This shows the supernatural order of things even in the time of the Apostles.
In commemorating the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, it can only serve us all well to consider the following: What do we Catholics really believe about the papacy and how much do we intelligently know about papal infallibility.
It is nothing to boast about to call oneself a `Catholic' and to be totally ignorant of what one believes.
It is similarly a sign of stupidity to make claims of belief in something one is almost completely ignorant.
For some, this may be a mark of `faith.' But not so for Catholics.
Catholics have been painstakingly taught - and repeatedly so - with regards to the content of their faith. If it were nothing more than a matter of `accepting Jesus as your personal Savior' and to heaven with the rest, it would be understandable that Catholics would confuse true faith with good digestion.
But this is the entire substance of Protestantism: a lay-run religion foreign to true Christianity.
Catholics were not proud in the bad sense of the word for knowing what their religion was all about. They were rightly proud of the effort they put out to know their faith and to practice it. They practiced it because they knew their faith and they knew their faith was serious and real. Real serious.
Their heretic friends - bad Catholics who became good Protestants - thought they were too `strict' and too `dogmatic'. Fervent Catholics could only look at such people and wonder about them. It was never hard to be a good Catholic. It was only easy to be a bad Catholic.
Alas! Things have changed drastically! Being a bad Catholic became the `in thing' and being a good Catholic became the `out thing'. It's as if someone blessed vice and cursed virtue.
The reason this observation is being made is because there is always a proportionate cause for every effect. As simple as this statement is, not too many people want to accept it. Accept it they must because the only other alternative is to remain the spiritual slave of the man behind the TV screen. Unfortunately, too many people have chosen this escape from real life into the land of OZ!
While many Catholics would like to believe they are Catholics, the sad fact is that they are not! Strong words? Hardly!
Every since the idea of Christian discipline has been ridiculed while perversion in every other area of society multiplied like a plague, social vice has gripped everyone's daily life. There is no escape from it, unless - unless we all make a realistic turn-about - and about-face that will point us in the right direction again. That direction, one is unabashedly forced to say, points to a return to the true faith. No, not the liberal Masonic-Protestantism of Vatican II, but the true faith of the Church that was left on the doorstep when several thousand Bishops betrayed the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, not for thirty pieces of silver, but for a cup of Cappucino in the vestibule of St. Peter's!
The oddest thing in all this religious manipulation, is that the strongest supporters of the papacy are perceived to be the enemies of papal authority; and, the strongest enemies of the papacy are now perceived to be the equally strongest supporters of the papacy.
How is that, you might ask? Well, consider the following: All those people who refuse to face the reality that a heretic might just be acting as a Pope, are the same people who refuse to listen and follow the man whom they loudly claim to be a true Pope. In other words, they don't really give a fiddler's fig what the man in white says. They only wish to be associated with what they perceive to be a `popular guy' - a `winner'!
Few people know much about the history of the Roman Catholic Church and that is why they fail miserably in trying to defend her. To know her is to love her; and to love her is to defend her; defend her against one and all who would abuse her.
I remember looking down on the footprint imbedded in a paving stone and shown in a very old church along the Apia Way in Rome. It's not a very big stone - at best perhaps one foot square. But the story behind this stone touches the most sensitive part of a Catholics soul. It is said that this is the stone where our Lord stood when he appeared to Peter who was fleeing Rome to avoid persecution.
Peter saw our Lord along the Way and shamefully asked Him: "Quo vadis, Domine?" - Where are you going, Lord?
Our Lord gave answer: "I am going to Rome to be crucified a second time!"
Apparently, the apparition disappeared and Peter found himself alone on the road. he understood what this meant. HE was our Lord's visible Vicar. HE was Jesus speaking to all of us! Yet, he was fleeing the cross again, just as he fled the cross when Jesus was arrested and mocked. This cowardly Peter, this failing Peter who never denied a single jot or tittle of our Lord's teaching _ He it was whom we would listen to and obey. We overlook his weakness and see the strength of his doctrine. Whatever else he may have been, He was a true Pope. He finally did the thing he feared the most and he did it with the greatest of courage and humility: He turned around and went back to Rome. He went back to Rome to be crucified for Jesus Christ. He was the Vicar of Jesus Christ; He was the Bishop of Rome; He carried in his cowardly frame the immensity of infallibility. He died a courageous hero of the true faith. Jesus Christ was crucified a second time in Rome when His Vicar offered his own body for the sacrifice. Peter did this, because our Lord had said to him and to the other Apostles: "He who hears you, hears me." Added to this, it must be said: He who does not hear you, does not hear me!
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