YEAR OF THE PRIEST - Meditation 4
THE LOST OF FAITH.
1. Faith is enlivened by the virtue of Charity. When one has Faith, he also has Charity. When Charity disappears due to a personal actual sin, faith is retained but it is a dead faith. This is what happened to most baptized person. During Baptism they received Sacramental grace and with it the virtue of Faith enlivened by Charity. But failure to develop this faith caused the lost of Charity with dead faith remaining. But it often happens that they also sin against Faith and loses the virtue of Faith which is the more common occurence. With dead Faith, the soul still has the hope of regaining the Charity that enlivens faith through repentance.
2. The Holy Father is worried that this is what is happening among the Catholics. Without realizing it they are living the church by losing their charity and even their dead faith. He described the situation in this way: that the Faith of the Church is like a dying flame running out of fuel. This prompted him to issue "Dominus Jesus" during the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II. Here he re-emphasized the importance in believing that Christ is God a fundamental truth of faith that was not even questioned in the recent past. If Catholics are not clear as to who Jesus is the Church is in real trouble.
3. The Holy Father must have gotten this notion from the strikes he experienced in the seminary where he saw that many of the seminarians had communist leanings. Since communist philosophy does not believe in God, then it is easy to conclude that these seminarians have lost their faith.
4. Add to this when he read the 3rd secret of Fatima where it is written that the world will lose its faith except in Portugal. Confirming the message of Our Lady of Good Success in Quito, Equador that in the 20th century the Church will experience total black out in matters of faith.
This is confirmed by Christ when describing the end times, He said "when I come shall I find faith upon the earth?"
5. This prompted the then Cardinal Ratzinger to write the Ratzinger Report around 1985 about the state of the Church. In short saying that the Church has a crisis of Faith which means in simple words, people are not reaching faith or people are unable to enter the Catholic Church or ......few are entering heaven.
6. How did this deplorable condition happened? Considering the fact that we have at present the best translation of Scriptures, we have the writings of the Fathers of the Church and numerous writings of the doctors of the Church. We have the countless encyclicals and other documents of the Popes and a vast network to learn what we need to have faith. How come there are few who have faith? St. Benedict of Nurcia, St. Pope Gregory the Great and quoting St. Ambrose of Aulpert, Pope Benedict pinpointed the culprit......greed!
7. Greed is a vice and like any vice prevents a soul from having Faith. Greed comes from Pride, the mother of vices. And pride was introduce by Lucifer himself. The pride of life is the most potent weapon of the devil in preventing souls from receiving the virtue of Faith. The desire to be like God is pride. The desire to run things the way they want; in contradiction to the teaching on Divine Providence that God is running all things. "They have become like us!" Looking around us, it is not difficult to see it. From governments to parents to the smallest child.... everyone is running their lives the way they want. It was the vice that caused the angels to fall. It was a vice that caused our first parents to fall.
8. Faith is possible. But Greed and its source, pride, is preventing intellects from knowing our final goal, which is God, and the means to that goal, both of which make up the act of faith.