I'm Michael Voris, coming to you from onboard at the eighth annual Retreat at Sea in the warmth of the Caribbean with approaching 300 fellow, like-minded Catholics.
The theme of this year's Retreat is a Marian one, given how consequential this year is going to be with not only the U.S. Presidential election, but also the release of the McCarrick report, the much-awaited Amazon Synod document from Pope Francis, as well as what is shaping up to be some kind of world Marxist economic forum in Rome this spring. There is much to entrust to our Blessed Mother, much indeed.
The death over the weekend of Kobe Bryant and others in the helicopter crash — God rest their souls — reminds us that not a single person alive is guaranteed tomorrow — no one. We must always be ready to die.
Fr. John Hardon — a man on his way to sainthood — once said, paraphrasing, that only heroic Catholics will make it to Heaven these days given the condition of the world: heroic dads and moms, heroic families — living saints.
The attacks of the enemy are so strong, so virulent, that most cannot withstand them and will be damned. When you look around the Church and see the huge number who have already sacrificed the Faith for worldly pleasure, it already comes into sharp focus.
And this most especially involves wicked bishops, but not just them. A great thinning of the ranks has happened, and an even greater one is coming because the condition of the world necessitates such a thing happening. One does not simply become a hero.
A person is preconditioned to be a hero and to act accordingly through various life experiences and great internal struggle resulting in a sacrificial frame of mind. A hero in the first order, essentially by definition, is the one whose primary concern is the other. They sacrifice themselves for the good of another.
Now almost everyone does this here and there, at least in small ways, every now and then under certain circumstances. While that's good, it should not lull someone into a wrong self-perception.
Being a hero really means conquering of self for the good of the other. This is spiritual heroism — defeating Satan within you on your own personal battlefield so that you can then help save others.
Lots of people will dive into the icy waters to rescue a doggie, or run into a burning building to save a child. That's natural heroism and, of course, is to be commended. But would those same people give up their contraception, or their pornography and masturbation habit, or their lust for ecclesial power? They ultimately do this for the good of God, for the advancement of the kingdom.
The old saying, "you cannot give what you do not have" is worth thinking of here. While a person may be a hero in the natural order — and few are, relatively speaking — authentic heroism is demonstrated in the supernatural realm, where the results are eternal, not just temporal.
A person cannot give supernatural heroism to others when he does not possess it himself. He may have many fine admirable natural qualities — even various atheists have as much — but good, natural qualities do not merit Heaven. Often "good," natural qualities simply flow from an individual's personality type. Supernatural heroism merits Heaven — nothing less.
When Our Blessed Lord was on earth, He said the beautiful line about having come to bring fire to the earth and how much He longed that it was already ablaze. The fire is Himself. But individuals in the Church are the kindling He desires to use to light the fire and burn down the kingdom of Satan.
We will all be judged on how much we presented ourselves to Him to be used by Him to build the conflagration — to ignite the fire and set the world alight: to pray and cry to be a great saint; to be used to save souls; to become heroes in the war against the infernal.
It is this measure, and only this measure in the end, that will matter — not how famous you were; not how much money you made; not how many points you scored or anything else.
Were you a hero for Christ and His Holy Church?