No matter how you look at it, and no matter how things play out in the months and years ahead, the storm we’ve all been waiting for has arrived. Things are about to get very difficult for Faithful and Practicing Catholics in the days ahead. Whether it’s battening down the hatches, or boarding up the windows, this storm has arrived and it’s here to stay. Time for action is limited, so it’s imperative for Practicing Catholics to move swiftly and wisely. The storm has two fronts, both spiritual and physical. We must prepare for both, digging in for the long battle, with the understanding that we cannot retreat, run or hide. Instead, we must find some high ground, then dig in for the long fight.
How long are we talking about here? Knowing this will probably give us a better idea of what kind of preparations need to be made. This storm will not last days, weeks or even months. It’s going to last years, and when I say that, I’m thinking about a decade here. That’s right, I’m talking about ten long and grueling years of hard spiritual battle that most certainly will bleed over into the physical realm. If you’re not prepared for that, then you will be defeated. So the time has come. Let’s make our last-minute preparations while the rain and wind starts to pick up.
The hierarchy of the mainstream Catholic Church can no longer be trusted to lead us. From the sexual-abuse and cover-up crisis, to financial corruption, to political scandal, the hierarchy, especially in the Vatican and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has proved itself to be compromised. We can spend a lifetime speculating about what personal issues each bishop is compromised on. I’ll leave that nasty business to news outfits like ChurchMilitant.Com, which is privy to far more information than I will ever be. Suffice it to say, there are only a small few bishops left in America, who are worthy of our support.
Who are they? I won’t engage in making a list here, for fear of accidentally leaving somebody out. Instead, I’ll just put it this way. If a bishop: (1) supports traditional and reverent Catholic worship, (2) stands up for Catholic orthodoxy, (3) disciplines errant clergy, politicians and celebrities under his authority, and (4) fully cooperates with law enforcement in fighting sexual abuse, then he’s a good bishop! Do your own homework. If your bishop does these four things, he’s a good bishop and deserves your support. If he’s lacking in just one of those four things, he’s part of the problem, and you should probably send your donations somewhere else.
Likewise, the same is true for many Catholic presbyters (priests). A good number of them are personally compromised. We could speculate on the type of moral issues that are causing this, but again, I’ll leave that to Catholic news outlets that specialize in this area. There are still many presbyters who are good priests! And they should be supported! How can we know them? A good presbyter (priest) will: (1) support traditional and reverent worship in his parish, (2) teach orthodoxy in his homilies and not let heretics run his religious education programs, (3) fearlessly preach against abortion, contraception and sexual sin in his homilies, (4) make himself, and his parish staff, accountable in the fight against sexual abuse. If your priest is doing these four things, he’s worthy of your support and you should support him! If he’s lacking in just one of those four things, he’s part of the problem, and you really should consider going to another parish entirely. In regards to #3 above, keep in mind that he need not do this in every, single homily. Rather, he should do it just enough to make sure his position on these things is well known. In other words, the average parishioner should never have to ask. It should just be common knowledge that: “Father opposes abortion, contraception, fornication, adultery and homosexuality.” If there’s ever a question on this, or any doubts in the minds of even a few parishioners, we have a problem.
The first line of defense in this storm is protection of the family, and by that I mean both the spiritual and physical protection of the family. Father’s bear the primary responsibility in both areas, but mothers are by no means exempt. Husbands will need the support of their wives, if they hope to make an effective team, and while it’s the man’s job to “man up” to protect his family (both physically and spiritually), it’s the woman’s job to “ride shotgun” in this endeavor, supporting her man (the driver) any way she reasonably can.
Men, this means your going to have to protect your family in the following ways…
- Live the Faith! You cannot give your children that which you don’t have yourself. If you’re a bad Catholic, use the raising of your children as an opportunity to become a better Catholic. It’s never too late to change.
- Regularly pray with your family. You can use the Rosary (highly recommended), or the Divine Office, or some other form of private devotion that works for your family. Family prayer should happen minimally two nights a week, but ideally every single night, and should last between 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the age and attention span of the children. (Wives, support your husbands on this, and keep them accountable so they actually do it!)
- Regularly teach your family. You should always use the Bible and the Catechism. Here’s how to go about it. The Old Testament is mainly for use when your children are young, and you should use a story Bible for this. One example would be the Illustrated Catholic Children’s Bible. By the time they’re teenagers, you should focus on the New Testament like a laser beam, and you should also get them adult Bibles which they can read, both individually and in the family group, such as the Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition (RSV-CE). I highly recommend this version over all other English Bible translations. As for Catechisms, I recommend the Baltimore Catechism Series, which is graded from children to adults. Teens, ages 14 through adults, should read the Baltimore Catechism #3 and #4 from this set. Numbers #1 and #2 are designed for younger children. Illustrated versions of the same Baltimore Catechism series, designed for children who like pictures, which also contains lesson plans, can be found here: #0 (age 5-7), #1 (age 8-10) and #2 (age 11-13). In these times, we CANNOT leave religious instruction up to Church officials. We have to do this ourselves. Previous generations of Catholic clergy have provided for us everything we need in the Baltimore Catechism Series. (Wives, support your husbands on this, and participate in the process, especially with your young children!)
- Get a crucifix and statue of Madonna with Child. Every Catholic home should have at least two religious items displayed prominently therein. There should be at least one large, prominently displayed, crucifix. There should also be displayed one large statue, icon or painting of the Madonna with Child (Mary and Baby Jesus). The Christ Child is usually displayed either on Mary’s lap, in her arms, or sometimes in her womb (pregnant Mary) such as in the case of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They do not need to be in the same place, but they should both be displayed in the same living room, where the family spends most of their time. This is where prayer and religious studies should be done. Of course, other religious statues, icons and pictures are welcome as well, but the crucifix and Madonna with Child should be most clearly displayed. For example, our living room features a large crucifix from Mexico on one side, by the front door. On the other side of the living room, on top of the fireplace hearth, sits a large statue of Our Lady of Walsingham.
- Get your family into a good parish. Sadly, this can be a hard one these days, but these are the times in which we live. This is not optional. It must be done, for the spiritual safety of your family. It’s absolutely necessary. This means you may need to do some driving in the short term. In the long term, however, it may mean moving closer to such a parish. It’s better to live closer to a good Catholic parish, then it is to live closer to your job, workplace or school. For convenience sake, Tony & Kendra at ReverentCatholicMass.Com have provided a detailed MAP of parishes with reverent Catholic masses inside the United States. Use this as your starting point. Again, this is not optional. If we don’t do this, the battle is lost before it even begins. (Wives, support your husband’s lead on this, by immediately networking within a new parish, once you and your husband find a good one that works well with your family.)
- Let me help you as best as I can. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I can help a little. Obviously, I can’t solve your problems, and the best I can do is point you in the right direction, but at least let me do that. There are some great Catholics out there on the Internet, both clergy and laity alike, all of whom can help you, and I won’t list them all here for fear of leaving somebody out. I’ll let you be the judge of that, and who is right for you. Just think of me as a drill sergeant for boot-camp. My job is to get you started. After that, your job is to use your own discernment. Start with a copy of my book Are Catholics Christian?. Then, followup by browsing through my apologetics page RealClearCatholic.Com.
- Move to a safer location. The world is changing, not in a good way, and that includes the United States. Regardless of who wins the presidential election (and yes, it’s not over until one candidate concedes, or January 20, whichever comes first), these next four years are going to be very rough. If Trump wins, things will go bad in the big cities. If Biden wins, things will go bad everywhere. Regardless of who wins, the solution is the same. Fathers, you need to move your families where its easier to physically protect them from lawlessness. Moving to a state that has the Castle Doctrine is a big step in the right direction. Moving to a Stand Your Ground state is even better. In some cases, it may be ideal to get your families outside of large urban areas. Suburban dwelling, or rural dwelling, may be more desirable, depending on your family’s circumstances.
- Get a gun or two. Depending on the laws in your state, and how they apply, you’ll need to acquire a firearm or two. For basic home defense, nothing beats a shotgun. Don’t ask me for best brands or recommendations. I haven’t sold firearms in years, and I have no intention of getting back into that business. The only recommendation I’ll give you is the 12-gauge shotgun, because the ammunition is usually a lot easier to find, and often sold in more plentiful quantities. The turkey load should be effective at getting the job done, without doing too much damage to your house. Buckshot is guaranteed to work, but you may have to hang some new drywall afterward. The same goes for slugs, which I don’t recommend at all.
- Consider carrying a gun. Moving to a “shall issue” conceal and carry state, or even better, a constitutional-carry state will be extremely helpful if you decide to do this, and the time is coming when most of us may have to out of necessity. If you do conceal and carry, make sure you follow the laws in your state. If your wives feel comfortable carrying a firearm, I do recommend it. However, whenever you carry a small firearm, there is more to it than just knowing the laws in your state and city. You should get some training and practice shooting now and then. You should also keep in mind the safety of your children. There are many products available to parents of small children for gun safety. In addition, children should never be curious about guns. Teaching them about guns, and helping them learn how to shoot, is one way to protect them. The best way to beat dangerous curiosity is through personal knowledge and education. As for which type of gun is best, again don’t ask me. I’m no longer in that business. The only thing I’ll say is this. If you plan on lots of target practice, a clip-action, semi-auto (of any kind) is fine. But if you’re the type that doesn’t practice that much, or just wants something you can always rely on to never jam, get a revolver. Personally, I like the .38 Special.
- Talk to your pastor about Church security. In some states, like mine, it’s legal to conceal and carry a gun into a church, during church services, provided the pastor has been informed and consents to it. Perhaps you should consider talking to your pastor about church security. What is the parish doing to prevent a church shooting? Is there a security team? If so, what does it consist of? Understanding that most churches can’t afford professional security, such teams will have to be voluntary. I strongly encourage the Knights of Columbus to assemble a parish-security division, calling upon fraternal members who are reputable attorneys and law-enforcement professionals, to help them organize something that is practical, reasonable, safe and something that can be easily duplicated in many parishes throughout many states. Bishops and presbyters (priests) need to start taking this seriously. It’s not something that needs to be advertised loudly. It can be done quietly and discretely, but it can and should be done. God forbid, when the first Catholic parish in America becomes victim to a senseless massacre, the blood of the victims will be on the hands of the priest and bishop, if some kind of reasonable security measures were not attempted. It’s one thing to say “we tried but failed.” It’s quite another thing to say “we didn’t bother trying at all.” Talk to your priest. Even if a security team hasn’t been assembled, he may be open to allowing you (and others) to conceal and carry during Mass and other liturgies, if he believes that you’re competent to do so. I would avoid any parish where all guns are forbidden. Such parishes are called “target zones” for crazy people.
- Vote only for politicians who strongly support the Second Amendment. This should be a real no-brainer. The only people who follow gun-restriction laws are law-abiding citizens. Criminals don’t care what the gun laws say. Even a child understands that! So use your brain. If a politician supports strict anti-gun laws, who is he really trying to disarm? He may say he only wants to disarm the criminals, but who are the only people who are going to obey his anti-gun laws? It won’t be the criminals. No, it will be the law-abiding citizens, and he knows that. So why, pray tell, would any politician want to disarm law-abiding citizens? Why does he not want law-abiding citizens to have the means to defend themselves? What else might he be planning after he disarms law-abiding citizens? If you’re not asking yourself these kinds of questions, you’re not very smart. Be smart. Use your brain. Think! There is no legitimate reason for any politician to disarm law-abiding citizens. If they’re law-abiding, they’re not dangerous, and they should have the means to defend themselves against lawless persons (criminals) seeking to harm them. That’s just common sense.
The time has come for bishops and presbyters to prepare for persecution, not only from lawless rioters, but also from the state and the liberal hierarchy. Persecution from lawless rioters is obvious and needs no explanation. Persecution from the state may amount, in some areas, to financial hardship and church closings. Losing tax-exempt status, is also on the table. Some clergy may also be fined, or possibly imprisoned. What many clergy are not prepared for is persecution from the liberal hierarchy.
We have already seen extreme examples of this in places like Chicago, Detroit and even Rome, where certain clergy have been framed, unjustly removed from ministry, and even gone into hiding! We can expect this problem to increase in the years ahead, as a growing number within the hierarchy embrace a new kind of globalist “Eco-Catholicism,” that is gay-friendly, over the Faith once and for all time given to the saints (Jude 1:3-4; 2nd Peter 2; 2nd Timothy 4:3-5). As this happens, we can expect good and holy clergy (both presbyters and bishops) to be unjustly removed from ministry by their superiors, maligned and slandered, just for keeping the faith.
I honestly don’t know how good clergy can prepare for this kind of hostile work environment, and I won’t comment on things I don’t understand, but I’m sure there are ways, and some mechanisms can be employed, which would make it more difficult for such persecution to be successful. If such ways and mechanisms exist, or can be made to exist, now would be the time to prepare them.
Regardless of what you believe about globalism, the New World Order and the coming “Great Reset,” there’s one thing that’s undeniable. Global powers are making a push for more centralized government and outright socialism. Whatever happens on the world stage, what concerns us (as well it should) is how it affects our own nation. The same could be said of other people in other nations. They too should be concerned in the same way.
For example, in June of 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) chose to withdraw from the European Union (EU) by a 52% popular vote. That withdraw became effective this year in 2020. Britons seceded from the EU because they understood that the globalist march toward a more centralized, continental union was creating a situation that diminishes British sovereignty, which ultimately (and always) leads to less personal freedom. As painful as it was, they did the right thing, and their future progeny will thank them for it. This is something we need to see more of.
Here in the United States (US), the outright secession of states is not necessarily the best option, considering the last time that happened things didn’t go so well. Though admittedly, if it happens again, slavery won’t be a central issue and we’ll be facing an entirely new dynamic. I think, however, that a better option for Americans is the Article V – Convention of States (COS), which is nearly half way complete right now. My state is one of the 15 that’s already approved it. If you happen to live in a state that hasn’t approved it yet, write to your state legislators and tell them to pass this thing as soon as possible.
Decentralizing power, away from Washington DC, and moving it back to the states, is probably the best way to preserve individual freedom for as long as possible, no matter who wins the presidential election, or any other election! It also sets states up nicely for independence should something terrible ever happen to our federal government. It all goes back to the old adage: “don’t put all your eggs into one basket.” States that are more independent and empowered will ultimately protect our way of life in the long run. Should something happen to our federal government, we’ll be more prepared to meet that challenge whenever that day comes.
Remembering Christ the King
Throughout all of this, we need to remember who’s really in charge here. Christians may be citizens of various countries and jurisdictions, but ultimately, Christian have another government they must obey — a higher government. We are all royal subjects of King Jesus of Nazareth. His Kingdom, the Church, answers to a higher power, regardless of edicts coming from tyrannical governors, legislators, presidents, judges or congressmen. Our citizenship under earthly governments is temporary. Our citizenship in heaven, and in the world to come, is forever. The Reign of Christ the King will last into eternity. Long after our American government has fallen, our state governments have imploded, and the tired globalist attempts at world domination have laughingly blown away like dust in the wind, Jesus Christ will remain as King of kings and Lord of lords. His law will last forever, and his reign has already begun. It’s not our fault that faithless people just haven’t recognized it yet.
The incredible truth is this. If all the faithless people in this world were mysteriously swept away, including faithless people in the Church, so that all that remained were Faithful Christians, who really and truly worship Christ as King, there would be no need for any government at all. These people, our people, could govern ourselves perfectly by just submitting to Christ’s reign, his laws and his system of government, which already exists (partly) in the Catholic Church. We wouldn’t need guns, police, courts, judges or prisons. We wouldn’t need legislators either, for Christ has provided all the laws we need already. For Faithful Christians, those who actually believe the Faith, secular governments are a necessary evil, only useful for keeping the faithless in check, and preventing them from hurting others. When such secular governments turn against Christians, they have defeated their reason for existence, and God will not allow them to stand indefinitely. They will fall, they always do, and they will be replaced by governments more suitable for allowing Christ’s Church to flourish.
Today, we are living through an illusion. It’s the illusion that secular powers can exist, thrive and dominate without religion. This will not last. This illusion died in the Soviet Union, and it will soon die everywhere else too. Before it dies, however, it appears to be making one last grasp at world domination, and absolute control over the people. It will fail. Such things always do, because what these players don’t realize is that this world belongs to King Jesus of Nazareth, and he won’t let anyone else have it, for any significant period of time. Whatever global power they seem to get, it’s an illusion. It will crumble just as quickly as they got it, within a short amount of time. Politicians who chase after such things are chasing after a pipe-dream and they’re too stupid to realize it.
This storm will pass, just as previous storms have come and gone. We survived Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, Khrushchev, and Mao Zedong. We’ll survive today’s globalists too. Nothing is new under the sun. This has all been tried before in the ancient world, and the Pagans had better luck with it. Their “global” empires lasted much longer, but they still ended the same way. So batten down those hatches, and board up those windows. We’ve got another storm to ride out, but we’re going to make it. This storm will eventually end, but we won’t. For as it is written in Matthew 16:18-19, the Gates of Hell shall never prevail against the Church. Christ may appear to be “sleeping” in the stern of the boat (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25), but just keep praying. As soon as he “wakes up” (so to speak) this storm will come to an abrupt end.
Shane Schaetzel is an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism and was trained as a catechist through the University of Dayton – a Catholic Marianist Institution. Shane’s articles have been featured on LifeSiteNews, ChurchMilitant, The Remnant Newspaper, Forward in Christ, and Catholic Online. Shane is an author of Catholic books, which can be read here.