The Church militant

A quote from Cardinal George (cardinal-archbishop of Chicago) has been making the rounds in the wake of the Department of Health and Human Services’ tyrannical mandate that employers provide for contraception and abortificients no matter what their religious beliefs. Cardinal George said “I will die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.” What seemed rather pessimistic in 2010 rings fearfully truer not two years later.

Marriage, contraception & abortion

Regulars at my Facebook page will know that I have been posted daily on developments that continue to unfold around the issues of marriage, contraception and abortion. Even as the bishops lead the charge in the national battle over the contraception mandate (with Catholic institutions pitching in), here in Washington we face an extension of that mandate which will force all employers to provide for abortions (HB 2330). There is not even a whisper of religious exemption.

Two days old now is the law signed by Governor Gregoire that recognizes two men or two women as being able to ‘marry’. Referendum 74 has already been filed and must collect 120,577 signatures by June 6th to come to ballot in November in opposition of this radical redefinition of matrimony. Expect the same kind of harassment that came to those who stood for marriage in California’s Proposition 8 work, to the point of of creating a map of the names of those who supported it – which (surprise!) led to all sorts of personal vindictiveness.

Two weeks ago, word hit the internet that Susan G. Komen for the Cure would not be offering further grants or donations to Planned Parenthood. Within days, donations to SGK were up by 100%. The pro-life community was ecstatic.

Two weeks after that news initially broke, SGK abruptly reversed course following an Planned Parenthood-led attack the likes of which have not been seen since 1990. 26 senators – all Democrats – publicly lobbied Susan G. Komen while Planned Parenthood flooded the internet as it attempted to bully the foundation into compliance. Not only did they succeed, but created a firestorm that cost Karen Handel – vice president of SGK – her job, making her the focus of their ire until she resigned.

The end of neutral

Emboldened by their recent victory, Planned Parenthood just yesterday began a campaign to pressure Paul’s Pantry – an outreach arm of Saint Vincent de Paul in Green Bay, Wisconsin – because it refused to send a delivery truck to pick up a donation from Planned Parenthood to avoid being associated with the abortion group.

This is not the last time Catholics will be publicly bullied for uphold the tenets of their faith.

There three descriptions of the Church that have too-long languished in the wake of the this generation’s desire to avoid rocking the boat: the Church Militant, the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant. The latter will only be realized in heaven. The Church Suffering are those in purgatory. And we are the Church Militant. Militant not in physical combat, but spiritual opposition to the corruption of the world, our own desires and the devil. Too long we have been unaware of just how much we need to be engaged in spiritual combat.

How do we combat the world, our desires and the devil? Its simple: prayer, fasting and involvement. Pray through the celebration of Mass and worthy reception of the Eucharist. Fast from the pleasures of the world – meat, sweets, small pleasures and so on. Involvement in voting according to your faith, engaging those who don’t share our faith and inviting those who have fallen away.

If we will ever be the Church Triumphant in heaven, we need the Church Militant here on earth – and in our time. We have tools, now its time to use them: praying, fasting and getting involved for the salvation of souls – including our own.

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One Response to The Church militant

  1. Kerry says:

    Father Maurer,

    Since you seem to have a lot of experience with this recently, what do you think is the best approach to dealing with status updates/comments on facebook that support the HHS mandate, gay “marriage” or other issues that we know to be wrong? Let it go unless it is said directly to you? Always comment in hopes of sharing the truth (in charity of course)? Somewhere in between or another way?

    I have seen how you have handled things on your FB page and I think that you have done very well standing up yet being charitable. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks!

    Kerry