In many respects some Catholics are the Churches biggest enemies. When many Catholics disregard what the Pope says on various issues, when these same Catholics disregard what Church officials say about different issues and also relegate to the bin the Teachings, Traditions and the profound words of our martyrs and Saints, then what do these 'catholics' believe? Anything it seems so long as it is NOT Catholic!
There is the belief that persecution of the Faithful means either loss of life or the fear of losing one's life because of what they believe, and outside of that there is no persecution. In one perspective they are right, there are many Christians who are being martyred right now as we sit in our comfortable homes and sigh about these terrible atrocities. The persecution of Christians in China, North Korea, Palestinian persecution of Christians and the list goes on, and it is right that we should feel outrage about these atrocities, but what about the subtle persecution of the Catholic Church in our own countries? Do many even recognise the devil knocking at their door, or are they too busy reading the 'Da Vinci Code' as they allow their children to devour the latest 'Harry Potter' book?
Every time there is a Christian celebration whether it be Christmas or Easter we face the same diabolical attacks, which try and diminish or outright ban anything which has 'Christian' connotations so that a minority won't be offended! Yet every Christmas many Catholics join in the subtle attack on our Faith by reducing 'Merry Christmas' to the more lukewarm and politically acceptable 'Happy Holidays'! If you're thinking, 'but this is not so'! Then ask yourself one question, what did YOU say last Christmas?
What I would like to confront is the issue of "de-christianizing" Christianity, and why many Catholics are buying into it? If these groups of people and organizations don't believe in God, then why ban something which they think is little more than a 'fairy tale', is there a move to ban all books written by Hans Christian Anderson? Of course not, for these very organizations KNOW that Anderson wrote exactly that... fairytales. Why then do they have a frenzy if God's name is mentioned in prayer, or on government buildings and money? Why you may ask? Because they understand that God exists they simply wish to extinguish God from memory, unfortunately many Catholics are helping them in this diabolical endeavor!
It is time that Catholics woke up and realise that just because a gun is not pointed to their heads, that persecution doesn't exist within their own cultures. They need to smell the coffee and realise that persecution does not always equate to physical violence, there is persecution of the senses. As Catholics we are being assaulted everyday the only difference being is that the messenger has changed, instead of receiving a bullet we are being attacked by different media outlets, albeit the TV, cinema, internet or books. The terrible calamity here is that many Catholics are the first to buy or watch programs and books that the Vatican has denounced! How can this be, are we not good Catholics? If you buy blasphemous books or movies that denigrate our essential beliefs, then NO you are NOT a good Catholic! As St Theophilus of Antioch wrote, "if I call Him(God) Fire, I but mention His anger. You will say, then, to me, "Is God angry?" Yes; He is angry with those who act wickedly, but He is good, and kind, and merciful, to those who love and fear Him; for He is a chastener of the godly, and father of the righteous; but he is a judge and punisher of the impious."
Living life as a devout Catholic does not only mean we must make sure to say our morning prayer and our evening prayer and attend Mass on weekends, that is merely going through the motions what an insult to God! Living as a Catholic is to live what we believe daily, it is to practice the corporal works of mercy, to pray from the heart to God, to attend Mass in a spirit of Awe and to partake of the Sacraments with full knowledge a worshipful spirit and a clean intent. Being Catholic also means speaking up for the Faith when it is under attack, unfortunately in this sphere too many 'Catholics' are sleeping! As the Bible tells us when Jesus says, "But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" The question remains, will He?
It seems hating Catholics is the latest sport of choice and too many times the main applause is from 'Catholics' themselves as our Faith is defamed and denigrated daily! When the Catholic Church advises parents not to allow their children to read the cultish 'Harry Potter books, how many defied the Church's stance? How much sniggering was going on behind Closed doors as 'Catholics' ran out to buy the latest book from J. K. Rowling as if the author was more wise than the Church. Let us look at what the then Cardinal Ratzinger said about these 'harmless' books, "It is good, that you (Gabriele Kuby) enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly." One may think but this is not a Dogma or an Encyclical, do we disregard what one of the Church's great theologians thinks of this pervasive and subtle attack on our youth?
We also have cartoons which blaspheme our Holy Mother, the Mother of God, will Jesus find it amusing? It also insults our Holy Father. How many 'pseudo catholics' are giggling about this? As they tune into each revolting episode, will your Faith be uplifted and enlightened by watching this blasphemous and derogatory programe?
In recent years there have been many films depicting the life of Christ, one being 'The Last Temptation of Christ', the Vatican condemned this movie and requested that Catholics boycott that film which was and is an assault on our Faith, yet how many Catholics rushed to see it? Here is what the writer of that movie had to say about the Gospels, "The Gospels were rigged for political reasons from the get-go. They were written 30-40 years after the fact to curry favour with the Romans and separate the Christians from the Jews. So the Pharisees were made to seem much worse than they were and Pilate was shown to be more agonized." So the Holy Spirit is now a 'politician'? Anyone who saw that movie is a fool to themselves as they applaud their sophistication, and a disgrace to the Catholic Church!
Now many pseudo catholics are rushing out to buy the heretical and blasphemous book 'The Da Vinci Code' just so they wont be thought 'backward', who are they trying to impress with their 'enlightened' attitude for it is certainly not God! Why is this film creating such a scandal? Because it IS a scandal! When a book conveys the thought that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a sexual relationship which then produced children what does this suggest about Jesus Divinity, can God have sex with one of His creatures? Yet from many 'catholics' there is NO outrage about the NOT so subtle attack on what we should hold dear to us and that is the Teachings of the Catholic Church and its Traditions. Yet many say 'but it's only fiction' then why is the author Dan Brown suggesting that much of it is fact? Dan Brown states that Jesus was not Divine but an ordinary man and it was only in 325 A.D that Jesus was opined as Divine by Emperor Constantine. If this is the case, who then did St Paul see in his vision on the road to Damascus, Casper the ghost? I am sure that theory will be in Dan Brown's next book!
The major point to all this is not that Dan Brown wrote a blasphemous book which attacks our Faith, but that so many 'catholics' are supporting him in his heretical writings. What is the motivating force behind this level of acceptance of what is heresy, blasphemy and apostasy by catholics? This is THE decider, are catholics buying this book for purely entertainment purposes even though many Vatican officials have condemned it or could it be that they are buying it out of a spirit of rebellion?
The book 'The Da Vinci Code' is a hotch botch of indiscriminate material based mainly on the gnostic gospels rather then THE Gospels..what made Dan Brown choose to elicit most of his erroneous story from these outlawed gnostic gospels could he not handle the truth? Or maybe the Truth doesn't sell well, so he preferred scandal and lies over Divine Truth! If Dan Brown made this choice with money as a motivating principle, then what is the motivation of many catholics who have raced out to buy the book and wait with eager anticipation to see this blaspheme reproduced on the big screen? As Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said recently about the reason for so many 'catholics' buying this book, "there is the strategy of persuasion: You are not an adult Christian if you don't read this book." Are many Catholics so infantile and puerile that they fall for the Hollywood spin machine? Have they really lost all meaning to what Faith actually means? Did our Great Martyrs die for nothing?
Faith does not mean that one believes in God's existance, after all, Satan too believes in God's existance. Authentic Faith is to live out the Credo of what we believe everyday and to denounce that which tears away at our fundamental beliefs, as Saint Louis IX wrote, "You must firmly believe all of the articles of faith given as testimony by the apostles as you hear them sung each Sunday in the Credo!" Another great Saint of the Church, Augustine also wrote, "If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself."
We are growing up in an age where prayer in schools have been banned so there is a new generation in our world who do not know the Lords Prayer, they do not know who Jesus is, they have never read the Bible nor attended Church. The younger generation of which I speak WILL believe what Dan Brown is espousing as 'truth'. The real threat of this book is not that Catholics will turn away from the Faith, those who promote this heretical book have already done so! It is the fact that a new generation will be influenced by what they read...Catholics need to be less myopic and look at the wider ramifications, sometimes it's not all about 'them' and their 'freedom of expression' it could mean a loss of a whole generation who do NOT know God, but they will believe that what Dan Brown has written as fact!
As Catholics we are here to spread the Good News as it IS and not your version of it, and we are most definately NOT here to promote old heresies dressed up in new coats. Is it a case that many pseudo catholics are actually too embarrassed to live their faith less they be thought as 'old fashioned and a fuddy duddy' and would rather live as outlaws to the Faith rather than live it for they are ashamed that Jesus could be so backward as to make Commandments for us to live by? Let us remind ourselves what Scripture says about this, "Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." When we gleefully clutch hold of the forbidden how far removed are we from our first parents?
Such authors as Dan Brown must be laughing all the way to the bank to think his badly written piece of heretical nonsense has gained such an audience amongst many 'liberal minded catholics' as they like Esau exchange their inheritance for a bowl of dribble!
The Western media is too frightened to say a word against the Muslim religion, as Salman Rushdie remains in hiding and no news papers will print blasphemous books or pictures of their prophet Mohammed, since the Danish incident. Yet many Catholics who are speaking out against this heretical and blasphemous book face attack and the most vicious attacks from amongst their own faith!
We have witnessed what has happened within the fold of many secular religions when they try and impose their liberal philosophy of 'anything goes' onto their own parishioners. The end result being that many dissaffected parishioners have left the fold and have been embraced by the Churches who follow Gods Commandments and recognise sin for what it is SIN and not a 'life choice'!
As many Catholics choose to remain asleep the persecution gathers strength, and if you wish to know IF there is persecution then denounce the Da Vinci Code both in book and movie form and you will find out soon enough! Look to the time when we near the end of the year as Christmas approaches and the 'Happy Holidays' season begins, what will you choose to say?
When you fail to recognise the wolf within your midst, maybe that is because you have become one!
Peace of Christ to ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.