Let us be with the Holy Church, whether under persecution or during Her triumphal ‘Palm Sunday.’ Even if the Holy Church is devastated by the wolves of heresy, let us stand with Her, fighting for Her, suffering with Her, praying with Her.
The Holy Father Leo XIII says, and subsequent Pontiffs have repeated, communism is an evil of moral origin. Economic and political factors are present but moral problems produce the communist movement. More than anything else, communism causes the moral breakdown of today’s civilization. This moral crisis has economic, social and political consequences. Thus, the problems inside finance, politics and society will only be solved when this moral crisis is resolved.
However, only the Church can provide a solution to this moral crisis. Only Catholicism is armed with the supernatural and natural resources to do this. The Church has the marvelous gift of producing in souls the fruits of virtue essential for a Catholic civilization to flourish.
These conclusions are taken directly from the Papal Encyclicals. It suffices to open them up to find what we are saying.
“Even if Holy Church is devastated by the wolves of heresy”
If only the Church can remedy contemporary evils, then we must strive to eliminate them within Church ranks.
It matters little that others do not do their duty. Let us do ours. Only after having done everything possible—meaning absolutely everything and not just “a little” or “a lot”—can we resign ourselves to the coming avalanche.
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Even if the whole world should perish and the Church be devastated by the wolves of heresy, She is immortal. She will float above the flood’s raging waters. After the storm, the men who will found the civilization of tomorrow will come out from within Her sacred bosom like Noah from the Ark.
However, some Catholics do not want to make this great effort. Like the Jews, they understand Christ only on a throne of glory. They are faithful to Him only on days like Palm Sunday when the crowd cheers Him and covers His path with garments. For them, Christ must be an earthly King. He must continuously dominate the world. They no longer want to hear about Him if the wickedness of men temporarily reduces Him from King to the Crucified One, from Sovereign to Victim.
Holy Church would also pass through Calvary
For these people, Christ did not come to save souls for eternity. He came to establish a corporate regime around the world and fight communism. If communism momentarily wins, it will be a short step for some people to join the communists and wield the whip to scourge the great Culprit!
However, Christ wanted to go through all embarrassments and humiliations to show that the Church would also have to endure Calvaries, humiliations, and defeats in Her history. Fidelity on Golgotha is much more commendable than on Mount Tabor.
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Our Lord submitted to all humiliations on Calvary to teach a lesson to these people. However, He also wanted Palm Sunday’s glory to teach another lesson to a different group of people capable of understanding its message.
A Message to Catacombalists
Yet another group of people has the detestable mentality that finds it only natural for Christ to suffer and for the Church to be harassed, humiliated, and persecuted. They are selfish people “cujus Deus venter est”—“whose God is their belly.”
Since the Church must imitate Christ, these people think it natural that Her enemies overwhelm Her and make Her suffer. They say this persecution repeats the Passion of Christ. However, while His Passion is repeated, they lead plush and comfortable lives indulging in orgies, immorality, indulging all the senses and practicing all sins.
The whip with which the Temple vendors were expelled was made for such people.
To such “catacombalists,” we say that we must not cross our arms when the Church’s enemies attack us. We must not sleep while the Passion is renewed. Christ recommended that His Apostles pray and watch. We must accept the Church’s sufferings with resignation as Our Lady accepted her Son’s Passion. However, we must not be unfaithful disciples, facing the Savior’s pains with drowsiness, indifference and cowardice. This would be a reason for our eternal condemnation.
Thus, we must always be with the Church “because She alone has words of eternal life.” Let us fight for Her when attacked. But let us fight like martyrs until we shed all our blood and use our last ounce of energy and intelligence.
If, after all these efforts, the Church remains oppressed, let us then suffer with Her like Saint John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross. We can then be assured that a merciful Jesus will not deny us the splendid prize of contemplating His divine and supreme glory in this world or the next.
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The above meditation by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira was published in Legionário in 1937. Let us recall the historical situation: Communism in Russia, Nazism in Germany, and Fascism in Italy. The article has been slightly adapted and edited for publication.