Posted by: fvbcdm | June 26, 2015

Feast of Saint Josemaria Escriva (26 June 2015)

The other day, a man who reads this Catholic Daily Message wrote, asking me why so many young people leave the Church. Along the same lines, we might ask ourselves why so many young people DO NOT embrace religious life or the priesthood.

The answer is simple, even though the causes are complex, and the remedies still elude us. Young people either don’t enter religious life or priestly studies, or leave the Church entirely because they don’t see God, religion, Church, religious life, and priesthood as being relevant, important, and worthy of giving their lives to these things. When I entered the seminary at the age of 26 (which was considered old in those days), I was absolutely convinced, as I still am, that I was doing the most important thing that I could do with my life. That opinion is certainly not shared by many 26-year-olds of today. Let’s face it: they were born after the religious craziness of the sixties and seventies. And they have many elements in their lives that are enemies, which used to be friends.

My parents and my home spoke to me of God. My elementary education was entirely in the hands of Sisters, who proclaimed God very loudly and clearly just by walking down the street in their religious habits, to say nothing of the marvelous education they gave us in both sacred and secular subjects. My high school and college education was at the hands of the Jesuits, who in those days took their special vow of loyalty to the Pope very seriously. Nowadays, for many of them it is a joke, and their colleges in this country can hardly be called Catholic schools at all.

In addition to parents and home life and Catholic education at all levels, there were other friends of our souls when we were young which are now enemies. Take the media, for example. When I was a kid, I loved to go to the movies. Some of them were really good, instructive, entertaining, and uplifting. None were openly harmful to the minds and souls of children and young people. I can remember how shocked the nation was by the 1939 movie “Gone with the Wind.” Rhett Butlet said to Scarlett, his wife, who was bemoaning his leaving her, and was asking “Where will I go? What will I do?,” “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” You could hear gasps of shock and horror all over the theater. And now —?

Our Divine Lord has given us his assurance that the Church will continue to exist and to sanctify and save those who make use of its ministry until the end of time, and “the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” What are the gates of hell? In the modern world, many parents, many homes, many schools, even those who call themselves Catholic, many movies, TV programs, much of the music that our children and teenagers listen to—these are the gates of hell, doing their best to destroy the souls of the young. And that is to say nothing of the abusing priests and the bishops who, up until recently, allowed them to abuse. We have much to pray for, my dear friends. So let’s get on our knees and do what we can to combat the gates of hell, doing their best to destroy the souls of the young. And that is to say nothing of the abusing priests and the bishops who, up until recently, allowed them to abuse.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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