The most evident mark of God's anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness....
When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, "Return, O ye revolting children...and I will give you pastors according to my own heart" (Jer. 3:14-15). Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge visited upon the people in consequence of sin.
St. John Eudes, The Priest, His Dignity and ObligationsGo back and read that quote four or five times.
Let's face facts: the Church is in a deep crisis, and it starts with the laity. There are not enough faithful Catholics. The traditional nuclear family is giving way to promiscuity and concubinage; the lives of the children born into such situations are a house of cards. Catholics divorce at the same rate as the rest of the population. Parishes are closing, not only because there are too few priests, but because so few of us in the pews actually attend Mass and support the Church anymore. Many Catholics do not keep Sunday as a holy day, filling it full of unnecessary servile work or less-than-wholesome recreation. Many Catholics do not know that theirs is the True Church, or even care whether there is such a thing as the True Church. Many Catholics do not know the content of the Catholic Faith; many do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist; many think the Church's stance against intrinsic evils like abortion, contraceptives and gay "marriage" is stupid. More than half of Catholics in the U.S. voted for Barack Obama, probably the most pro-abortion, anti-Catholic president in the history of our country.
In short: we, the laity, are a mess. And since it is from the ranks of the laity that clergy and religious are drawn, it should come as no surprise to us to find that they, too, are a mess. Congregations of women religious have gone off the rails, kicking the habit and embracing feminolatry, socialism, lesbianism, Eastern mysticism and all sorts of other poisons. Catholic worship has degenerated to little more than a fourth-rate night-club act, with dreadful music, improvised rites and ham-handed attempts at humor. Bishops run their dioceses as if they were middle-management bureaucrats instead of shepherds of souls. Many priests give themselves over to worldly, and even sinful and downright disgusting, pursuits; the faithful ones are persecuted by their own brethren. Many clergy of every rank are mired in modernism: rejecting the supernatural; accepting only the gray, the flat-footed, the pedestrian, the ugly as reality; regarding the Church as just another political institution instead of as the pure and spotless Bride of Christ; and reducing the miracles recounted in Scripture to mere psychological or meteorological aberrations, and God to a mere impersonal force, secondary in importance to Man. And, of course, there are not nearly enough priests and religious, thanks in no small part to liberal chancery staff and superiors who assiduously weed out orthodox candidates.
The laity in the world, the religious, and the clergy all react upon one another: none of them can be corrupted without also corrupting everyone else. Shrink the pool of faithful lay Catholics, and you shrink the number of faithful priests and religious. When religious abandon their charisms, they are not obtaining conversions or supporting the work of the clergy with their prayers. When priests go off the reservation, they are not forming faithful Catholics. And the results spill over into the world at large: because we Catholics have ceased to be Catholics in more than just name, the Catholic faith is far less of a force to be reckoned with: indecency reigns in advertising and entertainment; our schools and universities are centers of leftist, atheist indoctrination; our economies are turning socialist; and our governments are filled with assorted crooks, grifters and totalitarians.
How do we begin to reverse this trend? Step number one must be prayer and penance. We must begin to make reparation for our sins and pray for help. We cannot expect help unless we ask for it.
Accordingly, the Bl. Margaret of Castello Chapter of lay Dominicans in Boise, Idaho is undertaking a novena of fasts for vocations. For nine consecutive Fridays, beginning next Friday, the chapter will fast for the following intentions:
1. For more vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
2. For good and holy bishops and priests and religious.
3. For the conversion of bad bishops and priests and religious.
We urge you to join us in this endeavor. If you are also a Dominican, get your chapter or your house to join us. If you cannot fast, please pray or substitute some other penitential act in union with the fast. Since vocations come from us, the laity, we must act and not sit around waiting for the priests and religious to come to our rescue.
Then came the disciples to Jesus secretly, and said: Why could not we cast him out? Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you. But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.
P.S. Supertradmum is also putting together a fast on Friday, September 21st for a new President and a new America that puts God first. Even if you are not an American citizen, go over and pledge your support! Remember that America has always been the refuge of the downtrodden and oppressed from all over the world; if she falls, where shall we run to?