Hope of the World?

fans

Adulation and finger-pointing are the order of the day in this post-election period. Everything from the supernatural powers of The One, to the shortcomings of Sarah Palin have been attributed to the success of the Man with No History.

I, for one, would not rule out a preternatural influence. Interestingly enough, Father Rutler came pretty close to connecting Obama to the Antichrist the night before the election. See for yourself. (The Lord of the World is well-worth the read. I have referenced it here before.)

Even so, if I were to have to choose between which one of our enemies had the greatest effect in bringing about the outcome (the world, the flesh or the devil), I would still say it was mostly the flesh, namely, that interior disorder due to original sin that is the constant companion of those who live this side of heaven.

I pointed this fact out in my pre-election homily. In my opinion, this fact’s importance cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately, this is precisely what is happening. Catholics Democrats are living in a dream world, and the Republican Party is in shambles because none of us want to face the music. We have lost our chastity and we don’t want it back.

The vast majority of Catholics don’t have the moral fortitude or political will to really be pro-life, because we have been evangelized by the purveyors of lust. We have not been witnesses to Christ and we don’t have the determination to be so, because we have put our trust in the world and what it has to offer.

How many people, even those in the pews, actually believe that fornication is a sin, let alone pornography, masturbation and lustful desires and thoughts? In principle most Catholics do not believe that lust is wrong unless it “hurts” someone else—whatever that means. So how can anyone like this be expected to put aside all their personal opinions and political fears and vote for someone they cannot stand because the Church says that we must vote pro-life?

Five minutes spent watching television will remind us how far from the Catholic vision our country has gone, even if we still remain one of the most religious countries in the world. Even Sarah Palin said she wouldn’t dream of having any more children and supports contraceptive sex education. (Could you imagine what would happen if a vice-president became pregnant during her administration?)

But of course this will largely remain undiscussed in the post mortem, even in conservative circles. Many conservatives will even argue more strenuously that the social cons are a drag on the Party. In part, this is the motivation for the scapegoating of Palin.

We must have our contraception and our dirty little fun. Kids must be “protected” from anything that is not “age appropriate,” that’s true, but we wouldn’t dream of depriving anyone of their “rights,” or even presume to know what’s best for society at large when it comes to matters of sexuality.

I will go a step further and critique the whole “new chastity movement.” I use that term so as not to be construed as disagreeing with the “Theology of the Body” of the late and saintly Pope John Paul II. I agree that that a more positive approach to the teaching of chastity is necessary, and that the insights of the Theology of the Body are important. However, some (notice the emphasis) of the promotion of these insights seem a bit gnostic and disingenuous.

I say gnostic, because it is asserted that this new way has been kept a secret until now, and with the new indoctrination all the old problems of original sin, scrupulosity, prudishness and guilt will be minimized. It is suggested that we will be naked without shame almost to the point of original innocence. Who is kidding who?

I say disingenuous, because there is an underlying cause for the new approach that has nothing to do with a “new revelation.” That underlying cause is simply the fact that the vast majority of Catholics refuse to give up their contraception. Some alternative had to be devised, just as some alternative had to be devised for Catholics who refuse to give up divorce and remarriage.

I believe many use Natural Family Planning for the right reasons. I also believe that many use it as a substitute for contraception, because that is the way it has been promoted and because many of us have lost hope that there is an alternative.

The fact is chastity is not possible without supernatural grace and hope. The only way someone will go into a voting booth and say, “I don’t care how I feel about this election; I will vote pro-life no matter how I feel, until my party takes me seriously,” is when they are willing to exercise the same kind of trust in matters of chastity and family life.

We really don’t want pro-life candidates because we really don’t want to be chaste. We don’t have the moral fortitude and political will because we have not yet humbled ourselves to beg for the grace we need—the grace we really need.

10 thoughts on “Hope of the World?

  1. “The vast majority of Catholics don’t have the moral fortitude or political will to really be pro-life, because we have been evangelized by the purveyors of lust. We have not been witnesses to Christ, and we don’t have the determination to be so, because we have put our trust in the world and what it has to offer.”

    More succinctly, the loss of frequent confession in the spiritual life of Catholics in the US and Canada have made our faithful like lost sheep – easy pickin’ for the wolves.

    Upon my return to the Catholic Church, I set weekly confession as my gold standard. When I stay true to that, things work. When I don’t, they don’t.

    But try as hard as I may to not fall into the occasion of sin when it comes to making judgements on others, I can’t help but notice that in the parishes I attend, and the parishes I confess (they change with regularity given my work schedule) the desparity of the lines for communion and the lines for confession are always telling. Everyone goes to communion, the same handful of elderly are there week in and week out for confession.

    This has to change.

  2. Father Wrote, and I Quote:

    “We have not been witnesses to Christ and we don’t have the determination to be so, because we have put our trust in the world and what it has to offer.”

    Maybe we have not been witnesses to Christ as we ought to because when a soul truly does witness to Christ they are mistreated and ostracized even by their very own so called brothers and sisters in Christ. When Catholics can really stand side by side united as One Body then maybe the Church will once again have a voice.

  3. Yes, Rachel, this is an admirable goal; however Our Lord Himself did not enjoy such fellowship and solidarity with His own disciples while on earth. He was abandoned in His Agony in the Garden.
    When we follow Him bearing this cross of rejection by those who should embrace us, we are truly His followers.

  4. I hadn’t yet read this before just posting on the consolation corner!! Wow. Fr Angelo says, “The vast majority of Catholics don’t have the moral fortitude or political will to really be pro-life, because we have been evangelized by the purveyors of lust. We have not been witnesses to Christ and we don’t have the determination to be so, because we have put our trust in the world and what it has to offer.” AMEN.

    I do think, however, that Father is being a smidge naive when he says, “I believe many use Natural Family Planning for the right reasons. I also believe that many use it as a substitute for contraception, because that is the way it has been promoted and because many of us have lost hope that there is an alternative.” I don’t agree that many use NFP for the right reasons. I think precious FEW use it for the right reasons. I think the majority who use it at all THINK they’re using it for the right reasons when, in fact, as stated … they’re using it as birth control. I was surely one of them for years. There was virtually zero guidance on the matter. I remember praying so often that what’s the difference here? I’m either putting a pill in my mouth each morning or putting a thermometer in my mouth each morning? Both are to avoid a pregnancy … now, I”ll agree that the thermometer is still better since it’s not an abortifacient .. but the decision behind it is really no different at all. I was STILL contracepting. (Gosh .. did I ever confess that one? oy) It was probably two years later that I realized that I was still trying to remain in control. Yet, I knew of NO other Catholics that were even doing that much! So, I disagree that many Catholics use NFP the right way … many don’t use NFP at all. Many think it’s nonsense … even otherwise conservative Catholics.

    In fact, I have a dear friend of mine who is a Catholic convert and we agree on almost everything EXCEPT contraception and, get this, masturbation. She would not have a problem with her children choosing to masturbate instead of becoming sexually active. (I’ve politely said that it’s really having sex with yourself then … where is the selfless life-giving Godly love in that?) I wish I could find a ‘gentle’ but very convincing book on these issues … she’s quite intelligent but totally closed to discussion on these issues for some crazy reason. So, again, is she committing a culpable mortal sin? Except for me, I’m not sure she’s hearing the Catholic view from anywhere else. For that matter then, who am I ? I’m no authority on the subject and she knows this.

    Well, like I said under ‘Consolation’, if we do not keeping seeking, all we will hear is the evening news. Do any of us really have well-formed consciences anymore? Is it even possible? I wonder sometimes.

  5. Jennifer, thank you for your honesty. I would like to point out an excellent read for women who struggle to give God every ounce of being.

    One of my favorite books about a saint is Wife, Mother, and Mystic by Albert Bessieres, SJ. It is an inspirational biography of Blessed Anna-Maria Taigi. Her story is about the life of a wife and mother during Napoleon’s reign and the struggles of the Church, and how she persevered throughout times of persecution. I have read this book several times. Each time I am increasingly encouraged to renew my determination to be a selfless wife and mother. I probably should read this book…oh…infinite more times!

  6. Nancy,
    I’ve always been intrigued by Anna Maria Taigi, I’ll have to do a search and see if I can find that book!
    Thanks!

  7. Pingback: Thinking Like a Man « Mary Victrix

  8. Pingback: Compendium of TOB Posts « Mary Victrix

  9. Pingback: Catholics and Pro-Life « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s