Skip to comments.Pondering St. Paul’s Lament of Savage Wolves
Posted on 05/16/2018 10:03:58 AM PDT by Salvation
In the first reading for Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter, St. Paul warns of perhaps the most damaging and wrenching evil that the Church must face: dissension from within.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. (Acts 20:30-31).
St. Paul calls them savage wolves. Is this hyperbole? No, for their work is to devour the flock. They may do this with subtlety and smooth words, but they (and the evil one who inspires them) devour the flock nonetheless. Lets ponder this troubling truth in three ways:
I. There are false prophets.
Scripture warns of this repeatedly:
There are more passages like these, but allow this sample to demonstrate the consistent warning of the apostles that deceivers, scoffers, and false prophets would arise.
II. Of special concern are false prophets who come from within.
There is a special subtlety in this kind of deceiver, especially if he wears a collar or priestly robes, and even more if he be of the rank of bishop. Down through the centuries there has been particular harm caused by wayward clergy. The grief is especially deep because so many of the faithful have been rightly encouraged to love and listen to the clergy.
Therefore, in the passage from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul calls them savage wolves. This terminology is true on its face because their goal is to devour and scatter the flock, but St. Pauls language also indicates an especially sharp pain caused by this sort of betrayal. Other scriptures affirm this deep pain:
Yes, there is a special grief when error and sin come from within the Church. It should be enough that the world hates and derides us, but internal wounds are the most painful of all.
Our Lady spoke to St. Agnes Sasagawa in Akita, Japan (an approved apparition) and said with sadness,
The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord. The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God (Message of Oct 13, 1973).
III. What are the faithful to do?
First, from the Scriptures above, we must understand the warning that such things would happen. Indeed, they have happened down through history. False prophets arise, even from within. The Lord says thorough His apostles, Remember that I have told these things would inevitably occur. Therefore, we ought not be dismayed, but rather sober.
The first Letter of St. John says,
Who is the liar, if it is not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son can have the Father; whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well. As for you, let what you have heard from the beginning remain in you. If it does, you will also remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life. I have written these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you And now, little children, remain in Him, so that when He appears, we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming. (1 John 2:15ff).
St. Paul adds,
Evidently some people are troubling you and trying to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be anathema (under a divine curse!) As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you embraced from us, let him be under a divine curse! (Galatians 1:7-9)
The Letter of Jude says,
But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh (Jude 1:20-23).
Catholics today must remember that the teaching of the faith is not simply anything that any clergy of any rank utters. The magisterium is more than that! Everything we hear is to be squared with the consistent teaching of the Church, back through the centuries, as articulated in Scripture and in the doctrinal and dogmatic teachings of the Church. Stay close to the catechism, close to Scripture, close to the Fathers of the Church!
We began with St. Pauls lament of savage wolves who would seek to mislead and scatter the flock he had labored so hard to build. Mysteriously, the Lord allows some degree of dissent, but He has left us with warnings. Our task is to heed these warnings and judge everything we hear by the deposit of the faith as articulated consistently in the Church down through the ages. Look to the most certain sources: Scripture, the fundamental dogmas of the Faith, the Fathers of the Church, the Catechism, and St. Thomas Aquinas. These are bulwarks for us.
I look to the faithful in the land
that they may dwell with me.
He who walk in the way of perfection
shall be my friend (Psalm 101:6).
Monsignor Pope Ping!
The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops.It just struck me that "they" (the psuedo-authorities --- not Cardinal Sarah, of course) have just ripped out the magnificent altar at one of Christendom's most ancient churches, the Roman Basilica Santa Maria ad Martyres, and replaced it with the liturgical equivalent of a picnic table, bolted to the floor to make it "permanent."
The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres churches and altars sacked.
The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God (Message of Oct 13, 1973).
They can't keep their hands off the altars.
In a way, it's a little thing in the midst of much larger wreckovations.
But it's emblematic of how much work will have to be done after Francis is gone, to restore recognizable Catholic norms.
And Our Lady of Akita prophesied that they'd go after the altars!
Obvious to many, I know, but it just hit me.
Back in the 60s, many of us objected to the altar being turned around but we were shouted down. Some of us knew a slippery slope when we saw it.
Thanks for your post.
You were wise.
How'd Msgr Pope slip through the cracks?
Most priests I’ve met are similar in their thoughts and actions. You hear a lot more about the bad ones!
That’s why you just groan and go on when you hear one praising homosexuals, or various other sundry statements against the teachings of the Church.
**How’d Msgr Pope slip through the cracks? **
Blessed by grace through the Holy Spirit!
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