A Spiritual Battle for the Soul of the Church
Today’s First reading and Gospel are about opening the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf. This is something that would be impossible in the time of Jesus or before. I was discussing these readings with the eighth graders of the school who helped me to put together the homily for the 9 o’clock mass which was different than this one.
In order to lead someone to no longer be blind or deaf in the time of Jesus, the only solution would be through miracles. The knowledge, technology and even antiseptic processes that would be required to do this surgically just did not exist. Remember this is just over 1500 years before the Declaration of Independence and in 1776 doctors were still using leaches for medical practice.
So to let someone see who was blind or hear who was deaf was an act only God could do.
But as we look at those words today, maybe we can understand them differently than in the medical sphere, but rather the spiritual.
Opening the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf was also symbolic of those who were spiritually blind and deaf.
In that case, let us look closely at that admonition and put it to today’s situation.
Presently, we are in a battle for the soul of the Church and although that battle is playing itself out in political and legal circles, I will assure you, as do others that this is a spiritual battle. Make no mistake about it. If you are looking for some kind of parallel example of this look no further than the Book of Revelation.
When it all began 16 years ago, I said that I felt I was in a Frank Peretti Novel. I was referring to the two part series: This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness which I would recommend to you. They are Christian Horror Fiction, yes there is such a thing.
I said during the crisis the first time, on the Mike Gallagher Show, that I felt the cause of the crisis was a loss of a sense of evil by the bishops so that they addressed the issue medically but not spiritually too and the issue is a spiritual issue. Documents about this crisis reveal over and over again that it was addressed medically and legally, but not spiritually as well and by not addressing it spiritually, the evil involved was not addressed.
Even people have complained about bishops statements recently note that they do not include language indicating the reality of evil.
The battle is being and will be fought in physical, political and legal circles, but trust me there are spiritual forces at work behind the scenes.
Let me show you.
One of the goals right now is to drop the statute of limitations against the Church so that anyone who has any claim against the Church can make it. However, the rule is to drop the statute only against the Catholic Church and no other entity. The reasoning is that if there is a blanket dropping of the statute of limitations then towns and cities will go bankrupt because they too will be subject to claims. That shows you something that was reported many times in the Boston Globe among other papers, that the problem is worse outside the Church.
That is not an excuse for us.
An actor in Hollywood described as a sexually abusive monster will not be charged because the cases investigated are such that the statute of limitations expired, according to reports this week. No one has asked for the statute of limitations to be dropped in Hollywood when at the same time there is a move to drop it in the Catholic Church alone. This attempt to do the same move has happened in other states including Colorado and Connecticut. Presently in Pennsylvania the bishops are all for dropping the statute of limitations as long as it is dropped universally and leaders of government are against this.
Why only the Catholics? Because this is a spiritual battle. That is one of the signs. Do not stand up and fight against those coming against us, it is a spiritual battle and a spiritual battle can only be fought spiritually.
The people of the secular world do not know this but there has been a long trail of spiritually connected people that have been aware of the spiritual battle raging behind the scenes. Pope Leo XIII was aware of it and as a result he wrote the prayer of St. Michael. There are others throughout the century.
Do not be spiritually blind or deaf, recognize that the Lord is calling all his people to repentance and holiness which are the greatest defenses in a spiritual battle. We do not fight evil, God does. We turn to Christ and seek to draw closer to Him.
This battle began here in the Archdiocese, are you surprised? We as Catholics are called to live by faith and reason, not faith or reason but faith and reason. This means we cannot be Christian fundamentalists who live by faith without reason, but we cannot be secular fundamentalists who live by reason without faith. I said a few weeks ago, when we do the latter we walk down the path to paganism and that is exactly what has happened in this country, starting in Massachusetts. If we are not counter cultural by living by faith and reason then we are enabling the pagan culture and if we Catholics enable that culture we as Catholics will be the target in a spiritual warfare with the permission of the God Himself.
This week pray individually and as families asking the Lord to open your eyes to his presence in your lives, open your ears to his word. Strengthen yourselves in holiness against the forces that fiercely seek to prevent your salvation. Keep an eye on what is going on in the world not just through physical eyes, but through the spiritual eyes that lead us to see the bigger picture that even those legal and political entities cannot see.
Pray to be enlightened to see and to hear what is happening on not only the legal and political but the spiritual so all will know what is happening now is a call to true holiness.