Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in æternum! Amen.
Yes, yes, yes. I know it’s been a little over a month since I last posted. Yes, I know that I didn’t post anything for Saint Aloysius’ Day aka Aloysiusmas. I celebrated it. Just not on the blog. I’ve been in a blogging funk and I am hoping that it goes away eventually. Like I have been saying of late, I get an idea for a post but it never comes out the way I want it to ergo, it enters the limbo that is the drafts box. When I signed into WordPress today, I saw the drafts and just deleted them, you can’t revive momentary inspirations. It’s like trying to relive a specific emotion from a specific moment in one’s life, you can try to imitate it but you won’t get it just as it was. Such is the nature of time.
Tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States aka “The Fourth of July.” For those who are not from the US or who didn’t do so great in their US History classes in school, Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by members of the Continental Congress.
As I was following the proper prayers for the feast day today, it just happened that on the facing page were the liturgical prayers for Independence Day and this though popped into my head: The guys who signed the Declaration of Independence had major cajones. They had to have realized that by their signing that document, they were literally putting their necks (and the necks of their families) on the line. In the eyes of the British Crown, they were traitors. Back then, traitors to the realm were subjected to the most nasty and inhumane form of torture and execution: hanging, drawing, and quartering.
Could you imagine what went through their minds and hearts as they dipped their quills into the ink pot and basically signed what was not only a declaration of independence from the Crown but also their own death warrants?!
What cajones and, of course, by “cajones” I mean “courage.” It took a mess of courage to do that.
Then I thought: these guys were willing to put their lives and livelihoods (including those of their loved ones) on the line for the belief that they ought to be free from the tyrannical control of a foreign power and that all persons are endowed by the Creator (not the King) with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (an alteration from John Locke’s “life, liberty, and property”), how much more willing should we be to stand up for our holy Faith?
One of the reasons our Founding Fathers decided that they needed to separate from the British was for religious freedom. Under the Crown, the throne and the altar were intimately connected. How connected? The monarch of Britain is the Head of the Church of England. The monarch = the Pope of the Anglican Church. Can’t get much more connected than that.
While the Founding Fathers did not expressly mention separation of church and state (“separation of church and state” is mentioned in some letters sent between some of the Fathers), they did think that the state had no place in the establishment of a state religion as was the case in Britain.
However, contrary to what some will try to tell you, the American government was not meant to be exclusively secular. It just can’t have a state religion and mandate the practice of that religion in its citizenry. One of the things that made America so different for the time was the fact that one could practice any faith one wanted (or not practice, I guess) without worrying about being maltreated by the government
Oh how times have changed.
These guys fought a tyrannical totalitarian government whose leader ruled by divine right (the monarch was the monarch because God willed it to be so) by establishing a government who got their power from the people. Instead of the people fearing the government, the government was to fear the people whose most powerful ability was to vote in free and open elections (the sphere of suffrage widened from male property owners only to including black men, to including women … 1920 FTW).
Now, we’re dealing with a government that is trying to put down the very freedoms it was established to honor and defend in the name of more control over the lives of the citizenry.
Think about it …
If these guys were willing to put their lives on the line for a philosophy, how much more should we be willing to stand up for the Truth as is found in the teachings of the Church Christ Himself founded?
These guys were willing to die for the independence of the colonies from Crown control.
Are we willing to die for the proclamation of the Truth in the face of adversity that we haven’t had to deal with before?
Or will we just “sit down and shut up” for the sake of being accepted or to save one’s own interests? Or will we keep quiet for the sake of “not causing trouble” or “not being divisive?”
Because we all know Christ was the great peacemaking milquetoast of milquetoasts (what would that be in Latin?).
Yeah, He would want us to keep quiet, right?
“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:51-53)
Yeah … ’bout that … right.
We have to remember that we aren’t supposed to be chummy with the world. The world is going to hate us who are faithful to Christ. The world hates us. Just like it hated Him
He said the world was going to hate us like it hated Him?! Where?!
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on My account, because they do not know him who sent Me.” (Saint John 15:18-21)
So we can’t really be surprised that so many persons and groups (including whole governments) hate the Catholic Church and all that she stands with.
And the desire of some within the Church to not be “divisive,” “tolerant,” and “pastoral” (in the wrong sense of the word) has done us absolutely no good whatsoever.
But I won’t get into that rant.
We need to accept the fact that the world isn’t going to like us. They are going to do anything they can to undermine us and even eliminate us and our influence in favor of its egocentric relativism.
We believe that life begins at conception and therefore deserves to be defended from that point onward from all undermining: abortion, contraception, euthanasia, etc..
The world believes that life is only valuable if it fulfills certain subjective criteria and can be disposed of when seen as being an “unnecessary burden.”
We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and is meant for the unity of the spouses and the procreation of children. If one or both of those is missing, it is not an authentic marriage but some perversion of it. It is also an indissoluble covenant between the spouses and God.
The world thinks that marriage is just a commitment based in love (its sense of love … which is really based in unreliable feeling) between two consenting individuals. (We won’t get into the logical slippery slope that that is). That commitment can be dissolved when it ceases to be convenient for one or more parties. It is merely a contract. Not a covenant.
The government is trying to make Catholics pay for and condone things and actions that are intrinsically wrong. By their very nature, they are wrong. They are going to penalize faithful Catholics for practicing their Faith. If that’s not a violation of religious liberty, I don’t know what is.
And then you get some who are all, “Well, who are the Catholics to be pushing their morality on others?”
Really? This is coming from the persons who condemn Catholics because they do not believe that gay “marriage” is morally permissible. They are trying to force the Church to change her ages old timeless teachings in the name of some prevailing societal norm.
I guess you’re only a bigot if you have the nerve to disagree with them but if the tables were turned, then they would still be the ones being oppressed by the big bad Church.
But now I am getting into a tangent.
If our Founding Fathers will willing to put their lives in jeopardy for a worldly ideal, how much more should we be willing to offer our lives and livelihoods for the defense and promotion of eternal Truth?
Now is not the time for being a milquestoast. We have to follow Our Lord in carrying His Cross, in being spit on and reject, and in being crucified out of love for those who hate us. Being a faithful Catholic was never meant to be easy.
Sure there were times when it was more laudable and acceptable but it has never been easy because from the get-go, the world has hated the Church. The only difference now is that it has become all the more acceptable and apparent. Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice in America.
But remember, if the world is angry at us and does everything it can to undermine us, then we are doing something right. It’s when the world embraces us or vice versa that we have to worry. The world rejected Christ. It’s going to reject us too. We’re are in no way exceptions to that rule.
May we never lose zeal for our Faith and the Truth it proclaims. The very Truth that came from Truth Himself, Jesus Christ. Christ has conquered death and the world, we have only to persevere through this vale of tears and vitriol to receive our eternal reward that no worldly power can take away.
Keep in mind that many many persons have died for the Faith in the past. Our time is no exception. In fact, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said in 2010 on how much religious liberties are endangered in the Western world and the US specifically:
“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”
Some say he was being extreme but I think he makes a point. We are in very dark times when it comes to the protection and advancement of holy Truth. But our defending the Truth will only reap a greater harvest in eternity. The days when being Catholic was easy are long gone, people. Time to put on the combat boots and pray and offer penances like we have never done before.
But do take time to read the Declaration of Independence. I am kinda disgusted at how many Americans have never read it (and the Constitution). In order to be informed Americans, we need to have an awareness of our history. So many times, people tend to be in the bubble of their own time without any reference to the past. We need to read the documents that outline and symbolize all that is good about our country and try to realign ourselves more with the true spirit of this country under God.
Have a blessed and safe Independence Day!
God bless America!
Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, pray for and protect our country!