From the nineteenth century comes advice from Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, OCSO, on 'where to look for the salvation of our society'.
From Les Femmes
By Mary Ann Kreitzer
In my morning prayer time today I came across this paragraph from The Soul of the Apostolate which stopped me in my tracks:
When we see the repeated victories of our infernal foes, we
well wonder, in our anxiety, where to look for the salvation of our society. When will it be the Church's turn to win a few battles? The answer is easy: we can say with Our Lord, "This kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting." It will be our turn when the ranks of the clergy and of the religious orders will have begun to produce a body of mortified men who will make the great splendor of the mystery of the Cross blaze in the eyes of all peoples; and the nations of the earth, seeing in mortified priests and religious, how reparation is made for the sins of the world, will also understand the Redemption of the world by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. Only then will the army of the devil begin to retreat, and the ages of human history will no longer echo with the terrible anguished of our outraged Lord -- that cry that will at last have found some to make reparation: "And I sought among them for man that might set up a hedge, and stand in the gap before me in favor of the land, that I might not destroy it, and I found none."
Mortification...prayer and fasting. What a time of year to bring up such a thought. But even during the Christmas feast we can make small acts of reparation to remind us to embrace the cross. And we can offer them for the sanctification of our shepherds. Skip the salt on your dinner plate and pray that our shepherds will be salt for the world. Skip the dinner roll and butter and pray that our shepherds will be yeast to increase the faith among their flocks.
Where have I seen "mortified men" in the ranks of the clergy? I saw them at the fairgrounds in Front Royal during the church lockdowns when the priests and seminarians of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) travelled five hours round trip to "feed the hungry" with the bread of angels. I saw them shivering the cold on a windy, drizzly Holy Thursday in 2020 as we sat warm in our cars. I've heard the stories of them traveling several hours to bring Communion to a dying friend. Can we "watch one hour" with the Lord praying for their increased sanctification?
What acts of mortification will I do today that we might have holy shepherds to "make the great splendor of the mystery of the Cross blaze in the eyes of all peoples?"
We need our shepherds and they need us. We would be wise to offer them our "prayers and fasting" that we might, together, overcome the world with good.
¡Viva Cristo Rey!