Another Bishop Makes Urgent Appeal

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A few months after we reported on Bishop’s Schneider’s new spiritual crusade for 2024, Cardinal Burke launched his own initiative: a nine-month Novena imploring Our Lady of Guadalupe to deliver the Church.

His effort immediately reminded me of the nine year novena of Poles against the Communists led by Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński back in the late 50s. In a stunning video, His Eminence Cardinal Burke recalls to our desperate hearts that God hears our prayers and works miracles in the darkest of times, as He did with the Empress of the Americas. This is something that all Americans – North and South – should know and love and spread. This is the gift – unmerited, no doubt! – of these Americas to the worldwide Church:

As lay members of the Church Militant – especially my Lefebvrist brethren – we may get tired of these calls for prayer and penance. Why won’t these bishops just do something, like Archbishop Lefebvre did?

But the Archbishop always acted out of a deep prayer life, following the promptings of Providence, as his biographer describes. That’s exactly what these bishops are also doing. We can all debate about what Lefebvre did or did not do, or what these bishops are doing or not doing, but the biggest thing we need to concern ourselves with is not so much what is being done – each bishop will answer for what they do at their own judgement – but that they are doing something, unlike most bishops.

We can also experience the temptation to treat the hierarchy like we treat politicians in our totalitarian, “democratic,” tyrannies of “freedom”: if only the politician did X, then we could have Y. Because we don’t have Y, it’s the fault of this politician, or this pope, or this bishop.

A more spiritual, less Liberal and more Catholic approach is provided by the Collect for the Mass on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday:

O God Who by sin art offended and by penance appeased, look kindly upon the prayers of thy faithful, and turn away the scourge of thy wrath, which for our sins we deserve.

The fact is, we don’t deserve anything better than what we’ve got in the Church and society. That truth needs to be accepted before we can make any progress in our own souls or in society or in the Church.

Therefore I ask all the faithful to welcome and join these two initiatives of prayer this year by two good bishops who seek to shelter the sheep from the wicked wolves: the crusade of Bishop Schneider, and the Novena of Cardinal Burke.

Let us be humbled under the mighty hand of God, accept His wrath for our sins, and hope for all things through His mercy.

T. S. Flanders
Friday in the 2nd Week of Lent

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