By Charlie Johnston
One of our readers, Anne, from McGrath, Minnesota did a wonderful thing with the Prayer of Miraculous Trust at her Parish, Our Lady of Fatima. I will let her tell it – from the note she sent to me and the owner of the Full of Grace Supply House:
“Good Day to you Lisa and Charlie,
Before Mass today I asked Fr. Paul if II could hand the prayer cards of Miraculous Trust to everyone. He read the one I gave him, said yes, and asked if I would lead the congregation in this prayer just before the end of mass. You would have loved to hear the congregation say this together. I suggested that we do this first for ourselves.
Our Lady of Fatima in McGrath MN is a small church, still with missionary status, most of us older including Fr. Paul Furth who drives down from McGregor 45 minutes away.
I think if I had just put the cards out, not asked Father’s permission, today’s dedication of all those present and those in the coming weeks who make use of this–oh the increase God gives us when we stay obedient in our lives. The wonders of Our Lady…”
What delight this story gave me! It encapsulated the virtues of trust, obedience and solidarity all in one short narrative. When you live obedience, you accept the possibility the answer might be no. Sometimes it is. But you also open yourself to experience the grace of God’s staggering abundance. God wants to prove whether it is His will that you serve, whether you will obey lawful authority or insist on manipulating things to get your own will. Even on things that are right and proper, if you sneak around and manipulate others, you are not doing what is right – you have failed to trust God to accomplish His will. Sometimes even proper things are refused for a time. But if you do not submit to God’s lawful ministers, you thwart the Lord in His efforts to evangelize them and to prove yourself.
You have seen people stealthily putting out materials in the back of the Church, without submitting it to the priest who is the spiritual head of the parish. We are not children of the darkness, but children of the light. Anne lived it, trusting God, obedient to her pastor – and gained a great blessing of solidarity with the whole assembly. This is how Christians are to behave – and this is the fruit of such humble and honest behavior.
Yet perhaps the most important virtue in weathering the Storm that has opened up on us is fortitude. A few quick examples:
- You already know the story of florist Barronelle Stutzman of Richland, Washington. A hostile judge said a complaining homosexual pair could take everything she had, including her home and business, because she wouldn’t make flower arrangements for a homosexual “wedding.”
After the story went viral, the state quietly tried to offer a settlement that would fine her $2001 and let it go at that. Mrs. Stutzman declined the offer, saying she would not pay tribute for living her faith. Understand that this woman had sold flowers to the complainant for years – and had some homosexual employees. She is not intolerant; she just would not be forced to participate in a celebration that was contrary to her faith. She is living fortitude. Defending her – and all of us – are our old friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is being kept mighty busy in these times.
- Meantime, the City of Washington, D.C. is merrily trying to force pro-life groups to hire pro-abortion employees and pay for abortions – and to force Catholic Schools to sponsor student homosexual groups. If these unconstitutional measures were allowed to stand, it would effectively shut down pro-life groups and Catholic schools in D.C. – unless they accept the mark of the beast. Of course, in these Alice in Wonderland times when words only mean what the secular powers want them to mean, “unconstitutional” is meaningless.
- Navy Chaplain Wes Modder,
described as the “best of the best,” in his last performance review by his commanding officer, is being threatened with discharge specifically because he lives and teaches Christian doctrine on matters of marriage and sexuality. A lawyer from the Liberty Institute is defending him.
Perhaps the biggest public fight comes in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where the State Legislature and the City Council are threatening to punish and fine Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and the Archdiocese until they relent and welcome open homosexuality and advocacy for the same in their schools. Archbishop Cordileone has become a hero of mine for his steadfast defense of the faith. Throughout, he has acted as a gentleman with charity towards his opponents, even in the face of malicious smears. In fact, shadowy forces have hired a public relations strategist, a noted smear merchant of national stature, to rough up the Archbishop. A bunch of the teachers at the Catholic Schools have signed petitions against the Archbishop for insisting that Catholic doctrine be taught faithfully at Catholic Schools. I would fire the lot of them. But the Archbishop is leaving room for repentance.
The old question, “Is the Pope Catholic?” is a rhetorical one designed to illustrate that something is obvious. Increasingly, the American left responds, “He better not be!” And they are eager to come down with the full force of the perversion American law has become.
For each of these intentions, I have said the Prayer of Miraculous Trust. I hope you will join me in that effort. These people, with their fortitude, are points of light being ignited as the fog of the culture of death thickens around us. We are children of the light. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil.