When invited to families homes for dinner, I am often asked about the crisis in the Church hierarchy.  I am a realist on these issues (no longer an idealist) so my replies frequently dampen the mood.  However, here’s four items I am now highlighting so as to bring hope (again, as a realist:)

1.  We live in an age of many martyrs.  We seem to be no longer living in an age of great saints, but I remind people that many new martyrs are interceding for us.  You have probably heard me quote this frequently, but here it is with a source.  Susan Brinkman writes, “The secular West has been looking the other way for a very long time. Even the average church-going Christian is not likely to know that 45.5 million of the estimated 70 million Christians who have died for Christ did so in the last century. For this reason, scholars such as Robert Royal, president of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., and author of The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century, refer to the past century as one of the darkest periods of martyrdom since the birth of Christianity.”

2.  We live in an age of many converts.  While Christians in the West are debating ridiculous issues like if they should or should not be involved in pagan worship like shaking a wild turkey bone at Western Grandmother, this diabolical ecumenism has led to the destruction of missionary orders.  Jesus Christ Himself seems to be making the converts, often appearing in dreams to pagans in the Far East and infidels in the Near East.  An Orthodox website reads, “In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. These numbers are very large indeed.”  Even that non-Catholic Eastern Orthodox website above admits that in Africa, “the number of Catholics has increased from one million in 1902 to 329,882,000 [today.]”

3.  Even the West is raising up great saints, but they’re mostly still children.  In this talk called The Sixth Generation, at time stamp 47:00, Fr. Ripperger explains, “When you look at some of the kids coming up now in the sixth generation, they’re starting to show extraordinary signs that we haven’t seen in millennia almost… I know a child that started meditating at the age of five on his own.  I have seen children as early as seven and eight years of age start fasting on their own… and they can suffer phenomenally; it doesn’t seem to phase them.  You’re starting to see they have a particular kind of grace where they’re able to quickly see the truth of the doctrines and when something opposite is proposed to them, they just think it’s preposterous.  God is preparing a Catholic revival.  I think He’s preparing it.  You can see it.  The grace is there.  It’s coming up.  But we’re going to have to go through something pretty ugly before we get there, I think.”  (I was at just such a family’s home with such extraordinary children in the above picture taken of me, snapped unbeknownst to me at the time.  Keep in mind that later in the Q/A session of that talk, Fr. Ripperger cautions parents on excessive mortification taken on by children.  Of course, such gifts should sprout up by grace, not by force.)

4.  We are on the brink of a great age of Catholicism.   This one I can’t prove with statistics like the above items.  I believe Jesus will return soon or the next Pope will not only be orthodox, but a holy traditionalist.  Because things can’t get worse (as everything of the Creed has been implicitly denied from the top down—which is technically worse than the Creed being explicitly denied—because then homeboy would get caught) then we can come to the conclusion we have hit rockbottom.  That means only God can help us.  Since I am now convinced that divine intervention would never be tantamount to the “hermeneutic of continuity,” then there’s only one conclusion:  The next Pope will be a holy traditionalist.  Or I believe Jesus will return soon, please God.