St. Augustine’s ominous warning to negligent pastors
May 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – We receive many comments these days from readers terribly upset, not so much by clearly corrupt and openly heretical cardinals, bishops and priests, but more dismayed by the negligence of most good clergy who say and do nothing substantial in response to all of this. It is a strange and disturbing phenomenon, but not one unique to our time.
Many ask, “What are they so afraid of”? The only fear that they should have is a healthy fear of God Himself.
In The Power of Silence, Robert Cardinal Sarah recalls some very pertinent words of St. Augustine on this topic.
Every priest and every bishop ought to be able to say, like Saint Augustine: “Voce Ecclesiae Loquor(I speak with the voice of the Church)” (Serm. 129, 4) and, therefore with the voice of Jesus Christ; thus, with subtlety and efficacy, he should take upon himself the full responsibility of pastor and guide. Every priest, every bishop will keep in mind that on the terrible Day of Judgment he himself will have to answer before God for the sins of those whom he was unable to reform because of his own negligence.
In a letter, Saint Augustine writes seriously: “The glory of this age passes; on Judgment Day all these honors will be good for nothing. It is not my intention to waste my life on the vanity of ecclesiastical honors. I think of the day when I will have to render an accounting for the flock that has been entrusted to me by the Prince of pastors. Understand my fears, because my fears are great.”
Judgment Day. It comes to all of us, but for clergy, the ordained guides of souls, the judgment is greater and more fearful. That is why they need our special prayers. Sadly, we are in another time in history where clerical cowardice and negligence appear to be rampant throughout Christendom. It is allowing evil to flourish and souls, especially of the young, to be terribly corrupted. Only a very tiny handful of clerics are standing with Christ and willingly and joyfully accepting the cross that comes with such fidelity. They should all be re-reading the great classic - The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. That masterpiece is also for lay people.
Pray for our clergy – at every level. The need, as you can see in numerous developments that we have had to report during especially these past 5 years, is very great.
"Tolerance is the virtue of man without convictions." - G.K. Chesterton
"Whoever does not hate error, does not love the truth". - G.K. Chesterton
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