by Fr Richard Heilman | January 20, 2020 8:45 AM
One day a prairie chicken found an egg and sat on it until it hatched.
Although the prairie chicken didn’t know it, the egg was an eagle egg, abandoned for some reason.
That’s how an eagle came to be born into a family of prairie chickens.
We live in a fallen world, a world that tells us that our happiness consists of material pleasures, monetary success, and popularity.
But in reality, those things are just little bits of spiritual garbage.
We are meant for greater things, because we are God’s own children, created in his image and likeness and redeemed by his own eternal Son, Jesus Christ.
In our times, perhaps more than any other age, we have been ravaged by an assault on the very essence of who we are as “children of your Heavenly Father.”
Relativism is, in essence, the belief that there are no universal truths … no Divine Revelation we are meant to follow. Relativism holds that each one of us can create and adhere to whatever “we” hold as true. So, you have your idea of what is true, and I have mine. As long as we don’t offend anyone, we are free to invent our own set of truths.
Within the Church, relativism is found in the rise of “Cafeteria Catholicism” (choosing which Church teachings we want to follow), which has been rarely challenged by a weak clergy of our times. The unfortunate laxity of discipline has permitted confusion and strife where there should be clarity and harmony, an authentic unity based on the truth. As a result, the modern trend among those who believe and teach falsehoods that directly contradict the Church’s teaching is to consider these pockets of dissent as merely “differing tribes” within the Catholic Church. In fact, those who adhere to “all” of the truths of our faith are mocked as “rigid.” This method of marginalizing is one of the primary tactics of Saul Aliinsky, and his book “Rules for Radicals,” which is dedicated to Lucifer.
Brutalism is a movement in architecture that flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, descending from the modernist architectural movement of the early 20th century. Literally, it was revolt against beauty. In the Church, it was revolt against “sacred beauty,” as churches around the planet were gutted out and turned into conference centers or, worse yet, types of bunkers or bomb shelters. As the name admits, it is a rupture from any Divine connection as we are brought down to our “brute nature” as merely another animal species.
Narcissism exploded in the 1960s with the sexual revolution. As Jeffrey Kuhner wrote, “For the past 50 years, every major institution has been captured by the radical secular left. The media, Hollywood, TV, universities, public schools, theater, the arts, literature — they relentlessly promote the false gods of sexual hedonism and radical individualism. Conservatives have ceded the culture to the enemy. Tens of millions of unborn babies have been slaughtered; illegitimacy rates have soared; divorce has skyrocketed; pornography is rampant; drug use has exploded; sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS have killed millions; birth control is a way of life; sex outside of wedlock has become the norm; countless children have been permanently damaged — their innocence lost forever — because of the proliferation of broken homes; and sodomy and homosexuality are celebrated openly. America has become the new Babylon.”
However, there is an amazing and beautiful revolution rising up against “Relativism, Brutalism and Narcissism.” And, it is being led, primarily, by the young people of our times.
Recently, I stated that Jesus is my personal trainer. Especially, throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls us to a “new normal” or a “high life.”
While, all around us, the prairie chickens of the media, Hollywood, TV, universities, public schools, theater, the arts, and literature are constantly trying to say we, too, are nothing more than the hedonistic and barbarous models and examples they portray … that “this is normal,” Jesus is telling us to leave the prairie chickens behind and set our wings and fly as the “children of your heavenly Father” that we are.
Countering relativism, brutalism and narcissism are “Truth, Beauty and Goodness” – These three elements are often understood as being among the transcendentals. Transcendentals are the timeless and universal attributes of being. They are the properties of all beings. They reflect the divine origin of all things and the unity of all truth and reality in God. These elements are among the deepest realities.
Many today – particularly young people – are discovering what it means to fly. They are sick and tired of the “spiritual garbage” they have been force fed for 50+ years, and they are embracing these “transcendentals” as the way for us to fly high as children of God.
All three of these transcendentals are ignited when we receive the supernatural power of grace and cooperate with that grace. Then, and only then, do we set our wings, leave a life of pecking at garbage behind, and soar like an eagle!
Truth brings a sense of meaning and purpose to life. Knowing there are essential truths of right and wrong, good and bad, leads them to “aspire” and “strive” … to set their wings and fly as beautiful eagles transcending the barbarity of our “prairie chicken” times. Coach Vince Lombardi was a daily Mass goer, and often served the Traditional Latin Mass in the morning while winning Super Bowls in the afternoon. Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
Beauty … in particular, “sacred beauty,” elevates the soul. Young people want to walk into a church and be led to understand “God is there.” Whether it is architecture, art, music or liturgy, they know this sacred beauty is due God, and that it assists them in their belief. They want to be moved to whisper and fall to their knees when they enter that “sacred place.” They want to encounter the awe of His presence.
Goodness comes naturally to one who has died to themselves and rose to a new life as a child of God. This is the essence of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is saying it is not about following a rule book but about “just being” that person. In my 32 years of priesthood, I can attest to the fact that it is the truly “devout” Catholic who “can’t not” take care of need when they see it. Like the Good Samaritan, they can simply find no excuse to walk by someone needing to be lifted up, or to dedicate themselves to a cause. Coach Lombardi describes what it takes to soar like an eagle:
“And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat. I don’t say these things because I believe in the ‘brute’ nature of men or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle — victorious.”
“The natural law is written and engraved in the soul of each and every man, because it is human reason ordaining him to do good and forbidding him to sin … But this command of human reason would not have the force of law if it were not the voice and interpreter of a higher reason to which our spirit and our freedom must be submitted” (Pope Leo XIII).
Join the “New Revolution.” Make Jesus your personal trainer, and fly high as a child of God!
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