In 1976, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (now St. John Paul II) spoke these words in Philadelphia:
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the Antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.”
Powerful words coming from the future saint, especially in 1976. I don’t share this quote to argue that the end times are near. As Jesus tells us, “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Mt 24:36
One thing is certain though: there is a battle raging. Whether it’s the final confrontation, it’s a confrontation nonetheless.
Like never before, we are witnessing attacks on the Church, on marriage, on the family, on human life and what it means to be man or woman. It’s not a battle for land or riches, but for human souls, our souls and the souls of those we love.
Do we see the battle? What will we do?
Will we take up arms courageously – returning to Christ in the Sacraments, in prayer, in sacrifice? Or, will we take to the hills in fear?
Will we respond at all?
St. John Paul II began his papacy with these words, “Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ.” Let us again heed his call.
“So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph 6:14-17
Be the Men.