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Instructions / Social Remedies



Instructions / Social Remedies

"Our greater impurity needs to be purified by a greater practice of prayers, vigils and fasting, of tears and almsgiving." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church)

"One is often carried away over the sins and shortcomings of others. It would be far better to talk less about them and to pray more." (St. John Vianney)

"If you want to stay close to God, you must not be sullied by any of the vices of this world." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Hide yourself in Jesus crucified, and hope for nothing except that all men be thoroughly converted to His will." (St. Paul of the Cross)

"It is not enough for Us to deplore these innumerable evils unless We strive to uproot them." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Mirari Vos", 1832)

"Alas! If we put all our trust in God, how much happier we should be!" (St. John Vianney)

"Indeed, my dear brethren, man on earth, unless he turns to the side of God, cannot be other than unhappy." (St. John Vianney)

"Truly, matters in the world are in a bad state; but if you and I begin in earnest to reform ourselves, a really good beginning will have been made" (St. Peter of Alcantara)

"The world would have peace if only the men of politics would follow the Gospels." (St. Bridget of Sweden)

"[A] love of what is really good is the best antidote to evil." (Pope Benedict XV, "Spiritus Paraclitus", 1920)

"Prayer will remove the fundamental cause of present day difficulties." (Pope Pius XI)

"We ask the prayers of the Christian people in devout supplication before her altars on behalf of the Church, tormented by such adverse and turbulent times, and on behalf of Ourself as well." (Pope Leo XIII, "Magnae Dei Matris", 1892)

"It is indeed a cause of great sorrow that so many should be deterred and led astray by error and enmity to God; that so many should be indifferent to all forms of religion, and should finally become estranged from faith; that so many Catholics should be such in name only, and should pay to religion no honor or worship. And still sadder and more beset with anxieties grows the soul at the thought of the fruitful source of most manifold evils existing in the organization of States that allow no place to the Church, and that oppose her championship of holy virtue. This is truly a terrible manifestation of the just vengeance of God, Who allows blindness of soul to darken upon the nations that forsake Him. These are evils that cry aloud, that cry of themselves with a daily increasing voice. It is absolutely necessary that the Catholic voice should also call to God with unwearied instance, 'without ceasing;' that the Faithful should pray not only in their own homes, but in public, gathered together under the sacred roof; that they should beseech urgently the all-foreseeing God to deliver the Church from evil men and to bring back the troubled nations to good sense and reason, by the light and love of Christ." (Pope Leo XIII, "Octobri Mense", 1891) 

"Now, to appease the might of an outraged God and to bring that health of soul so needed by those who are sorely afflicted, there is nothing better than devout and persevering prayer, provided it be joined with a love for and practice of Christian life. And both of these, the spirit of prayer and the practice of Christian life, are best attained through the devotion of the Rosary of Mary." (Pope Leo XIII, "Magnae Dei Matris", 1892)

"For We are convinced that the Rosary, if devoutly used, is bound to benefit not only the individual but society at large." (Pope Leo XIII, "Laetitiae Sanctae", 1893)

"We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times. Not with force, not with arms, not with human power, but with Divine help obtained through the means of this prayer, strong like David with his sling, the Church undaunted shall be able to confront the infernal enemy, repeating to him the words of the young shepherd: 'Thou comest to me with a sword, and a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of armies...and all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear, for this is his battle, and he will deliver you into our hands' (I Kings 17, 45-47)" (Pope Pius XII, "Ingruentium Malorum", 1951)

"And as in the times of the Crusades, in all Europe there was raised one voice of the people, one supplication; so today, in all the world, the cities, and even the smallest villages, united with courage and strength, with filial and constant insistence, the people seek to obtain from the great Mother of God the defeat of the enemies of Christian and human civilization, to the end that true peace may shine again over tired and erring men. If, then, all will do this with due disposition, with great faith and with fervent piety, it is right to hope that as in the past, so in our day, the Blessed Virgin will obtain from her divine Son that the waves of the present tempests be calmed and that a brilliant victory crown this rivalry of Christians in prayer." (Pope Pius XI, "Ingravescentibus Malis", 1937)

"[N]o nation has ever risen out of want and poverty to a better and nobler condition save by the enormous and combined toil of all the people" (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931)

"Wherefore, if human society is to be healed, only a return to Christian life and institutions will heal it." (Pope Leo XIII)

"He Who at His disciples' prayer calmed the raging sea can restore peace to the tottering fabric of society." (Pope Benedict XV, "Spiritus Paraclitus", 1920)

"Let us...follow our peaceful King who taught us to love not only those who are of a different nation or race, but even our enemies." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943)

"First, and most important of all, for mankind is the need of spiritual peace. We do not need a peace that will consist merely in acts of external or formal courtesy, but a peace which will penetrate the souls of men and which will unite, heal, and reopen their hearts to that mutual affection which is born of brotherly love. The peace of Christ is the only peace answering this description: 'let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts.' (Colossians iii, 15) Nor is there any other peace possible than that which Christ gave to His disciples (John xiv, 27) for since He is God, He 'beholdeth the heart' (I Kings xvi, 7) and in our hearts His kingdom is set up. Again, Jesus Christ is perfectly justified when He calls this peace of soul His own for He was the first Who said to men, 'all you are brethren.' (Matt. xxiii, 8) He gave likewise to us, sealing it with His own life's blood, the law of brotherly love, of mutual forbearance - 'This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.' (John xv, 12) 'Bear ye one another's burdens; and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ.' (Galatians vi, 2)" (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

"Hence, We renew the urgent entreaty We have already made, to redouble zeal and perseverance, when addressing humble supplications to our merciful God, so that the virtues whereby a Christian life is perfected may be reawakened. It is, however, urgent before all, that charity, which is the main foundation of the Christian life, and apart from which the other virtues exist not or remain barren, should be quickened and maintained. Therefore is it that the Apostle Paul, after having exhorted the Colossians to flee all vice and cultivate all virtue, adds: 'Above all things, have charity, which is the bond of perfection.' Yea, truly, charity is the bond of perfection, for it binds intimately to God those whom it has embraced and with loving tenderness, causes them to draw their life from God, to act with God, to refer all to God. Howbeit, the love of God should not be severed from the love of our neighbor, since men have a share in the infinite goodness of God and bear in themselves the impress of His image and likeness. 'This commandment we have from God, that he who loveth God, love also his brother.' 'If any man say I love God, and he hateth his brother, he is a liar.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890)

"For justice alone can, if faithfully observed, remove the causes of social conflict but can never bring about union of minds and hearts. Indeed all the institutions for the establishment of peace and the promotion of mutual help among men, however perfect these may seem, have the principal foundation of their stability in the mutual bond of minds and hearts whereby the members are united with one another. If this bond is lacking, the best of regulations come to naught, as we have learned by too frequent experience. And so, then only will true cooperation be possible for a single common good when the constituent parts of society deeply feel themselves members of one great family and children of the same Heavenly Father; nay, that they are one body in Christ, 'but severally members one of another,' so that 'if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with it.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931)

"No one is unaware how deeply and from the very beginning the import of that precept [of charity] has been implanted in the breast of Christians, and what abundant fruits of concord, mutual benevolence, piety, patience, and fortitude it has produced. Why, then, should we not devote ourselves to imitate the examples set by our fathers? The very times in which we live should afford sufficient motives for the practice of charity. Since impious men are bent on giving fresh impulse to their hatred against Jesus Christ, Christians should be quickened anew in piety; and charity, which is the inspirer of lofty deeds, should be imbued with new life. Let dissensions therefore, if there be any, wholly cease; let those strifes which waste the strength of those engaged in the fight, without any advantage resulting to religion, be scattered to the winds; let all minds be united in faith and all hearts in charity, so that, as it behooves, life may be spent in the practice of the love of God and the love of men." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890) 

"In this clash of selfish interest, and unleashed hate, and dark plans of revenge, nothing could be better or more powerful to help, than loudly to proclaim the 'new commandment' of Christ. That commandment enjoins a love which extends to all, knows no barriers nor national boundaries, excludes no race, excepts not even its own enemies." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935)

"There is no peace to the wicked (Is. Iviii. 22), says the Holy Spirit, because they live in continuous struggle and conflict with the order established by nature and by its Creator. Only when this order is restored, when all peoples faithfully and spontaneously recognize and profess it, when the internal conditions of peoples and their outward relations with other nations are founded on this basis, then only will stable peace be possible on earth. But to create this atmosphere of lasting peace, neither peace treaties, nor the most solemn pacts, nor international meetings or conferences, nor even the noblest and most disinterested efforts of any statesman, will be enough, unless in the first place are recognized the sacred rights of natural and divine law." (Pope Pius XI, "Caritate Christi Compulsi", 1932)

"[T]rue peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life." (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

"Peace on earth, which all men of every era have most eagerly yearned for, can be firmly established only if the order laid down by God be dutifully observed." (Pope John XXIII)

"When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony." (Pope Pius XI, "Quas Primas", 1925)

"[I]n doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace." (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

"[W]e must use every means and exert all our energy to bring about the utter disappearance of the enormous and detestable wickedness, so characteristic of our time - the substitution of man for God" (Pope St. Pius X, "E Supremi", 1903)

"Urge them to persevere firmly established in our divine religion, which alone is true and eternal and prepares for salvation and even, to a very great extent, preserves and prospers civil society." (Pope Pius IX, "Quanto Conficiamur Moerore", 1863)

"As more serious ills threaten the Catholic Church from the heinous contrivances of its enemies, the popes who have been placed in the See of St. Peter should be so much the quicker in taking action to repel them." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Quo Graviora", 1833)

"When the bad are punished, others become better." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Therefore, to assure the greater glory of God and the Church, venerable brothers, join together with all eagerness, care and wakefulness to repulse error and to root out vice. When this is accomplished, faith, religion, piety and virtue will increase daily." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846)

"While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights." (Pope Pius XI, "Quas Primas", 1925)

"Certainly there is the greatest need now of such valiant soldiers of Christ who will work with all their strength to keep the human family safe from the dire ruin into which it would be plunged were the teachings of the Gospel to be flouted, and that order of things permitted to prevail which tramples underfoot no less the laws of nature than those of God." (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931)

"Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29)." (Pope John Paul II, 1995)

"When the Apostles asked the Savior why they had been unable to drive the evil spirit from a demoniac, Our Lord answered: 'This kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting' (Matt 17:20). So, too, the evil which today torments humanity can be conquered only by a worldwide holy crusade of prayer and penance." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Redemptoris")

"Prayer and penance are the two potent inspirations sent to us at this time by God, that we may bring back to Him our wayward human race that wanders aimlessly without a guide. They are inspirations that will disperse and remedy the first and foremost cause of all rebellion and unrest, man's revolt against God." (Pope Pius XI)

"As in all the stormy periods of the history of the Church, the fundamental remedy today lies in a sincere renewal of private and public life according to the principles of the Gospel by all those who belong to the Fold of Christ, that they may be in truth the salt of the earth to preserve human society from total corruption." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Redemptoris", 1937)

"We have shown that the means of saving the world of today from the lamentable ruin into which a moral liberalism has plunged us, are neither the class-struggle nor terror, nor yet the autocratic abuse of State power, but rather the infusion of social justice and the sentiment of Christian love into the social-economic order." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Redemptoris", 1937)

"Nothing remains for Us, therefore, but to invite this poor world that has shed so much blood, has dug so many graves, has destroyed so many works, has deprived so many men of bread and labor, nothing else remains for us, We say, but to invite it in the loving words of the sacred Liturgy: 'Be thou converted to the Lord thy God.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Caritate Christi Compulsi", 1932)

"If the desire for worldly possessions were kept within bounds and the place of honor in our affections given to the things of the spirit, which place undoubtedly they deserve, the peace of Christ would follow immediately, to which would be joined in a natural and happy union, as it were, a higher regard for the value and dignity of human life." (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

"'These are bad times,' people are saying, 'troublesome times!' If only our lives were all good, our times would be good, for we ourselves make our times - as we are, so are our times. But what can we do? After all, we cannot convert the mass of humanity to a good life. But let the few who do listen to the will of God live good lives; and let the few who live good lives endure the many who do not. The good are the wheat, still on the threshing floor; and though the chaff lies with them there, the chaff will not come with them to the barn." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"To this end, it behooves Us, above all else, to call to mind that firmly established principle, esteemed alike in sound philosophy and sacred theology: namely, that whatever things have deviated from their right order, cannot be brought back to that original state which is in harmony with their nature except by a return to the divine plan which, as the Angelic Doctor teaches, is the exemplar of all right order." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930)

"[L]et us all suppliantly, with humble prayer, implore the help of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary, that, our hearts being quickened to the obedience of faith, she may show herself our mother and our helper. With equal earnestness let us ask the princes of the Apostles, Peter and Paul, the destroyers of heresies, the sowers of the seed of truth, to save the human race by their powerful patronage from the deluge of errors that is surging afresh." (Pope Leo XIII, "Arcanum", 1880)

"During periods of stress and trial - chiefly when every lawlessness of act seems permitted to the powers of darkness - it has been the custom in the Church to plead with special fervor and perseverance to God, her author and protector, by recourse to the intercession of the saints - and chiefly of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God - whose patronage has ever been the most efficacious. The fruit of these pious prayers and of the confidence reposed in the Divine goodness, has always, sooner or later, been made apparent." (Pope Leo XIII, "Quamquam Pluries", 1889)

"[T]he early Christians...were men and women who understood what is meant by sacrifice; otherwise they could not have won over hatred, irreligion, and lust, the splendid triumphs the telling of which fills you with admiration, as it fills with amazement even the unbeliever. Are conditions today so different? As has been well said: to live today in our great cities without loss of faith and purity requires no less heroism than was needed in the days of bloody persecution." (Pope Pius XII)

"[L]et us strive in prayer, with united heart and voice, to incline Almighty God unto mercy, that He would not suffer those to perish whom He had redeemed by His Blood. May He look down in mercy upon this world, which has indeed sinned much, but which has also suffered much in expiation! And, embracing in His loving-kindness all races and classes of mankind, may He remember His own words: 'I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself' (John xii., 32)." (Pope Leo XIII, "Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus", 1900)

"The very times in which we live are warning us to seek remedies there where alone they are to be found - namely, by re-establishing in the family circle and throughout the whole range of society the doctrines and practices of the Christian religion. In this lies the sole means of freeing us from the ills now weighing us down, of forestalling the dangers now threatening the world. For the accomplishment of this end, venerable brethren, We must bring to bear all the activity and diligence that lie within Our power." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890)

"Listen to their cry, arise together and fight manfully the battles of the Lord. May the number, boldness, and strength of the enemy not frighten you, because God is stronger than they; if God is for you, who can be against you? Redouble your prayers so that God might be with you in a greater abundance of grace, fighting and triumphing with you. Accompany your prayers with the practice of the Christian virtues, especially charity toward the needy. Seek God's mercies with humility and perseverance, renewing every day the promises of your baptism." (Pope Leo XIII, "Custodi Di Quella Fede", 1892)

"When so many evils meet Our gaze - such as cause sharp conflict among individuals, families, nations and the whole world, particularly today more than at any other time - where are We to seek a remedy, venerable brethren? Can a form of devotion surpassing that to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be found, which corresponds better to the essential character of the Catholic faith, which is more capable of assisting the present-day needs of the Church and the human race? What religious practice is more excellent, more attractive, more salutary than this, since the devotion in question is entirely directed towards the love of God itself?" (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956)

"Some will say, perhaps, that to restore Christian society another [St. Francis of Assisi] is needed today. But We say, do what you can to make men take up again with renewed zeal the ancient Francis as their teacher of piety and sanctity; do what you can that they imitate and follow the example which he has left us, that they accept him as a man who was 'a mirror of virtue, a path of righteousness, a rule of morals.' (Breviary of Friars Minor) If this be done, will it not in itself be enough to heal and even put an end to the corruption of our own times?" (Pope Pius XI, "Rite Expiatis", 1926)

"At the same time the State must allow the Church full liberty to fulfill her divine and spiritual mission, and this in itself will be an effectual contribution to the rescue of nations from the dread torment of the present hour. Everywhere today there is an anxious appeal to moral and spiritual forces; and rightly so, for the evil we must combat is at its origin primarily an evil of the spiritual order. From this polluted source the monstrous emanations of the communistic system flow with satanic logic. Now, the Catholic Church is undoubtedly preeminent among the moral and religious forces of today. Therefore the very good of humanity demands that her work be allowed to proceed unhindered." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Redemptoris", 1937)

"As in old times, material force was of no avail against the hordes of barbarians, but only the power of the Christian religion, which entering into their souls quenched their ferocity, civilized their manners, and made them docile to the voice of truth and to the law of the gospel; so against the fury of lawless multitudes there will be no effectual defense without the salutary power of religion. It is only this power which, casting into their minds the light of truth, and instilling into their hearts the holy moral precepts of Jesus Christ, can make them listen to the voice of conscience and of duty, and, before restraining their hand, restrain their minds and allay the violence of passion." (Pope Leo XIII, "Dall'alto Dell'apostolico Seggio", 1890)

"Prayer, then, and penance are the two potent inspirations sent to us at this time by God, that we may lead back to Him mankind that has gone astray and wanders about without a guide: they are the inspirations that will dispel and remedy the first and principal cause of every form of disturbance and rebellion, the revolt of man against God. But the peoples themselves are called upon to make up their minds to a definite choice: either they entrust themselves to these benevolent and beneficent inspirations and are converted, humble and repentant, to the Lord and the Father of mercies, or they hand over themselves and what little remains of happiness on earth to the mercy of the enemy of God, to the spirit of vengeance and destruction." (Pope Pius XI, "Caritate Christi Compulsi", 1932)

"But that decay of faith in divine things of which We have spoken is the effect not only of pride, but also of moral corruption. For if it is true that a strict morality improves the quickness of man's intellectual powers, and if on the other hand, as the maxims of pagan philosophy and the admonitions of divine wisdom combine to teach us, the keenness of the mind is blunted by bodily pleasures, how much more, in the region of revealed truths, do these same pleasures obscure the light of faith, or even, by the just judgment of God, entirely extinguish it. For these pleasures at the present day an insatiable appetite rages, infecting all classes as with an infectious disease, even from tender years. Yet even for so terrible an evil there is a remedy close at hand in the divine Eucharist." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902)

"Moreover there is another twofold fruit which we may and must derive from this great [Eucharistic] Sacrifice. The heart is saddened when it considers what a flood of wickedness, the result - as We have said - of forgetfulness and contempt of the divine Majesty, has inundated the world. It is not too much to say that a great part of the human race seems to be calling down upon itself the anger of heaven; though indeed the crop of evils which has grown up here on earth is already ripening to a just judgment. Here then is a motive whereby the faithful may be stirred to a devout and earnest endeavor to appease God the avenger of sin, and to win from Him the help which is so needful in these calamitous times. And they should see that such blessings are to be sought principally by means of this [Eucharistic] Sacrifice. For it is only in virtue of the death which Christ suffered that men can satisfy, and that most abundantly, the demands of God's justice, and can obtain the plenteous gifts of His clemency. And Christ has willed that the whole virtue of His death, alike for expiation and impetration, should abide in the Eucharist, which is no mere empty commemoration thereof, but a true and wonderful though bloodless and mystical renewal of it." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902)

"Wherever Christianity rules over all without let or hindrance there the order established by Divine Providence is preserved, and both security and prosperity are the happy result. The common welfare, then, urgently demands a return to Him from whom we should never have gone astray; to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, - and this on the part not only of individuals but of society as a whole. We must restore Christ to this His own rightful position. All elements of the national life must be made to drink in the Life which proceedeth from Him - legislation, political institutions, education, marriage and family life, capital and labor. Everyone must see that the very growth of civilization which is so ardently desired depends greatly upon this, since it is fed and grows not so much by material wealth and prosperity, as by the spiritual qualities of morality and virtue." (Pope Leo XIII, "Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus", 1900)

"For truly it is of little avail to discuss questions with nice subtlety, or to discourse eloquently of rights and duties, when all this is unconnected with practice. The times we live in demand action - but action which consists entirely in observing with fidelity and zeal the divine laws and the precepts of the Church, in the frank and open profession of religion, in the exercise of every kind of charitable works, without regard to self-interest or worldly advantage. Such luminous examples given by the great army of soldiers of Christ will be of much greater avail in moving and drawing men than words and sublime dissertations; and it will easily come about that when human respect has been driven out, and prejudices and doubting laid aside, large numbers will be won to Christ, becoming in their turn promoters of His knowledge and love which are the road to true and solid happiness." (Pope St. Pius X, "E Supremi", 1903)

"We must not fail to grasp the call of God to fight against these evils with all our might. It would be totally false to think that God expects of us only a resigned 'Thy will be done'. That would be a disastrous quietism. The criterion for determining the response which God expects of us is the will of God in the first sense, in the sense of that which is pleasing to God. It would be a great, indeed a catastrophic error to think that something is pleasing to God simply because it has happened, because it has come into existence... It is always the will of God for us to struggle against what is evil and false. Whether we will prevail in our struggle, that we do not know, and here again we should say, 'Thy will be done'. As Pascal says so beautifully, we must fight with Christ, but we do not know whether we will conquer with Him. But that Christ will conquer in the end - that we know.'" (Dietrich von Hildebrand)

"We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights." (Pope Pius XI, "Quas Primas", 1925)

"There is, nevertheless, some consolation for Us even in looking on these evils, and We may lift up Our heart in hope. For God 'created all things that they might be: and He made the nations of the earth for health.' But as all this world cannot be upheld but by His providence and divinity, so also men can only be healed by His power, of Whose goodness they were called from death to life. For Jesus Christ redeemed the human race once by the shedding of His blood, but the power of so great a work and gift is for all ages; 'neither is there salvation in any other.' Hence they who strive by the enforcement of law to extinguish the growing flame of lawless desire, strive indeed for justice; but let them know that they will labor with no result, or next to none, as long as they obstinately reject the power of the gospel and refuse the assistance of the Church. Thus will the evil alone be cured, by changing their ways, and returning back in their public and private life to Jesus Christ and Christianity." (Pope Leo XIII, "Exeunte Iam Anno", 1888)

"If we stop to reflect for a moment that these ideals and doctrines of Jesus Christ, for example, his teachings on the necessity and value of the spiritual life, on the dignity and sanctity of human life, on the duty of obedience, on the divine basis of human government, on the sacramental character of matrimony and by consequence the sanctity of family life - if we stop to reflect, let Us repeat, that these ideals and doctrines of Christ (which are in fact but a portion of the treasury of truth which He left to mankind) were confided by Him to His Church and to her alone for safekeeping, and that He has promised that His aid will never fail her at any time for she is the infallible teacher of His doctrines in every century and before all nations, there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace. Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state." (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

"The most grave disease by which our age is oppressed, and at the same time the fruitful source of all the evils deplored by every man of good heart, is that levity and thoughtlessness which carry men hither and thither through devious ways. Hence comes the constant and passionate absorption in external things; hence, the insatiable thirst for riches and pleasures that gradually weakens and extinguishes in the minds of men the desire for more excellent goods, and so entangles them in outward and fleeting things that it forbids them to think of eternal truths, and of the Divine laws, and of God Himself, the one beginning and end of all created things, Who, nevertheless, for his boundless goodness and mercy, even in these our days, though moral corruption may spread apace, ceases not to draw men to himself by a bounteous abundance of graces. Now, if we would cure this sickness from which human society suffers so sorely, what healing remedy could we devise more appropriate for our purpose than that of calling these enervated souls, so neglectful of eternal things, to the recollection of the Spiritual Exercises [e.g. of St. Ignatius]?" (Pope Pius XI, "Mens Nostra", 1929) 

"Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: 'Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.' To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: 'Have confidence; I have overcome the world.' Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace. The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890)

"But the Church, not content with pointing out the remedy, also applies it. For the Church does her utmost to teach and to train men, and to educate them and by the intermediary of her bishops and clergy diffuses her salutary teachings far and wide. She strives to influence the mind and the heart so that all may willingly yield themselves to be formed and guided by the commandments of God. It is precisely in this fundamental and momentous matter, on which everything depends that the Church possesses a power peculiarly her own. The instruments which she employs are given to her by Jesus Christ Himself for the very purpose of reaching the hearts of men, and drive their efficiency from God. They alone can reach the innermost heart and conscience, and bring men to act from a motive of duty, to control their passions and appetites, to love God and their fellow men with a love that is outstanding and of the highest degree and to break down courageously every barrier which blocks the way to virtue. On this subject we need but recall for one moment the examples recorded in history. Of these facts there cannot be any shadow of doubt: for instance, that civil society was renovated in every part by Christian institutions; that in the strength of that renewal the human race was lifted up to better things - nay, that it was brought back from death to life, and to so excellent a life that nothing more perfect had been known before, or will come to be known in the ages that have yet to be. Of this beneficent transformation Jesus Christ was at once the first cause and the final end; as from Him all came, so to Him was all to be brought back. For, when the human race, by the light of the Gospel message, came to know the grand mystery of the Incarnation of the Word and the redemption of man, at once the life of Jesus Christ, God and Man, pervaded every race and nation, and interpenetrated them with His faith, His precepts, and His laws. And if human society is to be healed now, in no other way can it be healed save by a return to Christian life and Christian institutions. When a society is perishing, the wholesome advice to give to those who would restore it is to call it to the principles from which it sprang; for the purpose and perfection of an association is to aim at and to attain that for which it is formed, and its efforts should be put in motion and inspired by the end and object which originally gave it being. Hence, to fall away from its primal constitution implies disease; to go back to it, recovery." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891) 

Also See: Causes of Society's Ills | Divine Providence | Encouragement | Fallen Members of the Church | The Hardships of Life | A Just Society | The Last Days | Let the World Hear of the Rights of God | Persecution | State of Things / Laments | Vanities of the World | Warnings | Current Issues

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