face… The Apostles themselves turned tail in the Garden of Olives. They abandoned Christ in His most difficult hour… Yes, there are unfaithful priests, bishops, and even cardinals who fail to observe chastity. But also, and this is also very grave, they fail to hold fast to doctrinal truth! They disorient the Christian faithful by their confusing and ambiguous language. They adulterate and falsify the Word of God, willing to twist and bend it to gain the world’s approval. They are the Judas Iscariots of our time. —Cardinal Robert Sarah, Catholic HeraldApril 5th, 2019

Here, I cannot help but repeat the prescient words of St. John Henry Newman who foresaw, with uncanny precision, the beginning of the Passion of the Church:

Satan may adopt the more alarming weapons of deceit—he may hide himself—he may attempt to seduce us in little things, and so to move the Church, not all at once, but by little and little from her true position. I do believe he has done much in this way in the course of the last few centuries… It is his policy to split us up and divide us, to dislodge us gradually from our rock of strength. And if there is to be a persecution, perhaps it will be then; then, perhaps, when we are all of us in all parts of Christendom so divided, and so reduced, so full of schism, so close upon heresy. When we have cast ourselves upon the world and depend for protection upon it, and have given up our independence and our strength, then [Antichrist] will burst upon us in fury as far as God allows him. —Blessed John Henry Newman, Sermon IV: The Persecution of Antichrist

The Naked Christian

In Mark’s Gospel, there is a peculiar detail at the end of the Gethsemane narrative:

Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked. (Mark 14:51-52)

It reminds me of the “Prophecy at Rome” that Dr. Ralph Martin and I discussed not long ago:

I will lead you into the desert… I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on Me. A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for My Church, a time of glory is coming for My people. I will pour out on you all the gifts of My Spirit. I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen…. And when you have nothing but Me, you will have everything…

Everything around us right now is in a state of collapse — one, so subtle, that very few can even see it.

‘Civilizations collapse slowly, just slowly enough so you think it might not really happen. And just fast enough so that there’s little time to maneuver.’The Plague Journal, from the novel by Michael D. O’Brien, p. 160

It’s hard to explain, but when I walk into a store or a public place these days, it feels as though I have entered into a dream… into a world that once was, but is no more. I have never felt more alien to this world as I do now.

My eyes are dimmed with sorrow, worn out because of all my foes. Away from me, all who do evil! The LORD has heard the sound of my weeping… (Psalm 6:8-9)

For some reason I think you are weary. I know I am frightened and weary too. For the face of the Prince of Darkness is becoming clearer and clearer to me. It seems he does not care any more to remain “the great anonymous one,” the “incognito,” the “everyone.” He seems to have come into his own and shows himself in all his tragic reality. So few believe in his existence that he does not need to hide himself anymore! —Catherine Doherty to Thomas Merton, Compassionate Fire, The Letters of Thomas Merton and Catherine de Hueck Doherty, p. 60, March 17th, 1962, Ave Maria Press (2009)

Indeed, all of this is a stripping of the Bride of Christ — but not to leave her naked! Rather, the Divine Goal of this Passion and Final Trial is The Resurrection of the Church and the clothing of the Bride in a beautiful new garment for a triumphant Era of Peace. If you are feeling discouraged, read again The Popes and The Dawning Era or Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!

The great weapon of the enemy is discouragement. Sometimes I think our discouragement is because we have lowered our eyes to the temporal plane, looking to the earth and those around us to give us what only God can. This is why the Saints managed to rise above their trials and even find joy in them: because they realized that all that was passing, including their suffering, was the means of their purification and hastening to union with God.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” If we are being led into the silence of Christ’s Passion, it is so that we will give a greater witness through a purity of heart and divine love. So, what are we waiting for?

…since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2)



Related Reading

The Silent Answer

The Final Trial?


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1 cf. here or here; see also Francis and the Great Shipwreck