Faithful Catholics must be Prepared to Suffer a ‘Passion of the Church’ – Joshua Charles 11/13/23


The Catholic Church teaches that She, the Mystical Body of Christ, will endure a Passion like Christ did (Catechism, pars. 675-77).

It’s quite unlike various Protestant views that what they call “the church” will somehow have something more triumphantly prepared for Christ’s return – a view very much like the Jews, many of whom believe they must attain a certain level of “worthiness” for Messiah to appear.

Many Fathers, popes, saints, theologians, etc. have said the Church will be in Her worst earthly state ever prior to the appearance of Antichrist. This of course will be at the same time the Church Triumphant in Heaven will be nearing its completion by the coming in of all the elect throughout history.

So when the Church Militant on earth appears weakest (as did Our Lord during His Passion), the Church itself will be on the brink of its greatest triumph (as Our Lord on Resurrection Sunday) – the completion of Christ’s work of gathering His own from among all nations, Jew and Gentile, for the eternal wedding banquet.

Pope St. Gregory the Great, in the late 500s, speaks to this very clearly and presciently in his “Moralia in Job,” as do many other great saints and doctors.

Prior to the coming of Antichrist, he said, “Signs of power are withdrawn from Holy Church. For prophecy is hidden, the grace of healings is taken away, the power of longer abstinences is weakened, the words of doctrine are silent, the prodigies of miracles are removed. And though the heavenly dispensation does not entirely withdraw them, yet it does not manifest them openly and in manifold ways as in former times” (Moralia in Job, Book 34, §7).

As such, we will go through what I’ve described as “the Holy Saturday of the Church.” Like Christ, who appeared dead and gone, so will His Body, the Church. On that “Holy Saturday,” only those who see with the light of faith and burning love will endure to the end. The claims of Christ and His Church will quite possibly appear absurd. Dialectic and argumentation will convince no one who is not willing to suffer every loss. The only way to stand by Christ will be to patiently endure and suffer, suffering the mocking and derision of not only the world, but quite possibly many calling themselves “Christians” who have long since abandoned the Catholic Faith and communion.

But this is itself a grace from God. Our vindication will come on Sunday. Those within the Church who are scandalized by Her Good Friday and Holy Saturday will fall away. Those outside of Her who are scandalized will be hardened in their opposition.

But those who see with the eyes to see – the eyes of faith, hope, and love – will merit all the more reward for their faithfulness to Christ and His Church, for suffering with Her until Our Lord vindicates His Bride before the whole world on Easter Sunday….

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