Pope Benedict on how the Church has always revived

Gerald Augustinus at The Cafeteria is Closed, reports on the informal Q&A session that the Holy Father had with the priests of the Albano diocese. This excerpt particularly struck me as a credible message of hope for our own times in a place like England where secularism seems to have such a tenacious grip on our culture:
In the century of the Reformation, the Catholic Church appeared to be truly almost done in. The new current which affirmed that the Church of Rome is over and done with seemed to be triumphant. But we saw how with the great saints, like Ignatius of Loyola or Teresa of Avila, Carlo Borromeo and others, the Church rose again. It found in the Council of Trent a new actualization and revitalization of its doctrine - and it revived with great vitality.

Let us consider the so-called age of enlightenment, during which Voltaire said, "Finally this old Church is done for - long live humanity!" But what happened instead? The Church renewed itself again. The 19th century became the century of great saints, of a new vitality for so many religious congregations, and the faith proved itself stronger than all the currents of thought that have come and gone.

Likewise in the past century, Hitler said: "Providence has called on me, a Catholic, to put an end to Catholicism. Only a Catholic can destroy Catholicism." He was sure he had all the means to put an end to Catholicism.

In the same manner, that great tide of Marxism was sure it could achieve the 'scientific revision' of the world and open the doors to the future: the Church, it proclaimed, is at the end, it is dead! But the Church is even stronger, in accordance with the words of Christ. It is the life of Christ which is victorious in His Church.

Even in difficult times, when there is a lack of vocations, the Word of God remains eternal. And whoever, as the Lord Himself said, builds his life on this 'rock' of God's Word, builds well.
Read the whole post here.

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