In any crisis, such as the one experienced by the Church in France, there is a call. A call to rediscover the truths of the faith that have been forgotten, even denied. The first of these truths is that evil exists, that everyone has carried it within themselves since Adam and Eve. It is the communion of sinners, the counterpart of that of saints. “A Christianity is (…) dirty”wrote Bernanos in his Diary of a country priest : “Wait for the great day of Judgment, you will see what the angels will have to take from the holiest monasteries, by the shovelful – what a drain! »
The second forgotten truth, which is a consequence of this, is that we all need redemption, which alone can purify us from sin. And this Redemption necessarily passes through the Cross. The English writer Chesterton, converted in 1922, thus explored the reasons which had made him become a Catholic. And he answered, in the first place, that it was to get rid of his sins, praising confession.
A crisis of the cross
The crisis of the Church is a crisis of the cross, one could therefore say, of the very acceptance of the necessity of the cross for man to be saved. Are we even aware of this need to be redeemed? Do we still understand what Salvation is – which is more than the simple protection of a God who would offer a vague supplement of soul, without this requiring a change of life, an effort, an asceticism? In a word: a conversion…
Admittedly, the demand for reform is widely accepted and shared today, but we still need to know – and be told – which direction to take. It is not certain, in fact, that it is necessary to look for scapegoats and throw as media fodder, in turn, the bishops, the doctrine, the celibacy of priests, or even the sacrament of confession… On the other hand, the response of faith is still awaited, especially since the deprivation or restrictions of worship during confinements. Jewish comedian Gad Elmaleh, author of a film which will be released on November 16, Stay a bitwhere he confides his fascination for Catholicism does not hide his astonishment in Le Figaro Magazine : during this period, he asserts, “I would have liked to be enlightened by men of faith. (…) The bodies, the wallets, they managed, but the souls, did they also have to be masked? ».
What our era expects from the Church, hollowly, as in all periods of crisis, is holiness, heroism. And in a Christian regime, the only heroism that really matters is that of the cross, of agreeing to take up and carry the cross. It is this spirit that animated the first crusaders who wanted to deliver the tomb of Christ, at the risk of their lives. Today, the tomb of Christ is no longer to be freed; on the contrary, it is a question of rediscovering its sacred mysteries, buried under our lukewarmness and our unbelief. These mysteries are the Mass, the Sacrifice, and the Cross – and the Virgin Mary who brings us into each of them.
It is also possible that future generations will understand this spirit of faith best. Two recently beatified young Italians, Carlo Acutis, who died of leukemia at the age of 15, and Chiara “Luce” Badano, who died of cancer at the age of 18, thus accepted to live the illness and the approach of death in a holy way, with extraordinary hope. They open the way for us.
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Take up your cross – Catholic France
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