A New Independence

by | Jul 5, 2022 | Life, Work and the World

 

Anxiety is the greatest evil that can befall a soul, except sin.

God commands you to pray, but He forbids you to worry.

(St. Francis de Sales)

 

There are few ‘corners’ left in the US that aren’t being scourged for their Christian faith. Perhaps a bit more unique to us here in Paganville, USA (a/k/a Bellingham, WA), living in one of the more wiccan-concentrated cities in the most unchurched state in the nation, is that across the street from our Sacred Heart Catholic Church and rectory stands Wardner’s Castle. Reputedly the occult has been practiced there for decades; a mural of its ghostly ‘spirits’ was painted on the 3rd floor and ends at a wall painted with—you guessed it, Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The new owners restored it by removing the gargoyles and erecting two giant sculptures that appear to be the Horned G’d, common to Wicca and black magic. The battle for us is very real. 

“Political power emanates from God. Government was introduced by divine law, but the divine law has given this power to no particular man” (St. Robert Bellarmine)

What we need is a new declaration of independence. We need to stop making politics our god and instead make God our politics. Democracy was taught and fostered throughout the world by the Catholic Church. Doctor of the Church St. Robert Bellarmine has wisdom to share on this. “Mankind is naturally endowed and born with freedom from all subjection, and at liberty to choose what form of government it please”. The Declaration of Independence is a mirror of the Saint’s writings. And as God would have it, our nation’s independence is celebrated on the feast day of St. Elizabeth of Portugal, the great peacemaker and lover of the poor. 

“He that desires in earnest to erect a Ladder by which he may ascend as high as to God Almighty, ought to make the first Step, from the Consideration of himself. For every Individual amongst us, is both the Creature and Image of God, and nothing is nearer to

us than our selves. (St. Robert Bellarmine)

In Lumen Gentium 1964, Pope Paul VI prophetically implored upon us to embrace the universal call to holiness. It is through our own change that our families, friends and communities will change. Wives must cease trying to change their husbands. St. Monica converted her husband by changing her ways and through her own holiness. Husbands must understand that being head of household and being a tyrant are not one and the same. The wealthy and benevolent St. King Louis of France, who courageously led the charge to save Christendom in the Crusades and was known for his kindness and great peacemaking, slept on the floor even though “worn with toil, illness, and austerities”. “”Beware of undertaking a war against any Christian prince without great deliberation; and if it has to be undertaken, see that thou do no hurt to Holy Church and to those that have done thee no injury”.

The first step to holiness is taming the will. If we bend our will to God’s, we begin to see the pieces of our providential plan which He has always had in place for us. A person finds that God brings them to certain saints for their mentoring, guidance and, yes, intercession. As custodians of their child’s spiritual well-being, parents have an extra duty in this so as to facilitate the child’s connection to the saint. With 1 in 4 US children experiencing or observing trauma by age 4, Catholics NOT excluded, mentors such as 13-year-old martyr St. Pelagius (Feast day June 26) are already on stand-by just waiting for the child to be guided to them!

“Louis developed fame by making himself available to hear cases at Vincennes seating himself beneath an oak tree in the park. He would invite anyone with a case to settle to come forward and be heard. Should a case involve a dispute between a rich and poor person, Louis would give special attention to the concerns of the poor person.” (said of St. Louis the King of France)

They will know we are Christians by our love, and that is evidence by authentic virtues.

As a society, we have lost our capacity for kindness. The gift of our faith is that it, and we,  are the storehouse of kindness to bring to the world. We need to be in continuous contemplation of God within us and about us to do so. This comes through living a discerning life, for prayer is meant to transform, not just inform. From simple habits come profound wisdom, authentic holiness.

The sacraments are the most necessary habit. A sweet book refers to the mass as The Great Cry to God from the Earth, and so it is! We must continue to pray for Pope Francis, all clergy and religious, those in formation, and the worldwide Church: 

Open, O Lord, the ark-door of your side, that all your own who shall be saved may enter in, before this flood that overwhelms the earth.

Open to us your body’s side, that those who long to see the secrets of your Son may enter in, and may receive the sacraments that flow thereform, even the price of their redemption.

Open the door of your heaven, that your redeemed may see the good things of God in the land of the living, though thy still labor in the land of the dying.

Let them see and long and yearn and run, for you have become

the way by which they go,

 the truth to which they go,

the life for which they go. (William of Thierry)

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam  😊

 

 

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