by Fr Richard Heilman | April 24, 2015 8:59 PM
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4
There’s an excellent post over at One Peter FIve: “The Culture Wars Are Over?” Dr. Brian Kopp outlines the many secular forces that have been extremely effective in dominating the culture wars. He then goes on to say …
The “new” evangelization is about re-evangelizing the de-Christianized West. Of necessity it must begin in our homes, among our families and friends, and in our churches and civic groups. We must defend and spread the “Gospel of Life” as the antidote to the ever growing culture of death.
Re-evangelizing a de-Christianized culture is orders of magnitude more difficult than the initial spread of Christianity in a mission field. A pagan culture that has never been evangelized is (at risk of offending politically correct post-Christian sensibilities) a demonic culture, and the initial work of the missionary is to cast out the demons and build a Christian foundation so that the Gospel may flourish and souls be saved. A once-Christian culture that has rejected Christianity has been compared to Jesus’ parable of the return of an unclean spirit:
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45
Who can question that a spirit not seen since pre-Christian times has infested the West in the last century, and rages with demonic fury against Christianity, marriage, family and the Gospel of Life?
While mentioning the need for prayer, fasting and sacrifice, Dr. Kopp then goes on to write about the great need for “moral education.’ I do not disagree. I only write this post to stress “emphasis.”
So much is spoken, in our times, of an epidemic of illiteracy when it comes to our faith. We place blame on poor catechesis – and that may be part of the problem – but one rarely hears about the lack of “hunger for the truth.” Yes, we must educate, but where is the “hunger” to “be” educated? That comes from someone who is filled with grace!
Not only that, but where is the “real talk” of spiritual warfare? You see? I believe evil is running unabated in our times because, as the passage from Matthew states, there is a spiritual emptiness that evil has come to fill.
An image I often use to describe this is, “Power Grid of Grace.” There was a time, only 50 years ago, when we saw …
The image used in the post (above) is one that shows the many cell towers throughout the United States. It’s not hard to imagine that, at one time, a similar map to this would indicate all of those powerhouses of grace mentioned above … a kind of “Power Grid of Grace.”
Friends … the “Grid of Grace” is down – a kind of supernatural force field – and the darkness of evil is penetrating our land at an alarming rate.
We keep trying all of our manmade remedies to “evangelize,” and we continue to come up empty.
Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27
Program after program, book after book, DVD after DVD, and the same diminishing amount of folks are drawn to these. All the while we persist with our cheesy, effeminate, horizontal, man-centered liturgies that do little, if anything, to assist souls to “participate” in the grace offered in the Source and Summit of our faith … it is like sprinkling water upon a rock. Uninspired, these souls remain empty and vulnerable to the infiltration of the darkness of evil.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen understood our first priority …
Neither theological knowledge nor social action alone is enough to keep us in love with Christ unless both are proceeded by a personal encounter with Him. Theological insights are gained not only from between two covers of a book, but from two bent knees before an altar.” – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
We simply MUST shift our priorities in this New Evangelization to a greater reverence and sense of the sacred.
Yes, there is an innate hunger in all of us. But, without that encounter with the Divine, folks go on attempting to satiate that hunger through worldly appetites. And parishes continue to offer program after program for the few who have had that encounter.
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