Updated: May 30, 2022
“From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning…"
“The time is surely coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord." Amos 8:11, NRSVCE
There are times when my hope wanes whenever I read the news or look at what’s being shared on social media.There is so much false information roaming around. People speak so confidently about things that contain only a small portion of truth.
Day after day, I read more and more groups of people becoming more antagonistic towards the Catholic Church. It’s as though there is a plague of hatred spreading wider and wider until there’s almost no sacred ground left for the believer to walk upon.
Sometimes I even ask myself, “What would happen thirty years from now?” Other than being an old lady by then, I couldn’t imagine the kind of world the near future would be.
The Search for Truth
There was a time when the saints like St. Augustine would argue against heretics and other people spreading false beliefs, but during such times, people could still be convinced. After a certain debate or thorough discussion of philosophies, people can still concede and recognize the truth.
But today, that’s something that rarely happens. Today, even if you present a clear logical proof to people, they would merely scoff at your line of thinking.
People today are driven more by their feelings, by their passions. They think they’re on the right just because they believe the influencers they see on the internet. Do people still read books and visit real libraries nowadays? How hard is it to discover the truth for yourself?
Perhaps the problem is that the desire for the truth is fading (or is no longer there!). Perhaps people don’t want to open their eyes because when that happens, they can finally see.
Though there are still people preaching the truth, I can’t help but think about God’s silence.
It’s not that He isn’t doing anything. Of course He is doing something, and He has a plan!
But in a certain way, I feel that He is allowing this kind of situation. He could avert it, but He does not. Not yet.
It’s like the days of Noah where God waited for the boat to be finished before He sent the flood. It’s like the days of Abraham and Lot where God rescued His people before He sent destruction from above.
God is patient. And God waits for our repentance. In His wisdom, perhaps He is allowing people to see what would happen if it refuses to abide by the truth.
Would people achieve the kind of happiness they’re searching for? Would the world finally find peace? What would the world be like if it had turned its back on God?
“And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” - Luke 18:8, NRSVCE
The Small Church
It was Pope Benedict XVI who predicted that the Church of the future would be small. It will no longer be a Church supported by the State, but it would be a small number that is strong with God’s grace.
When the world has finally learned what godlessness is, and what great emptiness they need to fill, the Church would be a ready refuge where all who seek salvation can enter in. Perhaps we’d find ourselves again in a time like Noah’s time, and the Church would be like the boat that Noah built. When the world becomes weary of evil, may the Church offer her motherly compassion and embrace all those who seek the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
“From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning…But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.” - Pope Benedict XVI (1969 radio broadcast)
You may also want to read: Come To Me, All You Who Are Weary and Burdened