I had the tremendous pleasure of meeting Fr. Hardon on several occasions including attending an informal class that he gave at the nursing home in Detroit where he was residing before his death. He was a genius of breaking down the faith in simple, clear and concise terms. My favorite saying of his..."Heaven is very expensive".
I recently came across the following statement of his:
"I believe the breakdown of religious life in the Western world is a phenomenon that is unique in the history of Christianity. There have been, since the last half of this century, more departures from Catholicism, more closing of Catholic churches, more dioceses that have been secularized than ever before in the history of Christianity. We are living in the most deeply de-Catholicized age of Christianity.
"The United States has been one of the main victims. In general we may say the more academically educated, the more wealthy and the richer in this world's goods a nation was, the greater has been the departure from Jesus Christ. Only God knows what the future will be, but judging by the last five hundred years, there has been a far-reaching breakdown of authentic Christianity. It began, of course, with the rise of Protestantism, originated by a Catholic priest and a member of a religious order.
"What then is the remedy? There is only one way which the revolution can be reversed- and it had better be reversed. Professed Catholics who call themselves Christians must reexamine their faith. We must be sure we believe that God became man in the person of Jesus Christ. We must believe that when God became man He instituted the Holy Eucharist. We must believe that the consecrated life --of consecrated poverty, consecrated chastity, constant obedience is most pleasing to Jesus Christ. When God became man He made sure He lived a life-- I repeat-- of consecrated chastity, obedience and poverty.
"What I want to share with you is that, not only religious life, but the Catholic Church will be preserved only where there are--hear it--Catholics who are living martyrs , do you hear me?
"Ordinary Catholics will not survive this revolution. They must be Catholics who are thoroughly convinced that God became man in the person of Jesus. They must be convinced there is only one supreme authority on earth: the authority of Jesus Christ vested in the Vicar if Christ. What the Church needs, desperately needs, is strong believing Catholics. Otherwise one nation after another, like our own, will be wiped out as a Christian country."