Here’s something we can all do for Lent.
Catholics are very familiar with sins against charity by saying things we should not say: gossip, calumny, detraction and the like — serious sins. But not holding your tongue when you should say something is just as evil. To not say what needs to be said when it should be said is a sin against justice and is a cooperation with evil. You can sin in two methods involving your speech.
The prophet Isaiah, for example, cries out: “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent; for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch” (Isaiah 62:1).
It is almost a certainty when you come across a reference to Jerusalem or Zion in the Old testament that what is being spoken of in its fullest sense is the Catholic Church. And it is for this that we must speak up, cry out, abandon silence; we are at pains to bring about Her vindication until all nations behold Her victory like a burning torch.
This is powerful language. It describes the arduous lengths a lover will go to achieve victory and honor for his beloved — his beloved who has been made a mockery of, belittled before every living creature. This much is made clear when Isaiah continues that “Nations will behold your vindication and all kings your glory. No more will men call you forsaken and your land desolate” (Isaiah 62:2).
If this isn’t a prophecy of the current agony of Holy Mother Church, nothing is. True, it had more immediate reality regarding Israel, but what is Israel other than a type of the Church?
We Catholics have got to understand the great love required from us, demanded from us, in this current hour of the Church’s agony. We cannot keep silent. We must shout from the rooftops. Even St. Paul tells us “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16). When you see the word “woe” make its way into a Scripture passage, you need to sit up and fixate on it. It is a word used in reference to damnation, to going to Hell.
Our Blessed Lord used it in reference to Judas: “But woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed; it would be better for him had he never been born” (Matt. 26:24). (Are you “reasonable hope” people listening?)
Our Blessed Lord used it seven times in reference to the Pharisees during His indictment of them. Saint Paul used it in reference to himself, as we said: if he did not preach the Gospel.
So whom is the word “woe” reserved for? Traitors, hypocrites, cowards — in short, all those who do not profess Christ to the world. And this is not a crowd you want to get lumped in with. It takes prophecy to proclaim truth to a world that does not want to hear it.
And this is exactly the point. It is what God commands. Our earthly fate is not a consideration. What is a consideration is the peril of souls.
Why did Our Lord foretell the damnation of Judas and the Jewish leaders? Why did St. Paul lay out the possibility of his own damnation? Because they cared more for themselves than the salvation of others. They cared, for money, prestige, reputation more than they cared for the things of God. And their concern for their own comforts prevented them from opening their mouths for the truth.
We need to understand the great peril we are all in by keeping quiet about the Faith, the truth and glory and majesty of the One True Faith. We do not get to keep quiet in the face of family and friends. We do not get to stay silent because of fear of losing respect or friendship. We mustproclaim Her glory, Her truth, until everyone we know has heard in no uncertain terms the glory of God in His Holy Catholic Church.
This includes speaking to clerics who have lost their zeal, their first love, their passion for God and His Holy Bride, perhaps even their supernatural faith. You must speak out — to anyone who will hear you.
As a result of your baptism, you share in Our Lord’s prophetic mission. What matters is truth, nothing else.
Truth is a Person. Jesus Christ is Truth. The resurrected Jesus Christ breathed life into His Bride so that She would continue His mission among men until the end of time.
We are either on board with this mission or we are damned. And that shouldn’t be shocking; after all, what is it to be damned? It is to love self more than God.
If we love God, we will prove it. Love is, after all, an act of the will, not an emotion. And we will prove it by declaring the rightness and truth of the Holy Catholic Church. We will not accommodate Her truth for the sake of politeness or ecumenism or any other thing on earth.
Our cry needs to be that of Isaiah: No, I will not keep silent. For Her sake I will not keep silent; for the Church’s sake I will not be quiet — until Her vindication shines forth like the dawn and Her victory shines like a burning torch.
This Lent, pray to become a prophet.
EDITORS NOTE: Originally published at ChurchMilitant.com.