Another young man writes to me about the problem of living as a Catholic in today’s world around us. But what Catholic can not have a problem in today’s world? His questions as to world and Church are in italics. Some advice from the author of these “Comments” follows:—
It is more and more difficult for me to live a life consistent with the Catholic Faith. As for the world, should I be thinking, as soon as I earn my own living, of moving to another country, e.g. France, in order to seek there the means of founding a Christian family (e.g. wife, Catholic priests consistent with the defence of Tradition, &c)? As for Mass, the Traditional Mass nearest to my city is in B., where there is a chapel of the Newsociety and another chapel which depends on the Newchurch. What would your Excellency recommend me to do? I know of no priests of the Resistance in my country, nor even of many true Catholics, as it seems to me.
As for the world I would not recommend your moving to any other country. There is every likelihood that you would meet there with the same problems, and you would have severed your native roots in your own country. You may think those roots in a modern city are not worth much but they are better than none. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” You would risk jumping “from the frying pan into the fire,” instead of jumping from the frying pan onto the kitchen table. Providence has put you in the city where you have now your family and your friends. The solutions today are rather internal than external, above all when World War may start before long (the whole USA System is against Trump, and it wants war!).
Similarly with attending Mass. The “other chapel” that you mention was once better than it is now. Likewise the SSPX, as you know. The apostasy today is all around. I would beware of geographical solutions. You could attach one day to the best-seeming priest, and a little while later he goes crazy too. That has happened all too often in today’s Church. The solution has to be internal rather than external.
As for the internal solution, since you read the ‘Eleison Comments,’ then you know how often and repeatedly I recommend praying the full 15 Mysteries of the Rosary every day. Good books (and good music) can also help considerably to nourish and protect the mind and the heart. Read what genuinely interests you, and do not read merely dutiful books because you will not get out of them nearly as much. Almighty God has seen from eternity what a mess the modern world would get itself into. He has also seen from eternity that there would be souls today still wanting to go to Heaven. Is it imaginable that even in today’s infernal big cities He would have left such souls with no recourse if only they wanted to stay on track for Heaven?
Yet He foresaw that everything external would fall under the control of His enemies: telephone calls, emails, drones, universities, politics, law, medicine, etc., etc. That is why I think that what He means by allowing such power to His enemies is to drive us back to Him and to a true inner practice of His holy religion despite the worst that Popes and priests can do. Therefore, in my opinion, be content to attend the least contaminated Tridentine Mass that there is anywhere near you, get regularly to Confession with any priest still willing to hear Confessions and who does not tell you that a sin is not a sin, and find the way to work into your day all 15 Mysteries of the Rosary. And then “possess your soul in patience” and quietly beg God to show you the way to Heaven, and to intervene here below before everything is lost. Despite all appearances, He is still in perfect control.