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The Next Century
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
During the last 100 years, the Catholic Church has suffered immensely. Whole nations have been paganized on a scale never before known in Christian history. The reason is obvious. The sworn enemies of Christ have exhausted themselves in their militant opposition to the Catholic Church.
The 19th century was only a preparation for the widespread dechristianizing of one country after another. Among the victims of this paganizing effort are millions of American Catholics. The Church has suffered greater loss of believing Catholics in the United States since 1900 than ever before in our countrys history. Countless parishes have closed. Literally millions of former devotees of Roman Catholicism have given up their faith
The reason behind this massive breakdown of Roman Catholicism is due to the organized opposition to the Catholic Church in our nation. So many Catholics have become accustomed to this breakdown of their faith they are no longer surprised at the dechristianization of the one true Church in our nation. What we desperately need is an organized, I do not hesitate saying militant, zeal on the part of believing Catholics to convert non-Catholics to the true Church founded by Jesus Christ.
In the first century of Christian history, to become a Christian meant to become a martyr. But the truth is so attractive that we have a record of no less than 100 dioceses coming into existence by the year 100 AD. The world today is starving for the truth. The very word media has come to mean propagating clever lies among once-believing Catholics, seducing them from the truth proclaimed by Jesus Christ. No words of mine can begin to describe the massive breakdown of Roman Catholicism in America since the turn of the 20th century. And yet Catholics seem to have been drugged into passive acceptance of this national crime in our country. There is no other remedy than a counter movement that will convert millions, and I mean millions, of non-Catholics in our country to the true faith. After all, who was Jesus Christ? He was the living God Who became man in order to bring nations back to the true faith.
How did Christ do this? He did this by becoming man so He might be able to die on the Cross for the salvation of the world. This was impossible unless God had become man and died on the Cross to win for us the graces that the world so desperately needed twenty centuries ago. In my judgment, there is greater need now than ever to Christianize a world that has abandoned God on a scale never before known in history. My greatest hope and prayer is that still believing Catholics will wake up from the stupor into which the evil spirit has led them in our day. We need martyrs, and I mean martyrs, who literally die for their profession of the true faith. This has been the history of Catholics ever since Calvary.
Dear Lord, we beg you to give us courageous martyrs as we enter the third millennium. In the early Church the following proverb was coined, the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. This is truer than ever in our day. Lord Jesus, You died on the Cross to bring the true faith into the world. Give us the strength to live a martyrs life, and if it is your will, die a martyrs death as we begin the third millennium of Christianity. Only martyrs can enable the Church to grow as it has grown since the death of Christ on Calvary.
Copyright © 1999 Inter Mirifica
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