The Work of the Church (1944)
St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us.
“Christ Himself said: Many are called, but few are chosen.
The essential difference between [Catholic] Christianity and other religions is that Christianity is a difficult religion. It is not easy for men to abandon pleasure and prosperity and power and live each day as though it was their last. It has never been and never will be.
Bearing this in mind, the Church is patient as God behind His screen is patient. She is patient because she knows that men are not converted by argument alone but by God’s grace as well; she is patient because she knows she carries a great responsibility: that of saving down the ages the greatest possible number of human souls; but above all she is patient because she knows that she will ultimately triumph because Christ has promised that she will.
So with her pharmacy of Sacraments she waits, healing as many souls as possible, preaching the startling truth that whosoever shall lose his life shall find it, controverting, carrying the Cross into strange lands, pleading, condemning, threatening, but always aware that she must not necessarily give offense lest she lose souls for Almighty God.
That is why she makes pacts and agreements with heathen and heretical governments, that she may distribute the Bread of Life as widely as possible and succor her many children in strange lands.
And that is why in times of war she is impartial, because she knows that no nation perfectly practices righteousness and that the rulers of all nations are proud and blown out with vain ambitions.
For the Church is very old and wise and she has preached the Gospel in ice and fire and heat and snow. It does not astonish her that there should be sin and disorder in the world; rather she is astonished that there should be virtue and order.
And the Church knows, because she reads reality in God’s mirror, that there is one thing worse than a million young men dying on a field of battle–and that is one old man dying in his bed in a state of final impenitence.”
March 19, 2021