There is a lot of discussion and worry about the fate of the Catholic Church today. Too many people are forgetting that God promised the Church would survive. So much conversation and often too little prayer. Yes, we have problems and possible schisms in our midst but we still have Jesus, Body and Blood, at Mass. It might be scary from our narrow point of view, but the ‘weather’ outside the bounds of the Catholic Church could be worse. I found this quote that while funny is full of meaning for everyone right now.
The New Testament compares the church to the ark of Noah. There is an old yarn about Noah finding his son on the bow of the ark, in a deep funk. Noah asked him how he was and he replied, “Not good, Dad. If it weren’t for the storm outside, I couldn’t stand the stink inside.”
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville
“In these days, therefore, let us add something beyond the wonted measure of our service, such as private prayers and abstinence in food and drink. Let each one, over and above the measure prescribed for him, offer God something of his own freewill in the joy of the Holy Spirit.”
St. Benedict: Rule, 49. (6th century)
“For prayer to be effective our petitions should be for benefits worthily to be expected from God. Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss.” (James 4, 3)
St. Thomas Aquinas: Compendium of Theology, 251 (13th century)