Friday, July 31, 2015

Correspondence from the Catacombs (cont.)

From another friend:
Hi, Bill:
I just saw this article in this week's edition. It is a very sober assessment of where we are, I think. Fr. Rutler's summation is "chilling", as the overview of the edition says; however, it seems to me he is correct: this is the zenith of a spiritual battle, the outcome of which Christ assures us. We must pray to endure to its end. See what you think.

Father Rutler is always a pleasure to read. This column is from his Pastor's Corner, which he publishes almost weekly at his parish website. You can find it here.

Unfortunately, in this case he has not much more to say than other folks who have critiqued the SC's ruling. It's awful, illogical, insubstantial, trendy in its moralizing, amoral in its trendiness, and absolutely revolutionary in the stake it drives through the heart of who we are (or were) as a people. Yes, we must endure to the end. Yes, "justice is eternal." Yes, Christ assures us of the outcome. But nobody seems to know what to do. It must be resisted, but how? It seems to me that all Christians have a duty to actively resist at every turn. But how many will have the courage? States should continue to issue marriage licenses only to heteros, in outright defiance. Are these city, county and state officials willing to go to jail for the cause of marriage? Is a Governor Jindal, for example, ready to tell the SC to stuff it, that his state will not comply because the SC ruling is in fact lawless, since it has no authority to redefine what it did not create? To suffer punishing, possibly ruinous fines for failing to bend? Will Christian teachers in public schools be willing to lose their jobs for refusing to promulgate the respect owed to sexual deviancy? Because I can assure you that, where the pushing of the homosexual agenda in our schools (often under the guise of anti-bullying campaigns) was already in motion, it will soon be required that courses dealing with marriage and the family include the elevation of the homosexual mockery to equal status. Everyone will be required to affirm the new dispensation. Our children's history textbooks will be re-written to show all of Western Christianity as a moral Dark Age of prejudice, bigotry and hatred...Marriage is so fundamental a thing, imprinted in the very nature of man, that the tentacles of the SC's decision will reach into every nook and cranny of American life.

Yes, an end will come. But when? You will not live to see it. You will have to live the rest of your life out as the "stranger in a strange land," an exile in your own country, in the despairing knowledge that that country is not the one you were born in. And you won't be able to do anything about it.
This is where radical hope and trust become part of "the full armor of GOD," (cf St. Paul's Letter to one of the fledgling Christian communities undergoing travail and persecution.) Beware one of the Enemy's primary weapons: the temptation to despair. I think we each have to wait and see what the Holy Spirit is leading us "to do" in our daily walk. Some of us may even be called to martyrdom, who knows! But as I said, this isn't the first time and won't likely be the last time Christ's Church is persecuted. I saw last week a piece on an Irish Saint whose feast day was recent. I know his name when I see it, but I can't recall it. Peter somebody, I think. But in the 17th century, he was bishop at a time when the English were doing their best to stamp out the "papists." It was illegal to say Mass. Priests were in hiding and saying Mass in secret. Many were killed. This bishop was finally caught and hanged, then drawn and quartered. Yes, we will likely see many Christians remain silent and go quietly along with whatever is "safe." But Christ foretold this. It happens every time. God always works with a remnant, whether it be of Hebrews in Babylon, Irish Catholics in the 1600s, or American Christians in the 21st century. But such separates Christ's sheep from the goats. And as God told the despondent Elijah after he wailed that he was the only faithful one left, "I have priests and prophets you don't know about." Then He gave Elijah his marching orders. The temptation to succumb to the "do something" disease is great. But we must watch and pray. It is not up to us to go off half-cocked and "do anything about it, even for "righteous reasons." (Recall St. Thomas Becket's words to the Tempter in Murder in the Cathedral when he was tempted to wish for martyrdom for self-righteous reasons: "I had not thought to find you here!") Our current directive is precisely NOT to despair. We may live in exile. So what! Is it not a great privilege to serve God in Babylon? God will direct us, corporately and individually. "Fear not, little flock," Jesus told his disciples when they felt similarly overwhelmed and alone. "Lo, I am with you, even to the end of the age."
Yes, this is all true. We must watch and pray. But is that all? I don't know what this means: "It is not up to us to go off half-cocked and do anything about it, even for righteous reasons." Like what?

Notre Dame has already said that it will provide benefits to same-sex couples. Will they also provide same-sex married housing, as they do for heteros? I don't think people understand just how bad things are going to get.

Here's just one example of what I'm talking about:

Thousands of such cases in all walks of life could be in the offing. Of course, if enough conscientious objectors are thrown in jail, or fined into penury, the thousands could dwindle to just a few, the few who have the stomach for a kind of martyrdom.

No comments: