by Fr Richard Heilman | January 30, 2017 4:18 PM
I was reflecting, today, just how “intense” or “brutal” the battles have been in the past five years. There have been great victories, but also many casualties.
This was our journey in my parishes and community during the past five years …
2012 – After the intrusions on religious freedom began to become evident in Obamacare, Hobby Lobby stood its ground and dropped its coverage which allowed the abortafacient drugs, Plan-B and Ella. As the lawsuit garnered national attention, and other threats to religious liberty became more real, the USCCB called for a “Fortnight for Freedom” in 2012, June 26-July 4. But, we actually took it a step further and decided to gather every Thursday night that Summer and pray 15 decades of the rosary on the steps of our State Capitol. We averaged 200 people every Thursday night for these “Capitol Rosary Rallies.” I wrote the book, “Church Militant Field Manual: Special Forces Training in the Life of Christ.”
2013 – Hollywood idolizes satanism in Super bowl half time shows, award events, etc. We repeated our Thursday night “Capitol Rosary Rallies” this Summer. Thousands of people journeyed together in the 33 day preparation for Marian Consecration. We did several of these. I designed and produced the WWI inspired “Combat Rosary.” Launched romancatholicman.com (a new website for posting my teaching articles. I have had others for the past 15 years).
2014 – Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby. This was the year we knew a Supreme Court decision was pending that could redefine marriage for the first time in civilization. My continued strong encouragement of the Sacrament of Confession led to the design of the “My Confessor App” that people could use to check for my availability, with the hope this could be used by all priests one day.
2015 – Supreme Court redefines marriage for the first time in civilization. The primaries begin for President of the United States, and they were brutal. Inspired by the apostolate – Knights of Divine Mercy – I started in 2007, we launched the “Holy League“ which called men to gather once a month for an evening of Adoration, Confession, Solemn Vespers, Inspiring Talk, and a Social. We launched the “Ladies of Divine Mercy” this year too.
2016 – We move into the “General Election” for President in, what most say, was the most contentious election in the history of the United States. Donald Trump wins the election. 20,000-40,000 people from around the United States participate in the Novena for Our Nation from August 15 – November 8, Election Day.
During this time, I did everything I could to lead people to “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10), primarily as we worked very hard on our spiritual lives. This, while we were being brutalized by a very powerful liberal indoctrination, especially coming from the Main Stream Media and Hollywood. It was so hard for many to choose Christ over choosing to “fit in.”
Two shifts were occurring during this time. I saw very many young families choosing to take their faith very seriously. You could see that, for many, this “heated time in our culture” was a watershed moment, and they needed to go in one direction or the other … it was hard to find any “middle ground” or “lukewarm” stance as the rising forces of the secular liberal world were forcing them to choose. These young families were embracing devotions, seeking reverent Masses and drawing very close to the saints and Our Lady. Their level of enthusiasm for all of the beautiful treasures of our Catholic faith was contagious.
Unfortunately during this time, I also witnessed many who could not fight off the seduction of “fitting in.” It’s true, this was a time when the radical secular left were raised as the “normal” way of believing and living, while those who remained true to Christ and His Church were marginalized as fanatical, extreme and out of touch … we became the weird, red-haired step-child, so to speak, that “didn’t have a clue.” The level of condescending derision toward people who practiced their faith seemed to grow by the day.
I do a great deal of study and introspection, and I try to discern with others, as I am always attempting to stay within the truth of God. I try to teach with a gentle spirit of great love to those in my care, but I feel obliged to be open and honest about what Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition has to say about the wayward direction of our culture today. For some, it is very well received. For others, I am – shall we say – a “Donald Trump” in their midst.
Many have stayed through all of this and they love the depth of faith we have reached together through it all, and there are some who have left. I pray for them, especially. The intoxication of the world is “very” powerful, and I am begging God to lead them home to His truth; to His love.
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