(LifeSiteNews) — On this week’s two-part episode of The Bishop Strickland Show, Bishop Joseph Strickland offers commentary on the culture of death, the role of Our Lady and the saints in the Church, and more.
Strickland begins the first part of the episode by calling on more people to speak the truth even in the face of persecution, adding that he is “glad to do it.” Recalling that St. John Paul II talked about the “culture of death that was plaguing us,” Strickland observes that it has “ramped up in recent years.”
“Our only hope is to return to respecting life as coming from God, as sacred, and as a treasure that needs to be nurtured and cared for and not disposed of at our whim,” he says.
To Strickland, the recent conviction of six pro-lifers in Tennessee for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances (FACE) Act is “devastating.” In his opinion, people need to stand up against the “agenda” of death since it “harms all of humanity.” He also believes that standing up for life is the most loving thing to do even for those who are adamantly pro-abortion.
“Ironically, God is giving them life and has given them the free will to make those terrible choices,” Strickland notes. “We pray for conversion, but we have to just continue to speak up, always, regarding the sanctity of life of every person, even the person who has no regard for life.”
Strickland discusses the remarks of a former theologian from the then-Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) regarding Fiducia Supplicans, Father Nicola Bux, who spoke with Vatican journalist Ed Pentin last month. Strickland posted the interview on X, calling on Catholics to read it.
Fr. Bux told Pentin that the DDF declaration authored by Dicastery Prefect Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández was not magisterial, and thus not binding on the faithful. Strickland, discussing his tweet, calls on people to pray that more clergy speak up against the declaration. He also recalls that St. Peter refused to stop using the Name of Jesus in the Acts of the Apostles, and that we need to imitate the apostles in speaking the truth, in the hopes that “more and more will be strengthened.”
Strickland begins the second part of the episode discussing a dream of St. John Bosco in which he saw a ship in a storm being attacked by an armada but is saved by tying itself to a pair of pillars, one topped by the Blessed Sacrament, the other by Our Lady.
Calling the dream “prophetic,” Strickland says that the dream underscores consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Indeed, despite anything that the world and the devil can “throw at us,” so long as we are tied to the twin anchors of the Eucharist and Our Lady, we will prevail despite how frightening the “storm” the Church finds Herself in will become.
Concluding his comments on the dream, he recommends people “go deeper into those pillars,” further recommending people know the approved apparitions of Our Lady, specifically those of Guadalupe, Lourdes, and Fatima.
“Mary repeats what Her Son and all the saints say, and we really need to heed that,” he says.
Strickland spends the rest of the show discussing the role of Our Lady and the saints in the life of the Church.
Discussing Our Lady, Strickland points out that her support for Christ goes “hand in hand” with her support for the Church, the Church being His Mystical Body and her mission to foster the life of the Church. “The love between Jesus and Mary, is a mystery of love that I think all of us really need to explore and embrace as deeply as we can,” he says.
Catholics, further, do not worship Our Lady, but venerate her. To him, we especially need to boldly but lovingly challenge people who claim that Catholics worship her, asking them which idols they have in their lives. “It brings up that idea of worshiping anything other than God, giving homage to anything other than God, allowing anything other than God to be what rules our lives, all of us in today’s culture need to be challenged on that,” Strickland asserts.
Strickland responds to the objection that Catholics pray to dead people by noting that the saints, Our Lady being Queen of the Saints, have everlasting life with God in Heaven, and dispels the misunderstanding saying that Our Lady and the saints are “more alive than we are.” That Our Lady and the saints already possess everlasting life gives us the hope to be bold in opposition to false messages and any authority spreading falsehood; we have the promise of eternal life awaiting us.
It is this understanding of the communion of saints that helps us to understand who we are as Catholics and reminds us that we should do everything we do in the light of the Gospel. Those who follow popular opinion, Strickland observes, do not have a solid foundation, and will suffer condemnation.
“If we keep shifting to meet the popular gauge of the world at this time, we’re doomed for confusion and for an empty life that ultimately loses life everlasting and leads us to damnation,” he asserts. “When we’re not living with the perspective of people of faith and knowing who Jesus Christ is as the Lord of all … we’re already living a life of condemnation, and it will unfold to that everlasting condemnation if we don’t wake up.”
Strickland concludes the episode encouraging people to “get to know” the saints, saying “just like we gather friends that have stories that resonate with our story, and we like the same things, I encourage people to gather a community of friends in heaven, of saints around them, that have similar interests.”
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