"You aim at a devout life, dear Philothea, because as a Christian you know that such devotion is most acceptable to God's Divine Majesty," says St. Francis de Sales in his book "Introduction to the Devout Life".
And we can all be Philotheas, as St. Francis notes: "I have made use of a name suitable to all who seek the devout life, Philothea meaning one who loves God."
There is everything to hope
for; there is nothing to be optimistic about. A cursory look at many of
the movers and shakers now sitting in the Sistine Chapel should be enough to
convince the Catholic realist that we had better be prepared for what may
befall us. Several weeks ago The Eye Witness cautioned
its readers that there is no assurance that the Holy Ghost is going to make the
final selection of Supreme Pontiff. The other day the more eminent
thinker M.r Robert de Mattei made the same observations much more forcefully.
Brother Andre Marie over at St. Benedict Center enlarges
on that with some thoughtful observations pointing out that
while the Holy Ghost showers graces upon the electors there is no guarantee
that those men will cooperate with those graces.
Consider. Some of the Cardinals in that Conclave today are sympathetic to
the scourge of homosexuality….
There are Cardinals voting who
never think about the salvation of non-believers. There are Cardinals who
are so terrified by the media that they daren't speak a word about the mortal
sins the world is awash in. There are Cardinals who promote false ideas
like "liberation theology". There are Cardinals so afraid of
the Jews and their considerable influence that they refuse to attempt to lead
these tragic people out of the darkness and into the Church. There are
Cardinals whose grasp of Catholic theology is scant at best. There are
some who are Protestants at heart, some who despise the very traditions that
have nourished the Faith for twenty centuries.
those of us who are believing members of the Mystical Body of Christ can have a
realization of what is happening to those cardinals who went through that
moving ceremony of entering the Conclave and swearing their oaths on the
Gospel, and who now remain in their splendid but temporary tomb. All believers
are aware that their consciences, their minds, their hearts, and their souls
are right now a tremendous battleground,
where the Holy Spirit, St. Michael the Archangel, and all the saints are
contending for control of their free wills. These free wills are being
strongly tempted by other unhappy forces, human and demonic. We know this to be
certain because we contend with the same forces every day. Those among us who
have studied the history of the Church know how bitter disputes within
Conclaves can be. And yet we also know that cardinals have taken their part in
those disputes with the greatest courage, as did that Cardinal Carafa who
became Pope Paul IV and told an ambassador promising that his government would
do everything in its power to prevent his become Supreme Pontiff by thanking
him---for then he would owe his victory only to God.