Is there still hope for the future?

If we are not completely blind we perceive the grave situation of the true Catholic Church, loyal to the revealed faith. Following the modernistic „reforms“ and „innovations“ in the counciliar church, officially since 1958, many Catholic principles and handed down theological as well as moral teachings were questioned and denied. In the official sphere today, on the practical, parochial level this means, that what is called „catholic“ has nothing at all to do with the Catholic-apostolic faith but is rather something which was formerly opposed and even solemnly condemned by the Catholic Church as false teaching.

This negative development made in the meantime so much progress and is fixed in the minds of numerous „official catholics“ that it seems - out of the human perspective - unchangeable. How can those uncompromising Catholics, following the traditions of the Church, who are a nearly unconceivable small pile, stand and fight against this giant machinery of the modernistic counciliar church with its huge power of the media, influential connections to society, the recognition of the powerful and lastly also superior financial means? How can we with our humble means do something to stop or even reverse this process of „modernisation“, liberalisation and profanation through the official „church“ which already took horrible dimensions? Additionally, we have a general loss of faith and morals in the whole society. The teaching of the gospel and the Catholic Church in regard to Christian morality mean nothing in our hemisphere. Abortion, support and glorification of homosexual practices or „just“ the brutalization of manners, to name just a few of those modernisations.

We don‘t wonder why we see sometimes some tendencies of hopelessness and depression in pious souls. We probably even ask ourselves if it still makes sense to stand up and openly and definitely take our stand against this negative development? Is it not an unnecessary waste of energy as we cannot change much anyway? Does it still make sense to openly profess and engage in the traditional faith of the Church and the genuine moral teaching of the Christian, revealed religion? Or should we rather face the sad reality and give up the hope for a overcoming of modernist heresies and the coming back of big parts of all nations to the traditional, Catholic faith? It really seems to be contrary to reason to believe that the counciliar church will give up its heresies and come back to the true faith as well as to believe that the deeply godless and liberal society will make a moral change and go back to the teaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Would it not be better to - seeing the present situation of influence and power - cease to struggle and accept the current situation? We will not get much but only disappointments anyway…How can one still trust in the divine providence and have hope for better times? Everywhere, nothing seems to be really good. What can we still hope for at all?

Considerations like these seem to be plausible at first. But they have an essential defect in the deciding part as those kind of thoughts are directed first and foremost on success and failure in this world. We know, how the faulty human logic things very often: Whose opinions have a lot (or more) followers is successful: who has a numerically smaller fellowship has failed and therefore cannot be blessed by God.

A Christian wants of course that the truth about Jesus Christ is known throughout the world and all men live according to it - that’s not a matter of discussion. Christ‘s order to his Church to convert people in order that possibly all men will be his disciples and baptized in the name of the triune God (see Mt. 28, 18-20). The Catholic Church was faithful to this order and took for centuries devoutly care of making the gospel of Christ known on all continents.

Still, men are not the moral institution which will judge us lastly, but the eternal, omnipotent and merciful God! His jurisdiction is the only deciding one which we are subject to, not to purely human majorities or a short living support of the society. Man has to stand in his consciousness in front of the tribunal of God and not in front of any human court! The Lord God called us in holy Baptism to love God with all our heart, all our soul and with all our power and to serve him alone! And when he will ask us to answer for our thinking, doing and omitting, he will surely  not ask what other people thought or did in this or that matter, but if we were, recognizing his truth, ready to follow Him without compromise and to fulfil his will. Independently of how people acted around us.

Human opinions, fashions and opinions come and go, always changing. God alone is holy, only his will unchangeable and outlasting all times!  That’s why we as Catholic Christians have to strive during our daily, moral struggle primarily to recognise the will of God, to deepen our knowledge of the (traditional) Catholic faith and consequently live accordingly. The contemplation of the Lord God and the holy, catholic and apostolic faith will then also help us to overcome to strong tendencies of human nature and detach us from the dependency of the opinions and judgement of other men.

If the majority of the society in which we live or at least many people in our environment have the Catholic faith and Christian values it is usually also much easier for us to profess them. But its even harder then when we experience noticeable resistance. Then we are asked to stand consciously for the truth and Christian values and not only superficially. The more hindrances we have to overcome in practising the good and the right - the more it attaches itself to us and we also learn to appreciate it more and more. The bigger, truer, purer and more intensive the love of the human heart is towards God and his word, the more can the redemptive power of divine grace work in us and free us from human fear and the attraction of the opinion of the masses! We want to concentrate on the recognition and fulfilment of the divine will. Not the opinion of human majorities will lastly count for us, but the holy will of God who spoke to us in His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ!

Yes, there are not many Catholics today who keep the sanctified traditions of the Catholic Church and reject the modernistic „reforms“ as dangerous errors. But the truth of God is absolutely independent of the numbers of followers, the recognition of society or support or disdain of the media. We stand in front of God and have to answer him if we follow his call in our conscience or if we see the (often even stupid) gossip of our fellow men as deciding for our deeds and thoughts. Jesus Christ expects even in the worst circumstances a decision in his favour. The virtue of fidelity means, the we are not lead astray through inner fear for our reputation in family or neighbourhood nor by any force from outside, the pressure of public opinion.

Yes, it sometimes seems to be - on a purely human level - to be tactically more clever not to speak about the truth very clearly or to keep silence on some issues. Even with so called „conservatives“ and „traditionalists“ there are sad examples of false comprises. Some refrain to tell certain important details of the recognized truth or consciously don’t speak about the consequences in order e.g. not to „annoy“ their followers and have statistical and financial disadvantages. Others just want to be part of a bigger or more renown organisation to be in peace with their environment. Still others sense that there is something wrong with their current opinions concerning the Catholic doctrine and Church but they don’t think more about it or don’t ask the necessary questions to make the facts clearly visible.

Whatever the reasons or causes may be to make compromises despite ones conviction, they lastly all compromise the truth and are even similar to denying the truth! Yes, one may have certain tactical advantages through them. But the grace of God - in the supernatural as well as on the long term - is lost!

With God neither business efficiency nor cleverness counts, but the honest and upright will, to follow His will loyally and consciously. And only the one who is ready to follow the will of God consequently and without compromises, to live in unbreakable loyalty to the teaching of the Catholic Church, founded by Him, can rejoice in His grace and taste the deep peace of God! 

If one has not made any experience of this kind one can probably not believe it. But the knowledge of the uncompromising love to truth and the following of His will compensates in the supernatural by far for all the privations which one has to bear because of the uncompromising love to the truth and which one may still has to bear. 
A man on the other side who makes false compromises with the lie or injustice may has at first some kind of advantage. But he leaves God internally, because he betrayed and denied him in some form. One can be seen as successful according to the criteria of the world, but the own consciousness troubles and calls into the memory, that one did something wrong and against God. And how much space can there be for God and His blessing…? As the doings of men are very often also revealed in this world, such a man will loose also in this world. Nobody really trusts an opportunist who knows how the changes things in his favour. Because one always has to fear to be betrayed by him!  And if the trustworthiness of a man is lost, also the cause for which he is standing suffers! Such men can then only „keep“ their own „reputation“ by pure force or intimidations. We don’t have to talk about how much that can be reconciled with God…

Yes, the influence of unchristian or anti-Catholic forces in the current politics and society are very big. According to purely human consideration, a single person or small group can practically do nothing - one feels simply helpless. Unfortunately, we have to fear that the loss of a healthy faith and the disappearing of authentic Christian moral is increasing rather then decreasing - including the disastrous effects for the spiritual health and the moral well being of big parts of the population! Seen like this, there is really not much or no hope for the future. Who dares to believe that he can break the strong disbelief of modernism and bring the masses back to the Catholic faith with his humble work? And who honestly believes to be himself able to overcome the massive connections of the „counciliar church“ with the deeply liberal and explicitly anti-Catholic forces of this world and can bring considerable better times for the true Catholic Church? Doesn’t everything speak for stop everything and give up? 

There were already several concrete situations in the history of the Church in which everything seemed nearly totally hopeless. Look at the bloody persecution  of the young Church in the first centuries of Christianity through pagan Rome or the spreading of the arian heresy in the 4th century, where only a very small number of orthodox bishops remained who stood without compromise against the false teaching.
What saved the Catholic Church and changed the course of the whole Christianity positively? Were is tactical games of some clever people how made false compromises with the erroneous teaching or getting involved with the heretics because of „cleverness“? Was it the urge of temptation to flatter the powerful and influential of this world or keep them favourable to ones concerns through obedience?

No, the overcoming of the giant evil of persecution and the heresy which hit Christianity in its very substance was not due to - next to the grace of God of course -  political intrigues or tactical games, but lastly and only to the unbreakable loyalty of noble Christians to Jesus Christ, the divine Redeemer, and the lasting persistence in holding to His teaching! Through their own example they did not only stand loyally under His cross despite every mockery and enmities and „earned“ His rich divine blessing, but also put up a strong sign for this world which can be ignored  by nobody.

This living example of disciples did not only bring courage to other Christians to stand themselves loyal to Christ and the unchanged Catholic teaching, but also brought respect and even admiration in the ranks of the enemies and persecutors. And in this manner - namely with active help and cooperation - the seed of the gospel was further spread and sowed into the hearts of men! The blood and fearlessness of the martyrs and the courage and steadiness of the confessors became the foundation on which future generations can grow and raise their offspring in the faith! 

Yes, God tries His disciples according to His unfathomable providence in the present very much  and lets them drink the whole chalice of suffering. He sometimes tries us heavily to examine us closely. Is is only natural to acknowledge ones suffering under such a heavy cross and to look forward towards  better times.  

But he probably also tries us hard because he expects full dedication, he wants to see if we are able to hold up our love towards him and remain loyal even in extreme situations. We probably should be freed (from the supernatural viewpoint) from everything unnecessary and distracting. Relieved from this lastly dangerous ballast, we are able to love Him even more pure…and then not only set a clear sign for the love of God and truth in the world, so poor in this regard, but also to implore blessings for them!  
We would not only confess Jesus Christ acoustically, but also with deeds which are often more effective than mere words. Our Lord told us: „No disciple if above his teacher, nor is the servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and for the servant to be like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more those of his household!“ (Mt 10 24f); “And  he who does not take up his cross and follow me, is not worthy of me.“ (Mt 10,38).

No, we don’t wont to loose hope and confidence! Jesus Christ, who went as a innocent lamb of God to the death on the cross and brought us redemption, he is our hope. We want to follow His voice and do His will - this is our first duty and main task as Catholic Christians! In our consequent following of Christ we don’t want to get irritated through criticism or annoyance, from whoever they come. But if somebody blames us but opposes the will of God we can very well cite the words of the apostle: „We must obey God rather than men.“ (Acts 5,29)! 

Even if we don’t believe to have great success in the sense of the world, we still trust in the words of Christ who said, that every good deed has an infinite value in the eyes of God, as long as they are done honestly and in true love (see. Mt 10,42). We bring him all our prayers, sorrows and sighs and hope confidently that He will leave no single one unnoticed. We also bring all our bigger sacrifices and smaller privations into His hand, which we suffer willingly for the defence of our holy Catholic faith and the traditional Holy Mass. We humbly offer him up all hostilities and disadvantages which arise through our legitimate and necessary, objective criticism of the sad situation in the „counciliar church“ and the God-forgetting society.

We leave it to the Lord God in which manner he deals with them and whom and when He will create a spiritual benefit out of it - He alone knows it best. We want and should bring him our humble requests, but not try to do the work which belongs alone to Him. We ask Him in this regard that He may give us the grace of perseverance in the Good, that we may never make false compromises in our life but be always His loyal servant! This will be our best contribution in the overcoming of the great problems of our times and it will also keep the Christian hope alive, that after every Good Friday there will be an Easter Sunday!

Fr. Eugen Rissling

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