Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Church's Trust in God

Last night when I was reading my Bible, I came across a psalm that struck me as being very appropriate for the time we are currently living in. If you have been keeping up with the news lately as I have, you're probably aware that the Catholic Church in the United States is under unprecedented, escalating attack from the forces of evil. And this, at a time when the "new springtime" in the Church foretold and prepared by Pope John Paul II, "John Paul the Great" of happy memory, is just beginning to blossom under the wise and holy pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. The major reason for this attack is that our Catholic bishops, both individually and as a body, have been speaking out powerfully and with notable effect against abortion, homosexual "marriage," and the whole culture of death that the Obama administration stands for. The Catholic Church--united with many other Christians and people of good will in America--has scored major victories against FOCA, "gay marriage" and federal abortion funding in health care, and as a result, direct attacks on the Church have multipled. Some senators and representatives would like to revoke the Church's tax-exempt status and forbid Catholic bishops from publicly criticizing national policy. In Connecticut, a bill was introduced in the state legislature that would have placed the Catholic Church in that state directly under government control. Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina is being sued for refusing to cover abortion and contraception services in its health plan for students, even though the students themselves are against such coverage. A majority of U.S. senators is still attempting to pass health care legislation that would legally force Catholic hospitals around the country to provide abortions. In all of these assaults, the enemies of the Church have shed all pretenses of tolerance and civility, taken off their masks and declared open war on the Catholic Church and the traditional values it holds dear. The battle is joined and the weapons of the enemy are flying thick at the Church, because the Devil knows that his time is short. He knows that he is going to lose in the end, so he is doing all he can to snatch temporary victory from the jaws of eternal defeat. As Jesus promised in Matthew 16:18, the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.

The psalm I found, is Psalm 45, which expresses the Church's trust in God amidst persecution. Note that this is Psalm 46 in the New American Bible and most other translations. I quote the following from my favorite translation of the Bible, the Douay-Rheims Version of 1752:

Deus noster refugium.
The church in persecution trusteth in the protection of God.

Our God is our refuge and strength: a helper in troubles, which have found us exceedingly.

Therefore we will not fear, when the earth shall be troubled; and the mountains shall be removed into the heart of the sea.

Their waters roared and were troubled; the mountains were troubled with his strength.

The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful: the most High hath sanctified his own tabernacle.

God is in the midst thereof, it shall not be moved: God will help it in the morning early.

Nations were troubled, and kingdoms were bowed down: he uttered his voice, the earth trembled.

The Lord of armies is with us: the God of Jacob is our protector.

Come and behold ye the works of the Lord: what wonders he hath done upon earth, making wars to cease even to the end of the earth.

He shall destroy the bow, and break the weapons: and the shield he shall burn in the fire.

Be still and see that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of armies is with us: the God of Jacob is our protector.

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