Go forth and proselytize the living hell out of them!
I almost got sucked down that vortex of negative speculation and gossip and the sky-is-falling. I strongly urge readers to go to confession, talk to your spiritual director, or a good, solid, holy priest. Don't go to strangers online. Don't listen to me or any self-guided apologist/evangelist/mystical twit online. A few days ago a good priest with a blog said to take the miraculous stories associated with a certain saint 'with a grain of salt'. I say take his blog with a grain of salt. Take my blog with a grain of salt. Take those who cajole and condemn the bishops and even the pope with a grain of salt. If you have a simple, ordinary pure faith and deep piety - avoid reading blogs written by the disgruntled and the rude rad-trad-gic alienated grumblers - be they ordained or un-ordained disorderly.
Spiritual desolation, in contrast, is an experience of the soul in heavy darkness or turmoil. We are assaulted by all sorts of doubts, bombarded by temptations, and mired in self-preoccupations. We are excessively restless and anxious and feel cut off from others. Such feelings, in Ignatius’s words, “move one toward lack of faith and leave one without hope and without love.”
The key question in interpreting consolation and desolation is: where is the movement coming from and where is it leading me? Spiritual consolation does not always mean happiness. Spiritual desolation does not always mean sadness. Sometimes an experience of sadness is a moment of conversion and intimacy with God. Times of human suffering can be moments of great grace. Similarly, peace or happiness can be illusory if these feelings are helping us avoid changes we need to make.
For people who are trying to live a life pleasing to God, the good spirit strengthens, encourages, consoles, removes obstacles, and gives peace. The evil spirit tries to derail them by stirring up anxiety, false sadness, needless confusion, frustration, and other obstacles. - Discernment of spirits.Now about those bishops.
St. Alphonsus Liguori had some things to say that may be helpful to consider in our time. There have always been problems in the Church, bishops and pastors have been exiled, founders of religious communities kicked out of their own orders, and so on. Christ promised us everything - 'and persecutions besides'. We need the perspective of God - we judge as humans judge and fail to see the divine purpose behind his providential designs.
As regards my opinions concerning the present state of the church with relation to the election of the new Pope, what opinion of any weight could a miserable, ignorant, and unspiritual person like myself possibly give? There is need for prayer and much prayer. All the human science and prudence that there is cannot extricate the church from the present state of relaxation and confusion in which every section finds itself; the all-powerful arm of God is necessary.
As regards the bishops, very few of them possess genuine zeal for souls. Almost all religious communities – and one could omit the “almost”– are relaxed. As a result of the present state of general confusion, observance has collapsed and obedience is a thing of the past. The state of the secular clergy is still worse: so, in a word, there is a need for a general reform of all clerics and ecclesiastics if there is to be any improvement in the present great corruption of morals among the laity.
I assure you, my friends, that I desire, like yourself, to see remedies for so many and such unfortunate situations. In all this matter a thousand ideas circulate in my head which I feel like telling everybody about. But, mindful of my own unworthiness, I have not the effrontery to publicize them lest I should appear to wish to reform the whole world. So I share these ideas with you not from any arrogance but for my own peace of mind. - St. Alphonsus