“…Satan hates you; he hates every soul, but he burns with a particular hatred for you, because you have snatched so many souls from his dominion.’” (Christ to Saint Faustina in Diary 421).
Recently, I read some writing of the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger.
In 1969, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made a prediction…
“We will soon have reduced priests to the role of social workers and the message of faith reduced to political views. Everything will seem lost, but at the right moment, right at the most dramatic stage of the crisis, the Church will be reborn. She will be smaller, poorer, almost catacombal, but even more holy. For it will no longer be the Church of those who seek to please the world, but the Church of the faithful to God and His eternal law.”
Honestly, upon reading this prediction, it appears that His Holiness was very close to describing the Church today… Today – especially as we continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various compromises that have been made to protect the vulnerable – it very often does seem that faith has been reduced to “political views”.
And yet, in this writing of 1969, Pope Emeritus expressed a profound sense of hope. And it is upon this HOPE that I have been reflecting over the last few days and weeks.
It appears quite strange to predict that “everything will seem lost” only to later explain that “the Church will be reborn…” And yet, this prediction makes perfect sense if we only have a little faith.
You see, if I am focused on my own power, then nothing is possible! After all, I do not even have the self-control to follow a diet for two days in a row, or the discipline to exercise regularly as I should and as is good for me. I even lack the fortitude to persevere in prayer – becoming distracted by a whole raft of meaningless things when I should have my eyes fixed firmly on my Beloved.
But I am not called to focus on my own power – you are not either… We are called to trust in the power of God!
In fact, the most recent revelation of Christ – through His revelations to Saint Faustina, which she recorded in her Diary, and which we venerate in the Divine Mercy Image – use the words “Jesus, I trust in You.” And this is because God is showing us – very explicitly in fact – that we must trust in Him, because without Him we are nothing! And that is true in every single part of our lives.
Saint Faustina wrote in her Diary 421, of an incident where devils were tormenting her in the form of cats which were unbearably heavy and which leaned on her legs all night.
And Saint Faustina’s response is such a wonderful example to me…
“I kept praying the rosary all the while, and toward dawn these beings vanished, and I was able to get some sleep. When I entered the chapel in the morning I heard a voice in my soul, ‘You are united to Me; fear nothing. But know, my child, that Satan hates you; he hates every soul, but he burns with a particular hatred for you, because you have snatched so many souls from his dominion.’” (Diary 421).
And that is what I wish – to snatch souls… Because – though Grace and no merit of my own – I am united to Him and because of that, I have nothing to fear…
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.