The attacks on the Catholic Church today from outside the Church and even from within carries a tremendous weight on the shoulders of Pope Benedict XVI.
The stress of the world can certainly bear down on any one, the Japanese disaster and the great suffering there is extraordinary.
World events taking place such as the threat of the Muslim extremist and the uprisings in the Middle East has to be a heavy burden for the Pope.
The blood of the martyrs must bring tears to his eyes as there is little he can do but pray and intercede. The diplomacy can only go so far.
The Secularism of the world has to be a top concern, the abandonment of the holy to the free thinker. Abortion, pornography, the priest scandal, divorce and the breakdown of the family has to weigh heavy on his shoulders as well.
The threat of disease especially AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases attacks the core of the Church. Condoms and other forms of Artificial Birth Control seem to be the preference of the sexual revolutionary.
Even shepherds supposedly backing the Holy Father do not preach the truth from the pulpit. The rebellion of Notre Dame a chilling example. What must break his heart the most is some Catholics abandoning the faith for just about everything out there.
The infiltration of Communist, Marxist, Socialist, even Homosexual men into the priesthood with the purpose of causing scandal and the scattering of the faithful bears much weight upon the Popes shoulders.
These are just some of the issues that confront the world today. What is the answer that can turn things around for the hope of mankind and the Church?
Exodus 17:8-13 has the answer: "At Rephidim, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand. So Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. Moses hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword".
I want to take a few things from this scripture and take a deeper look at this.
1. Moses instructed Joshua to "pick out certain men", these were to be taken into the battle. The Church needs to "pick out certain men" who are faithful to the Magisterium. St. Peter said, "So I exhort the presbyters among you, as fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory" (1 Peter 5:1-5).
2. As Moses was taken up to the top of the hill, so too must the Church be set upon the top of the hill.
Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house" (Matthew 5:14-15).
When the Shepherds stand up for the truth the flock follow with confidence.
The people will be encouraged. Otherwise the people will scatter.
3. As long as Moses held his hands up Israel had the better of the fight, when he would rest them the enemy was getting the better of the fight.
We must spiritually help hold the Popes hands raised supported by prayer on the one side and adoration on the other side to strengthen the Church Militant.
Jesus promised that the gates of the Netherworld would NOT prevail against the Church, we must keep his hands raised towards heaven to win the fight against the enemy of our time.
4. Through the supports given Moses, he was able to keep his hands raised until sunset when Joshua won the victory.
Jesus has been raised from the dead, he is alive alleluia! The battle has been won, yet the Church continues to battle for souls accomplishing the works of God in the power of his name.
We have a choice either to follow Christ or to follow the way of the world. Choose Christ!
There are great problems to solve in this day and time, yet, if we keep our eyes on the Lord and his Prime Minister, we can prayerfully keep the Popes arms raised for battle to lead the Church through the stormy seas as they are swirling.
Please keep the Pope, the Bishops in union with him, all our Priests, all our religious in prayer so they will represent that leadership the Church needs today.
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