Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Church Militant

The Universal Church, Christianity, is traditionally said to be comprised of three parts; the Church Triumphant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Militant. The Church Militant refers to those of us here on earth fighting against sin and evil, struggling daily to gain our way into Eternal Glory. As the forces of Satan grow stronger throughout the world, the Church Militant begins to take on additional and foreboding relevance.

Recently, the exiled Chaldean Catholic Archeparch of Mosul, Archbishop Amel Nona, made this impassioned plea,
Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive. 
Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.
During a recent Sunday homily, the priest spoke of the Church Militant, and reminded us of the importance of standing strong and not denying our faith, even in the face of death. We were urged to prayerful solidarity with the Christians in the Middle East who are facing genocide at the hands of muslims.

I have often said that if, or when, I am put on trial for my faith, I pray that there is enough evidence to convict me. But I know the weakness that exists to tempt me towards an earthly survival. I pray that I am indeed strong enough, by the grace of God, to accept what may come. I shudder at the peril of that poor Christian who denied his faith, only to be immediately beheaded by his tormentors. May God have mercy on his soul.

But we do not have to accept the evil in our midst. It is my belief, that if the Christians living today took the title of Church Militant to its literal end, we might actually save ourselves from the same fate as the martyred Christians in Mosul and beyond. We might avoid being faced to make that choice of martyrdom or eternal damnation.

Archbishop Nona's warning is chilling. Read it again. Let that unsettling warning sink into your heart. The silence of the "irrelevant" and silent muslim aside, Islam is, and has always been at odds with freedom, and it remains at war with Christianity. Never has this ideology of submission peacefully "co-existed" with Christendom. Those Christians in Iraq, in Syria, and throughout the Middle East know it, and they are dying because of it. To deny that the satanic spread of islam will ever willingly self-limit is but fatal ignorance.

I make a plea to my all fellow Christians, and to my fellow Catholics in particular. Do not become complacent. "Turning the other cheek" does not mean acquiescence, it does not mean surrender. We must stand up to the silent surrender in the courts, and by those in political office. Political correctness is meekness, and meekness loses to oppression every time. I do not seek out warfare. I do not seek violence. I will however defend my faith and my family, violently, if forced to do so. The time to prepare draws nigh. The coming battle will be both spiritual and corporal. Heed the words of Theodore Roosevelt who noted at the turn of the 20th century, "Christianity was saved in Europe solely because the peoples of Europe fought." Sadly, it may now be too late for a Christian Europe. If we too fail to stand strong now, we in the West "will become the victims of the enemy [we] have welcomed."

See "Archbishop of Mosul: 'I have lost my Diocese to Islam - You in the West will also become the victims of Muslims'" for the complete warning from the exiled leader.