Today a friend of mine posted an article on Facebook about how various state level Attorney Generals are ignoring and refusing to enforce state law. In other words, they believe that they are above the law. This brazenly totalitarian move has been met with apathy and even celebration by the American people. Her status update said it all, “The American experiment is over”. And so it is. Sure, there are people who are clinging to the idea that the America of previous generations is still out there somewhere under the miles and miles of red-tape, liberty violations, corruption, and power grabs that have been going on for decades. Many cling to their political party without acknowledging that there is very little difference between Republicans and Democrats these days. Both are willing to sell their soul for power and money. There are a few left who I believe are earnest, but they are out-numbered. America was founded on a sort of Protestant nationalism with a Deist flair, so it is no wonder that folks want to hold on to this dream, but we need to start figuring out what to do with the future, now that it is here. Governments rise and fall, including our own.
Being a Catholic, I never place hope in human institutions. Our government is formed and run by Fallen men and women who are just as prone to sin as I am. The difference is that their sins tend to rule the nation. History is not a kind place. It is fraught with violence, persecution, corruption, and stupidity. The problem is that Americans, in our largely decadent bubble, have forgotten this truth. Much of that is because of the abysmal history lessons we get in public schools, which largely consist of ideological underpinnings, and the fact that we have deluded ourselves into thinking that we are indestructible. I lived under this delusion for years. 9-11 came as a huge shock to me, not just because I was a relief worker, but because I wondered how anyone could pull off such an act in the U.S.? I think a lot of people felt this way. Even more shocking is how socialism with its political partner Communism has crept into our schools and political offices.
As a former Russian linguist, I find our country’s shift towards the economic system of socialism and authoritarian power to be fascinating and frightening at the same time. The Soviet Union fell in 1991, and yet, its ideology is rampant in the United States, especially at the university level. I would suspect that the former USSR has more to do with this than we would like to admit. I also find it incredibly ironic that our country is now trying to annihilate Christianity in the public square (and soon in private), while it is President Putin who is warning the world of global Christian persecution. I feel like I live in the Twilight Zone most days.
So what as Catholics can we do in light of these changes in our nation? First, pray. Second, prepare for persecution. Third, participate in the Sacraments frequently. Fourth, serve others. I know. No one likes to think about it. We want to live in our bubble pretending that things can go on at this chaotic pace with no consequences. That, however, is not how Christ taught us, or how world history works. Read Triumph if you want to taste of what it was like being Catholic throughout history. Our government, Hollywood, and special interest groups are on the offensive and the Catholic Church and like minded Christian groups who hold to Biblical tradition are the targets. The Catholic Church is the biggest obstacle to these people’s goals. Why? First, The Church has over 1 billion adherents worldwide. Second, is because our truths do not change with the times. Christ is the head of the Church. We are subordinate to Him, not the secular world order. The only thing these people can do is force the Church underground. She will never concede and change her teaching to fit their desires, but they will do everything to make sure the Church pays dearly. I pray for these people because of their hardness of hearts and also because of what they are capable of. Prayer brings about conversion. What these people need is conversion, and so do we.
To be quite honest, my biggest struggles are not with secularists. I know that they cannot possibly understand objective truth as long as they deny the existence of evil and sin. They cannot possibly know why it is vital that we keep our desires, especially sexual ones, in check. They do not have the Light of Truth, which is what we need to bring to them through example and prayer. In other words, ‘They know not what they do’. No, my biggest struggle in praying for our persecutors, is the people sitting next to me in the pews who have chosen the secular culture over the Church. What do I mean? I mean the people who support “gay marriage”, abortion, euthanasia, and who put their political party above the Faith. The reason it is such a struggle for me is because they should know better. I was in their place once, and quite frankly, I DID know better. I honestly do not think they see the future of what these agendas will do to the Church. I think they also have not had a full encounter with the Risen Christ. In fact, it will be too late before many of them realize what this is all about. These are the people I need to learn to pray for more no matter how frustrated I get.
The agenda of our day that will lead to virulent persecution is the gay agenda. They want to completely and utterly destroy the Church. The goal is not “equality”. That is how they sell it to people to make it more palatable. You don’t have to dig far to find out what they really mean. I always find it interesting that supporters (not really members of agenda driven groups) are convinced that this has nothing to do with churches complying. They earnestly believe that this is about “equality”. The PR folks for these groups are doing a stellar job of deluding the culture at large. Many in the pews would rather take their cues from Modern Family, than Jesus Christ. I think that part of it is that people do not want to believe that others would attack their freedoms. I admire their optimism, but it is dangerous. In fact, that does not line up with our understanding of the Fallen nature of human beings. We hurt, and at times take away freedom, from other people when we sin. The more power we have, the greater our sin hurts others. Part of the problem is that people in the pews have fallen for our culture’s sentimental version of love rather than Christ’s call to authentic love. The Church does not condemn gays. The Church welcomes them with open arms to the freedom that is in Christ, but that means working to abandon sin and falling on his mercy. That is what all of us are called to in Christ. It means no marriage, unless in a heterosexual union. It means chastity, which all of us are actually called to. Gays are not singled out by the Church. All sexual sins are on the same plane. However, a person must have real and personal encounter with Christ to believe that they can rise above their desires.
It is hard for those of us who see the writing on the wall to watch as people support this agenda and abandon the Church, while still approaching the altar on Sunday. My hope is first, that we ALL pass the test that is to come. Second, that if any of us do flee or turn others over, that we may come back to Christ before the end. The only way to survive persecution is to fully trust and give ourselves to Christ. Read Scripture, pray, and study the lives of the Saints for strength. This is something that I have to pray for and tell my self every single day. I fear that I will not pass the test either. If you don’t believe me, I would encourage you to monitor the treatment of priests and Bishops in the coming years by this agenda. As well as the continued vilification of Catholics and other Christians in general.
It has only been in the past few years that I have started to realize what it truly means to follow Christ. It means following him to the end, even if that end is the barrel of a gun. History was not kind to Christ, we crucified Him. It will not be any kinder to us. We must pray and hope. Christ has conquered evil and He will stand with us no matter what happens. The American experiment may be over, but the Kingdom of God is at hand. Now is the time for us to move away from the lies of this world towards Him. Authoritarian power is diametrically opposed to Christianity. That is why Christians will be targeted as more power shifts. It does not mean ignoring this world. We should still be out helping our neighbor, serving, praying, and raising our families. We must continue to bring others to Christ, including evangelizing those who sit next to us in the pews, and secularists. It just means that we must always be prepared for what may come. It means not deluding ourselves into thinking that things will always be the same
This is not meant to be depressing. It is hard to swallow, but quite frankly, it is something that a lot of us think and worry about. Rather, if we focus on Christ as Matthew 14 tells us to, the storm and the waves around us will not matter. We cannot constantly focus on the bad news in the world. It gets worse daily. Instead we must fall on Christ and allow Him to prepare us for whatever is to come. We need to pray for our priests and Bishops. They are taking a lot of hits and they will get worse. We should pray for Catholic schools and all who represent the Church. Pray for Catholic charities throughout the world. We should pray for our neighbors in the pews and for those in the secular order who want to silence us. We should pray for our families and for ourselves. Pray!
I have attached some links to some articles that demonstrate how this agenda will come for the Church, and already is at hand. Take heart, there is hope in Christ!
Denmark forces churches to perform same sex marriages (if you want to see our future look to Europe).