O le salamo o le le na ona taʻu atu o laʻu mea sese na fai;
o le liliu o loʻu tua i le sese ma amata liutino tagata i le Talalelei.
I lenei faalagolago faalagolago i le lumanai o le faa-Kerisiano i le lalolagi i aso nei.
E le talitonu le lalolagi i mea na aʻoaʻo mai e Keriso
aua tatou te le liutino tagata.
—Servant of God Catherine Doherty, mai Kisi o Keriso
LE O le sili ona leaga ole aʻafiaga ole ekalesia o loʻo faʻaauau pea ile taimi nei. O lenei mea na mafua ai "suʻesuʻe lemu" taʻitaʻia e le aufaasālalau a le Katoliko, manaʻomia le toe fuataʻiina o suiga, o le toefaʻaleleia o ala mataala, faʻafouina o taualumaga, faʻateʻaina o epikopo, ma isi. Peitai o nei mea uma ua le mafai ona iloaina le poʻa moni o le faʻafitauli ma le mafuaʻaga o le "faʻamautuina" uma na faatuina e oʻo mai i le taimi nei, tusa lava poʻo le a le lagolagoina e le toʻasa amiotonu ma le mafaufau lelei, e le mafai ona feagai ma le faʻalavelave i totonu o le faʻalavelave.
THE HEART OF THE CRISIS
At the end of the nineteenth century, the popes had begun to sound an alarm that a troublesome world-wide revolution was underway, one so insidious, that it seemed to herald the “last times” foretold in Sacred Scripture.
…those dark times seem to have come which were foretold by St. Paul, in which men, blinded by the just judgment of God, should take falsehood for truth, and should believe in “the prince of this world,” who is a liar and the father thereof, as a teacher of truth: “God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying (2 Tesa. Ii., 10). I taimi mulimuli o le a o ese nisi mai le faatuatuaga, ma usitaʻi i agaga o mea sese ma aʻoaʻoga a temoni ” (1 Timo. Iv., 1). —POPE LEO XIII, Talimalo Illud Munus, Le. 10
The most reasonable response at the time was to confirm the immutable truths of the Faith and condemn the heresies of modernism, Marxism, communism, socialism, and so forth. The popes also began to appeal to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Blessed Mother, the Archangel Michael and seemingly the whole host of heaven. By the 1960’s, however, the Galuloloiga o amioga mama seemed unstoppable. The sexual revolution, no-fault divorce, radical feminism, contraception, pornography, and the emergence of mass social communication that fomented it all, were well underway. The Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life lamented that secularized culture had even penetrated deeply into Western religious orders…
…and yet religious life is supposed to be precisely an alternative to the ‘dominate culture’ instead of reflecting it. —Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect; from Benedict XVI, Light of the World by Peter Seewald (Ignatius Press); p. 37
Pope Benedict added:
…the intellectual climate of the 1970s, for which the 1950s had already paved the way, contributed to this. A theory was even finally developed at that time that pedophilia should be viewed as something positive. Above all, however, the thesis was advocated—and this even infiltrated Catholic moral theology—that there was no such thing as something that is bad in itself. There were only things that were “relatively” bad. What was good or bad depended on the consequences. —Ibid. i. 37
We know the rest of the sad but true story of how moral relativism has all but collapsed the foundations of Western civilization and the credibility of the Catholic Church.
It became clear in the 60’s that what the Church was doing, the status quo, was not enough. The threat of Hell, the Sunday obligation, the lofty rubrics, etc.—if they were effective at keeping adherents in the pews—were no longer doing so. It was then that St. Paul VI identified the heart of the crisis: the fatu lava ia.
EVANGELIZATION MUST BECOME OUR MISSION AGAIN
Paul VI’s landmark Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae, which addressed the contentious issue of birth control, has become the hallmark of his pontificate. But it was not its faʻaaliga. That was elucidated several years later in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (“Proclaiming the Gospel”). As if lifting layers of soot and dust from an ancient icon, the pontiff transcended centuries of dogma, politics, canons and councils to bring the Church back to her essence and mafuaaga e avea ai: to proclaim the Gospel and Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of every creature.
Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection. —POPE ST. PAULO VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, n 14; faʻatau ie
Moreover, the crisis was a matter of the heart: the Church no longer acted as a believing Church. She had lost her first love, so wonderfully lived and proclaimed by the saints, which was to patino ma without reserve give oneself to Jesus—as spouses to one another. This was to become the “program” of seminaries, schools,
and religious institutions: for every Catholic to truly incarnate the Gospel, to make Jesus loved and known, first within, and then without in a world that was “thirsting for authenticity.”Evangelii Nuntiandi, n 76; faʻatau ie
E manaʻomia e le lalolagi ni mea faigofie mo tatou, o le agaga o le tatalo, o le alofa i tagata uma, ae maise lava i e matitiva ma e matitiva, usitaʻi ma lotomaulalo. A aunoa ma lenei faʻailoga o le paia, o le a faigata le tatou upu i le paʻi atu i le fatu o tagata faʻaonapo nei. E lamatia ai le le aoga ma le aoga. —POPE ST. PAULO VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, n 76; faʻatau ie
In fact, it has been suggested by some theologians that Pope John Paul II was a “ghost writer” behind Evangelii Nuntiandi. Indeed, during his own pontificate, the saint continually stressed the need for a “new evangelization,” particularly of cultures that were once evangelized. The vision he put forth could not have been clearer either:
I sense that the moment has come to commit uma of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes [to the nations]. —POPE ST. IOANE PAUL II, Redemptoris Misio, n 3; faʻatau ie
Seeing the young as abandoned and perishing for lack of a vision, he inaugurated World Youth Days and enlisted them to become an army of evangelists:
Aua le fefefe e o i fafo i auala ma i nofoaga faitele, pei o le uluaʻi Aposetolo na folafolaina Keriso ma le Tala Lelei o le faʻaola i malae o taulaga, taulaga ma nuʻu. E le o se taimi lenei e ma ai i le Tala Lelei. O le taimi e folafola ai mai le taualuga. Aua le fefe e faʻamavae mai le sologa lelei ma masani ai ituaiga olaga, ina ia mafai ai ona avea le luʻi o le faʻalauiloaina o Keriso i le "taulaga tele" o aso nei. O oe e tatau ona "alu i fafo" ma valaaulia tagata uma e te feiloaʻi i le taumafataga na saunia e le Atua mo ona tagata. E le tatau ona nana le Tala Lelei ona o le fefe ma le le kea. E leʻi fuafuaina e nana faʻalilolilo. E tatau ona tuu i luga o se tulaga ina ia mafai ai e tagata ona vaai i lona malamalama ma avatu le viiga i lo tatou Tama faalelagi. —Homily, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, Aukuso 15th, 1993; faʻatau ie
Sixteen years had passed when his successor Pope Benedict likewise stressed, now, the utter urgency of the Church’s mission:
I o tatou aso, pe a oʻo i nofoaga lautele o le lalolagi o le faʻatuatua ua i se tulaga mataʻutia o le mou atu e pei o se afi e le o toe i ai le suauʻu, o le sili atu le faʻamuamua o le faia o le Atua i lenei lalolagi ma faʻaali atu i aliʻi ma fafine le ala i le Atua. E le naʻo se atua, ae o le Atua na fetalai i luga o Sinai; i lena Atua o ona fofoga tatou te iloa i le alofa e fetaomi atu "i le iuga" (Faaa. Jn 13: 1) – in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. —POPE FAAMATALAGA XVI, Tusi o Lana Paia Pope Benedict XVI ia Epikopo uma o le Lalolagi, Mati 12, 2009; faʻatau ie
THE PRESENT CALL
Benedict XVI’s letter, addressed to “All the Bishops of the World,” acted as an examination of conscience of how well the Church responded to the directives of his predecessors. If the faith of the flock was in danger of dying out, who was to blame but its teachers?
O le tagata onapo nei e sili atu lona faʻalogo i molimau nai lo faiaoga, ma afai na te faʻalogo i faiaʻoga, e mafua ona o latou o molimau. -Evangelii Nuntiandi, n 41; faʻatau ie
If the world was descending into darkness, was it not because the light of the world, which the Church is (Matt 5:14), was itself fading?
Here we come to the crisis within the crisis. The call to evangelize by the popes was being made to men and women who perhaps themselves had not been evangelized. After Vatican II, religious institutions became hotbeds of liberal theology and heretical teaching. Catholic retreats and convents became centres for radical feminism and the “new age.” Several priests recounted to me how homosexuality was rampant in their seminaries and how those who held orthodox beliefs would sometimes be sent for “psychological evaluation.”ff. Wormwood But perhaps most troubling is that prayer and the rich spirituality of the saints was rarely if ever taught. Instead, intellectualism dominated as Jesus became a mere historical figure rather than the resurrected Lord, and the Gospels were treated as laboratory rats to be dissected rather than the living Word of God. Rationalism became the death of mystery. Thus, said John Paul II:
O nisi taimi e oʻo lava i tagata Katoliko ua leiloa pe leai foi se avanoa e tofo ai ia Keriso lava ia: e leʻo Keriso o se 'faʻataʻitaʻiga' poʻo le 'taua', ae o le Alii soifua, 'o le ala, ma le upu moni, ma le ola'. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, LʻOsservatore Romano (Igilisi Igilisi o le Vatican Nusipepa), Mati 24, 1993, i.3.
This is what Pope Francis has sought to revive in the Church at this late hour, in this “time of mercy,” which he feels is “running out.”speech in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; newsmax.com, Iulai 10th, 2015 Drawing heavily upon his predecessors on the theme of evangelization, Francis has challenged the priesthood and faithful in sometimes the frankest terms to become moni. O lena not enough to know and regurgitate apologetics or maintain our rituals and traditions, he has insisted. We must each become touchable, present, and transparent heralds of a Gospel of Joy—the title of his Apostolic Exhortation.
… O le faievagelia e le tatau ona foliga pei o se tasi faatoa foi mai mai se falelauasiga! Seʻi tatou toe faʻaleleia atili ma loloto lo tatou naunautaiga, o le “fiafia fiafia ma faʻamafanafanaina o le faʻaevagelia, tusa lava pe o loimata e tatau ai ona tatou lulu… Ma talosia ia mafai e le lalolagi o lo tatou taimi, o loʻo suʻesuʻeina, o nisi taimi ma le tiga, o nisi taimi ma le faʻamoemoe, mafai ia maua le tala lelei e le mai i faievagelia o loʻo faanoanoa, lotovaivai, le onosai pe popole foi, ae mai faifeʻau o le Tala Lelei o latou olaga ua susulu mai ma le naunautai, o e na muaʻi mauaina le olioli ia Keriso ". —POPE Farani, Evangelii Gaudium, n 10; faʻatau ie
Those words were first penned by St. Paul VI, by the way.Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 Tesema 1975), 80: AAS 68 (1976), 75. Thus, the present call could not be clearer as a call from Christ Himself who said to the disciples: "O ai lava e faʻalogo ia te oe faʻalogo mai ia te aʻu." Luka 10: 16 O fea la tatou te o ai mai iinei?
The first step is for each of us, individually, to “open wide our hearts to Jesus Christ.” To go somewhere alone in nature, your bedroom, or the quiet of an empty church… and speak to Jesus as He is: a living Person who loves you more than anyone does or can. Invite Him into your life, ask Him to change you, to fill you with His Spirit, and to renew your heart and life. This is the place to start tonight. And then He will say, “Sau, mulimuli mai ia te aʻu.” Mareko 10: 21 He started to change the world with only twelve men, then; it seems to me that it will be a remnant again, called upon to do the same…
I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”. The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards! —POPE Farani, Evangelii Gaudium, n 3; faʻatau ie
Thanks to everyone who has been contributing your prayers and financial support to this ministry this week. Thank you and may God richly bless you!
E malaga ma Mareko i le Lenei le Upu,
kiliki i luga le fuʻa i lalo e lesitala.
O lau imeli o le a le faʻasoaina i se tasi.