by Fr Richard Heilman | August 16, 2016 11:09 AM
“Compromise is a word found only in the vocabulary of those who have no will to fight” -St. Josemaria Escriva
In last Sunday’s Gospel, we heard the Prince of Peace say, “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (Luke 12:51). How can that be? Isn’t Jesus the Prince of Peace?
He is! But, the peace our Lord offers is a “peace of mind” and “peace of heart,” for knowing “We Stand Together with Jesus.”
You see? We are accused of causing division, because we choose Christ over the world. Division comes when others separate themselves from the Lord … when others decide to “go their own way,” or to “go the way of the world,” rather than staying with the Lord.
St. Jude reminds us that it is the world that sets up division, not you and I …
“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And convince some, who doubt; save some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Letter of St. Jude 1:17-23).
You and I have simply “stayed put” … we have decided to stay with our Lord. It is the world that decided a mother’s womb should no longer be the safest place in the universe; it is the world that decided that the very words of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, in regard to marriage, no longer matter, and so anyone can marry anybody; it is the world that decided that grown men can use the same restrooms of little girls … and so on and so forth.
Because we live in an information age, and the vast majority of those who “control the message” seem to either ignore, or even have disdain for, Godly values. In other words, we are being “programmed by the worldly.” Those who live on a steady diet of television and movies that herald such things as fornication, sodomy and adultery, are especially prone to this indoctrination.
Of course, the temptation is to “go along to get along,” or to remain silent in the face of such atrocities. Many believe it is better to avoid “hot button issues” in order to be more unified … they neatly categorize these issues as “political,” and so they should not be confronted by Christians, they say. But, this silence has led many of the faithful to mistakenly believe God is “okay” with such things as abortion, contraception and the redefinition of marriage. St. Catherine of Siena railed against such silence: “We’ve had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues – I see the world is rotten because of silence.”
The rate of speed as to how fast our culture has turned its back on God and His truths, as revealed through scripture and tradition, seems to run concurrent with the advance of communication technology. While the government held strict moral decency laws early on, efforts to “push the envelope” have been relentless over the years. Now, any child who can work a cell phone can access the most egregious pornography imaginable.
A recent Pew Reseach study shows that Christianity has seen a dramatic drop from their ranks. The most significant drop is among Millennials, who happen to be the most “tuned in” to pop culture. As more and more people fall prey to this indoctrination, “traditional” folks become fewer and fewer and, therefore, seen as “out of touch with the times.” We truly are becoming a “remnant.” Venerable Fulton Sheen once said, “Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.”
But, I am particularly concerned with the accelerated rate of this indoctrination in just the past few years. With the advent of high speed internet, the indoctrination is in hyperdrive.
Consider the change of attitude of our country toward gay marriage. In just 2008 – and the presidential election – both Democrats (including Obama) and Republicans ran “in favor” of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). Just 7 short years later, the Democrats see their support of Gay “Marriage” to be a make or break issue that could win them the 2016 election. Republicans, and even most leaders within the Catholic Church, are choosing to remain mostly silent on the issue. Why? According to a Pew Research study, in 2001 Americans overwhelmingly opposed same-sex marriage by a 57% to 35% margin. Just a few short years later, we now see a majority of Americans (52%) supporting same-sex marriage, compared with 40% who oppose it. Literally overnight, the country has flipped on this issue and Americans are now willing to allow the redefinition of marriage … something that has not occurred since the dawn of civilization.
And so, if you and I have decided to stand with our Lord, and to stand with 1000s of years of generations that have gone before us, we are now chastised and ridiculed as “out of step” and “not getting with the times.” We are called “haters” and “bigots” and “homophobes.” Many risk losing their business or job or relationships with family and friends. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).
Listen, in spite of the increasing ridicule we receive, as our numbers grow smaller, what does it really mean to be “faithful?” It simply means we are “staying home” while others are “moving away.” We are remaining in God’s truth, as revealed through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
We need to be united … we need to be on the “same page.” But, where is that “page?” Is it with the world? Or, is it with God? Stay put … abide in Him … it isn’t easy, and it may cause division, but we will have the peace of mind and heart that “We Stand with God!”
Remain strong, Christians! We are in for a rough ride!
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