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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Novel" Thoughts after Adoration: and the Second Letter of St. Peter

What novel are you living in?
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. . . ." A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Sometimes I think we are living in a novel. Dickens' story of the French Revolution certainly applies to our age of "enlightened" evil that recognizes 50 or 60 alternative "genders" and promotes the murder of the vulnerable while championing the rights of trees and bugs. Calling our time the "age of foolishness" hardly encompasses the idiocy.

“Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.” The Trial by Josef Kafka
On the other hand our times may be more appropriately described as a Kafka novel where the protagonist has no idea what is happening to him and why. Who in the bureaucracy of evil is behind it or is it tragic mistake? When he tries to find out he is stymied at every term. It is just the inevitability of being a cog in the state machine where necessity and pragmatism trump truth and justice. 

And then there is Walker Percy whose stories of the near future show exactly how a culture moves toward banal atrocities when governed by scientists who scorn absolute truth, the "men without chests" as C.S. Lewis called them. They are men who revere their own intellects and toss out the natural law implanted on the human heart by our Creator, hence they are all head and no heart.

But it was my Scripture reading at Adoration that really pulled me up short. My focus since Easter has been the epistles other than St. Paul's. Today I was reading 2 Peter. Was it written this morning? It could have been. Peter warns about a "world corrupted by lust." Recognize that world? Just pick up the newspaper. Peter tells his readers:
In times past there were false prophets among God's people, and among you also there will be false teachers who will smuggle in pernicious heresies. They will go so far as to deny the Master who acquired them for his own, thereby bringing on themselves swift disaster. Their lustful ways will lure many away. Through them, the true way will be made subject to contempt.
Fr. James Martin, S.J.
homosexualist heretic extraordinaire!
Wow! Can anyone doubt our assault by "false teachers" with their "pernicious heresies? We've seen  the attack on the indissolubility of marriage magnified since the release of Pope Francis' apostolic letter Amoris Laetitia. And many fear the next assaults will be on Humanae Vitae, priestly celibacy, and the all-male priesthood. There's also talk of approving same-sex marriage. Let's pray it's all talk without foundation, but in this era of confusion and relentless attacks on doctrine who can tell? And who would be surprised at the next evil inflicted on the world? 

As far as the "true way" being "made subject to contempt," just think of Fr. James Martin and his pals criticizing Bishop Thomas Paprocki for upholding Church teachings on marriage and continually beating the drum for normalizing homosexual behavior as a positive good. Hey, they luv each other; what can be wrong with that?
Peter also talks about those who:
...live for the flesh in their desire for whatever corrupts, and who despise authority. These bold and arrogant men...act like creatures of instinct, brute animals born to be caught and destroyed...theirs is a never-ending search for sin.
Does this bring to mind the recent homosexual sex and drug orgy at the Vatican? That's where my mind went.

Peter's letter also bears an apocalyptic tone when he says that:
...in the last days, mocking, sneering men who are ruled by their passions will arrive on the scene. They will ask: "Where is that promised coming of his? Our forefathers have been laid to rest, but everything stays just it was when the world was created."...The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and on that day the heavens will vanish with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and all its deeds will be made manifest.
In this 110th anniversary year of Fatima, I keep thinking of the sun plunging toward the earth. Will it happen again and this time actually strike the earth? Who can argue that we don't deserve it?

Peter closes his letter urging readers to prepare for the coming of Christ, to "make every effort to be found without stain or defilement, and at peace in his sight." God wants our salvation, Peter assures us, but we must do our part. We would do well to listen to his final admonition:
You can't shut the evil out; you have to fight!
Imitate Bilbo and Frodo.
You are forewarned, beloved brothers. Be on your guard lest you be led astray by the error of the wicked, and forfeit the security you enjoy. Grow rather in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be to him now and to the day of eternity! Amen
Perhaps the novel (or rather the trilogy of novels) that most accurately portrays our age is the Lord of the Rings by Tolkein. Our 1950s culture of Middle Earth is under attack by all the minions of Sauron and it is no longer enough to live out our pastoral existence at Bag End enjoying second breakfast and smoking a pipe with our "no admittance" sign out front to protect us from evil. It's here, like it or not and we need to recruit all the soldiers in the Church Militant to pray and fight for Middle Earth.

We do, in fact, live in a perennial struggle between the City of God and the City of Man. One is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ; the other is under the tyranny of the father of lies. Ultimately each one of us must choose under whom he will serve. Will we put on the armor of Christ, take up the rosary, and rally around Christ in the Jerusalem plain; or will we gather in the murky putrid stench around Babylon to follow Lucifer? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

2 comments:

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

ABS remembers years ago the news surfacing that The Church owned a building which housed a sodomite pleasure place. One wonders if we expelled the sodomites or just jumped in with them...


http://www.salon.com/2013/03/12/the_vatican_plays_landlord_to_europes_biggest_gay_bathhouse/

Chriss Rainey said...

I am currently reding "God's Bankers," by Gerald Posner. You wouldn't BELIEVE what all the Vatican owns.

Like you, Mary Ann, I have had a recent attraction to the other letters and I agree completely with your feeling that they speak to us today with great clarity. I am comforted to know nothing happens which is or was ever beyond what the early fathers understood as threats to our salvation and to the Church itself. Hearing Peter's words tells me we have not gone beyond our original struggle, but deal with the very same sins and temptations of our early Christian brothers and sisters.
I hope our perseverance is as strong as theirs and our faith will prevail over evil.