Last Sunday after Pentecost
Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Judea is mountainous land, the mountains are all around. It does not require much travel to get there. Judea here refers to the Church. If you are in the Church, make sure you take to the mountains, for they are not far, they are all around you.
What these mountains? The prophet Daniel recently reminded us of the mountain, the one that arises from the small rock that topples all the kingdoms of the world and becomes a great mountain (cf Dan 2:35). That mountain of course is Christ Himself, mons Dei, mons pinguis, as Psalm 67 tells us. But the mountains are also the saints, the holy doctors and pontiffs, the definitive dogmatic teachings of the Church. These are the mountains in which we must take refuge when the abomination of the desolation hits the Church. What is this abomination of the desolation? St Jerome tells us that it is any perverse dogma that finds its way into the Church, for then we have the ghastly sight of man glorifying himself in the place of God, man with his fallible intellect preferring his findings to the truth revealed by the omniscient God.
It is not too hard to see that such abomination is in the Church today at every level, including the highest. When we come to realise that, we must obey the Lord’s command and flee to the mountains. Taking flight to the mountains means first and foremost abandoning the plains, which we could interpret here as the incessant chitchat about problems in the Church. So much time is wasted in talking about this or bad thing, so much energy is lost in endless blogging about this or that bad bishop or this or that scandal.
The only thing that is required of us is to flee to the mountains. Take refuge in Christ, that is to say in prayer, in reading the Holy Gospel with devotion and love, in receiving the sacraments with devotion. Take refuge in the saints by reading their lives and their works and imitating their examples. Take refuge in the known and defined dogma of the Church, by getting to know it better. I highly recommend the new catechism called Credo published recently by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, a remarkable piece of ordinary episcopal magisterium that is a sure guide in our day, all the more sure in that it gives precise rectifications of various heresies that are commonly held by too many Catholics today.
My dear Friends, what we have to do in the present crisis is very simple. Let us take refuge in the mountains, and stop wasting time in the mundaneness of the plain.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but the words of Our Lord remain forever. May they be ever in our hearts and minds through continual prayer and meditation. If they are, we will be prepared to stand before Our Lord when He comes in glory to judge the world with Our Lady and all the angels and saints. Amen.