Liberalism is an unbelievable disease, capable of rotting out the best hearts and minds. If we define it, most briefly, as the liberation of man from God, it is as old as the hills, but never has it been so deep or widespread or seemingly normal, as it is today. Now religious liberty is at the heart of liberalism – what use is it to be free from everything else and everybody else if I am not free from God? So if Benedict XVI lamented three weeks ago that “religious freedom is threatened all over the world,” he is certainly infected. Nor let even followers of Catholic Tradition be confident that they have immunity from the disease. Here is an e-mail I received a few days ago from a layman in Continental Europe:—
“For the longest time, about 20 years, I was moulded by liberalism. It is through the grace of God that I underwent a conversion with the Society of St Pius X. To my shock I have found liberal behaviour even in the ranks of Tradition. People are still saying that one should not exaggerate how bad things are at present. Freemasonry is hardly mentioned as being an enemy of the Church, because to do so might damage one’s personal interests, so people go on reacting as though, overall, the world is still in good shape.
“Some Traditionalists even recommend psycho-drugs to deal with the stress that goes with being a Traditional Catholic, and if you are looking for happiness, they say, you should go to a medical doctor to make life easier.
“The consequence of such behaviour is an indifferentism which is the seed-bed of liberalism. All of a sudden it is no longer so bad to attend the Novus Ordo Mass, to make common cause with modernists, to change one’s principles from one day to the next, to give up showing one’s faith in public, to study at a State university, to trust the State, and to act on the assumption that everybody does after all mean well.
“Our Lord has harsh words for this sort of indifferentism: the lukewarm he will “begin to spit out of his mouth” (Rev. III, 16). It may sound paradoxical, but the greatest enemies of the Church are liberal Catholics. There is even a liberal Traditionalism!!!” (end of layman’s quote).
What then is the antidote for this poison that threatens every one of us? Sanctifying grace, no doubt (Rom.VII, 25), which can clear the mind of confusion, and strengthen the will to do what the mind sees to be right. And how do I make sure of sanctifying grace? That is a little like asking, how can I guarantee my final perseverance? The Church teaches that one cannot guarantee it, because it is a gift – or the gift – of God. But what I can always do is pray the Holy Rosary, an average of five Mysteries a day – better, if reasonably possible, fifteen. Whosoever does that is doing what the Mother of God asks all of us to do, and she has a virtually unlimited maternal power over her Son, Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ.