A blessed and joyous Easter Saturday to all our readers, as we continue this journey through the Octave of octaves, eight days of Easter Sundays. So rejoice in the Lord, gaudeamus in Domino, in what way you might.
The passing of Father Alphonse de Valk is a bittersweet moment, tinged with the hope and joy of the resurrection, but the loss of a great hero and, as I wrote yesterday, the passing of an era. He touched a lot of hearts, minds and souls, as this moving tribute by Lianne Lawrence in LifeSite attests. Such should not surprise us, for all those who are faithful to the vocation upon which God calls them, as was the priest, Basilian, educator and pro-life warrior Father de Valk, ‘bear much fruit’. The Almighty just asks for our two coins, our simple fiat, and He does the rest, producing thirty, sixty and hundred-fold. We can only hope that his priest may soon do a lot more good ‘on the other side’ of the veil, than even he could do here.
If there is one thing Father taught us, it’s that we should not get comfortable with our culture, one which is spiraling into a vicious circle of sin and death, of which too many of us seem scarcely even aware. Did we and the authorities over us think we could murder the unborn, the elderly, dismantle the family, corrupt and scandalize children, laugh at and scorn the Faith, and things just go on as ‘normal’, whatever normal might mean to minds unhinged from the Truth? This current crisis is a kick in the pants, to wake us up from our somnolent spiritual slumber.
As Pius XII warned in 1946, the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century was the loss of the sense of sin, some tinge of which seems even to have affected the very heart of our own Church – as this crisis is revealing.
Father de Valk could see this, right from the passage of Trudeau Sr.’s heinous 1969 law, and how the various sins in our own culture were interconnected, not least sins against the dignity of human sexuality and sins against the dignity of life – a stand for which he was often vilified. As Ms. Lawrence puts in her article, what have homosexuality and contraception to do with abortion, and what connection did Father see in that?
But Father de Valk was in his own way prophetic, for Pope Saint John Paul II himself taught in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae that the two primary root causes of abortion are the ‘contraceptive mentality‘ (par. 13) and the ‘trivialization of sexuality‘ (par. 97), and we should recall that Trudeau’s omnibus and ominous law, against which we witness each May in the March for Life, legalized in one fell swoop divorce, contraception, homosexuality, and, yes, abortion. Hmm.
We must keep up the good fight of the Faith, for Life and for Family – for they go together, or perish miserably and pathetically – boldly, courageously, without flinching, even unto suffering and, yes, death. Such was Christ; so were the Apostles and early Christians; so must we be.
But all with joy and hope, dear reader, for we are promised by the Author of Life that those who stand fast, who hold the truth and teach others to do likewise, like Father de Valk, their reward will be great in heaven.