+ Old Roman Catholic Church + See of Cær-Glow +
Primatial See of Caer-Glow
Old Roman Catholic Church
5501 Sixty-Second Avenue
Pinellas Park, Florida 33781
ADVENT PASTORAL LETTER, 2015
Dearly Beloved in Christ,
Recently, we had all our clergy together at the seminary, where we prayed, studied and learned; we laughed and “broke bread” together in genuine harmony. It was beautiful: all us men truly sharing what it is that makes us God’s sons and brothers at the altar. But all too often my own thoughts shifted to other places in this world where that brotherhood, that genuine spirituality that we were sharing is dimmed by anger and hatred and slaughter.
Have you noticed that, in so many places in the world, people seem to come together almost as one voice amidst the devastation and turmoil in this war of hate? The people of Paris are determined to get on with their lives and defend themselves against the onslaught of their enemies. What we must not forget is that the enemies of Paris are our enemies. They are determined to bring their hatred of everything the West stands for to every land in which the name of Christ and the spirit of freedom prevail. They want to destroy our faith, they want to destroy our resolve, they want to imbue in us the hatred which comes to them so readily – that hatred which is their way of life.
Our greatest weapon is prayer. We must pray for the people of Paris and the people of every other Christian land. The trouble is that too many people in all these lands have also turned their backs on the very God that ISIS and all the other war mongering Muslims hate. And we in the U.S.A. have certainly tolerated the driving out of our beloved God from almost every inch of our soil. We have placed our children in the hands of irresponsible, say nothing of irreligious, poorly educated baby sitters in the classroom, where hundreds of otherwise devoted teachers are leaving en masse almost daily. The pulpits of nearly every religious denomination are all too often filled with stand-up comics who lecture on every subject except religion and the God that religion is supposed to embrace. Our politicians do little more than consider bills to raise their salaries. And we tolerate all this!
When are we Christians going to lead the way again? When are we going to worship anew and with fervor the God Who gave us so much of what our enemies are fighting against? When are we going to wake up and pray as mature believers and carry our faith back to our homes, our schools, our city halls and capitols, and, yes, our churches? When will we behave as we say we believe?
The clock is ticking. Our enemies are multiplying, even among those who say they are “one of us.” Our clergy must preach prayer, even as Saint Paul taught us to “pray always.” Our Faithful must turn to prayer, be an example to their children and grandchildren and their neighbor children. Prayer is the binding force of a nation. We saw that in World War II, we saw it in Korea, but not so much in the wars in which we have been engaged during the past fifty years. It has become unfashionable to pray in public, to say we are believers, to place an image of our God and His saints within our homes. We have embraced a kind of two-faced Christianity. We hide our real God from our places of comfort; we have made Him unwelcome.
We cannot expect God to wage our war without our help. The Old Testament proves this time and again. The early Christians showed this in every arena and catacomb of the early Christian centuries. Those early Christians reversed Caesar’s intimidation and marched to victory. The Crusades were filled with believing Christians who devastated the Muslims of the Middle Ages. They fought as they believed. They emerged as victors because they had God on their side and they worked with Him and under Him. We can do it again, but we have to begin, begin with our inner self and project that self to every human being who is searching for the same God of love for every one of His creatures. With God – through our prayer to Him – we can do all things. Without Him we can do nothing. And He is the same God who created the Jew, the Christian, the Muslim and the non-believer. We must all behave accordingly, BUT we must never let our defenses down. We must convert through prayer; that was always a basic tenet of our Faith, which seems to have been set aside in recent “religious” circles.
With every good wish and prayerful blessing to you and yours, I am faithfully yours in Christ,
s/ +John J. Humphreys
The Most Reverend John J. Humphreys, Archbishop
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