A Steady Focus in Fractious Times

I sit, typing this, in my basement office in my home in Virginia as the world watches the drama of the recent elections in the United States unfold in such a way as to point to a Biden / Harris win for the positions of President and Vice President. Whether I have the respective positions correct will remain to be seen – but I digress. I find myself in a state of serious unease in these times; then I look to the coffee cup my wife bought me years ago, emblazoned with the seal of the Holy See of Peter, bearing the words, “The Catholic Church, Outlasting Oppressive Governments Since 33 A.D.” and I find hope.

Please do not read here that I have put my faith in the present Prince of the Oval Office. Each of the candidates has their foibles. No, as my coffee mug implies, my faith is in Christ. But as I have walked this Earth I have watched as the culture of the West consumes itself. Europe, the one-time bastion of Christendom, is a shell of its former self and appears to have surrendered to some kind of doubt-filled self-loathing in an effort to make amends for the sins of their colonizing fathers. In the United States this self-loathing has lately been made manifest under the guise of the original sin of slavery and all its evils, which truly were evils.

Yet, there are real and present evils which go ignored and in some cases even celebrated. I need not type them all here. Rather, I implore you, good reader, to look deep inside yourself and deeper into Sacred Scripture, and the Catechism of the Church, to find where you will be judged. And you will be judged, as will I. But there is one evil which has become such a scourge on the spirit of the West that I cannot leave to itself. That, my friends, is abortion.

I wanted the first president of the United States to ever attend the March for Life to have a second term. I wanted this because I have seen what he has done on this singular front and it gave me hope. In the United States we have surpassed sixty-three-million babies discarded – murdered – in the name of freedom. The German third Reich came nowhere near this number. The Soviet purges in Asia and Eastern Europe still fall well below this. These two regimes – socialist in name and action – murdered their own people on a mass scale, but we have outdone them. I hoped we were near an end to this insanity, but if the present course bears its apparent fruits in this election, I fear the carnage will continue. The candidates have openly admitted their wish that it does. In my church we had a novena for God’s will to be delivered in the election. I have to believe that God heard us, and He is answering. What will come about is yet to be seen.

Allow me to draw some parallels. Early Christians did not have it easy. They were shredded by beasts in the Coliseum for sport. All but one of the original Apostles were martyred, as were the first thirty Popes. Roman citizens who refused to burn incense to Caesar, which would have been counter to the Christian faith, were killed. Being a champion for Christ was often a sentence to an early and gruesome death for the first three hundred plus years after Christ returned to heaven. Yet still they came, and happily so. Their persistence led to the conversion of a pagan empire in which sins of the flesh – and even abortion – flourished. This Empire would be the forebearer of our present civilization, which appears to be reverting into pantheism and paganism once again.

So, in an uncertain time, in an unsteady age, what are we supposed to do? Like our Christian fathers, we are meant to show the Truth to a pagan world. Looking to them we can see our path, persistence in witness. We will suffer if we do it well. Pray, fast, repent, be ready. Preach the Gospel every day, and to paraphrase Saint Francis, use words when you have to.