Peace will be the last word of history
“Lord, what do you want me to do?” — the same words Saul spoke on the road to Damascus. In response Norbert heard in his heart, “Turn from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.” (St. Norbertine provided by UCatholic.com)
Culture is a shared mindset and perspective on how life should be lived. Any two societies can appear similar on the ‘outside’ in lifestyle, entertainment and language. But the meaning they associate to life may be surprisingly different.
Western society, historically Christian countries, shared an understanding of personhood and moral duty. People have intrinsic value whether or not they contribute to society. Because of this, a true moral duty to society cannot compromise the dignity of the human being as that dignity is God-given.
Whether or not its citizens were Christian, a Christian society sought to preserve life from conception to natural death. Belonging to God and someday returning to Him, people were not objects that must have utility to others. Suffering was accepted as part of our humanity.
However, history holds memories of entire countries whose shared mindsets were changed by people seeking power and control. The manner in which this is done is subtle: appeals to the emotions stemming from suffering conducted in a manner that increases pressure, panic and often division. In this collective emotional state, the forces behind it put forth ideals and suggestions as necessary to relieve their panic. The people believe ‘we must do it, we must do it’. It is somewhat like the tale of the frog in a pot of water. The temperature increases in alignment with the frog adapting to it, and the frog does not know it is boiling until it is too late to jump out.
We are in this situation today and while people may sense something is amiss, they cannot quite identify it. Pandemic panic has kept us disoriented and high strung. The seriousness of Covid-19 is a very real concern with natural origins. The pandemic panic is a very real concern with evil origins.
In educated societies, the collective mindset is changed in great part by people with expertise who put forth its broader definitions of the meaning and purpose of life. These are shared by ‘influencers’ or ‘think tanks’ in longstanding publications of ‘esteem’. These influence policy and decision makers in all areas of society. This is how ideals are ‘institutionalized’, becoming the perspective by which society is governed, educated and values the preservation of life.
We are in a hidden crisis that is worse than Covid-19 or the economic recession because it will permeate the fabric of society with permanence unless stopped. The re-definition of the meaning and value of life, as well as personhood, has been underway many years and is now on the brink of rapid diffusion. We have already seen its beginnings. Having legalized the killing of babies up to and after birth, the woman is a carrier of an ‘object’. Now seen as a petri dish growing cells, the next step is for the abortion process to incorporate a long gestation period (formally called pregnancy) so the baby can be harvested, killed and used for Covid vaccines. Meanwhile, there is movement to redefine the intellectually disabled as non-persons, which makes it possible to conduct ‘aggressive’ experimentation on them. The elderly too are objects, decisions for whom are made based upon how their body can be useful to medicine.
I encourage reading Wesley Smith’s article on this because of the simplicity and accuracy with which he explains the errors in this moral perspective of ‘duty to the common good’ and ‘duty to die’. The American Spectator, May 2, 2020,
You will find all that he outlines is very familiar: Hitler engaged in these very same activities and kept scrupulous records of his studies on IBM computers. The unethical practices of Tom Watson/IBM used to be studied in business college textbooks, but no more. Societal memory of evil has been eradicated and replaced with ideologies taught through euphemisms.
History repeats itself.
In the US, our elderly population has been the prominent victims of Covid-19 and outbreaks centered in nursing homes. Suspiciously, the pandemic panic has not caused an investigation into their proper care and the miserable conditions of neglect in which they often are forced to live. The human race should be sparked to rise up in compassion with earnest desire to change their conditions. Instead, we have seen a fear-driven panic with attention given only for the purpose of preventing Covid’s spread; authentic concern for those afflicted is secondary or non-existent. Smith informs us of the reason: the prominence of ‘duty to die’ mentality has already changed the perspective of the institutions who are supposed to provide this compassion and concern. Now the elderly risk being repurposed to be guinea pigs for experimentation. Altruism is redefined.
This particular spiritual battle began some time ago and has been an ongoing tug-of-war between us and Satan. The late 1800’s into early 1900’s saw Europe and the US enthralled with spiritualism and the occult. This dancing-with-death enchanted even Christians. Margaret Sanger also surged in this time period with her agenda of eugenics through abortion. The Great Depression followed, and then WWII in which the Christian world fought and defeated Satan’s minions. In the US 1950’s, God rose up saints like Ven. Fulton Sheen and Ven. Patrick Peyton who were amongst the most popular TV personalities of their time engaging the entire country in God’s wisdom, scriptures and praying the rosary. No surprise to have evil push back with the cultural revolution of the 1960’s and systematic destruction of life by redefining what it means to be human. Once legalization of abortion institutionalized the foundation for this redefinition, all else has unraveled.
Remind people of these things and charge them before God to stop disputing about words. This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen. Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God, a workman who causes no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deviation. Avoid profane, idle talk, for such people will become more and more godless, and their teaching will spread like gangrene. (2Tim 2:14-17)
When I was young, and with memory of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini still fresh, people wondered how could this happen? What is wrong with ‘those people’ that they welcomed their ideologies? Now Americans have become ‘those people’. We are willing to trade our God-given right reason to have our emotions satiated with false definitions and ideals. We have become addicted to the media-incited battles that polarize our society, making idols out of our politics and love to demonize those with whom we disagree. Yet God says, “Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels” (2Tim 2:23)
Now is the time for us to push back. In the worst of evil times is when God raises saints, and He calls each of us to step up now. Our entire lives, the good and the bad of it, have prepared us for this very moment in time. To transform from doing good things for God and instead to doing God’s will, we must avoid all that distracts us from Him. In addition to the media, spiritualism arises in new forms like the wolf in sheep’s clothing, even putting on a Catholic face: online visionaries pointing our attention at the ‘anonymous other’ in the world and keeping us steeped in our emotions and fear. As Jesus forewarned, false prophets prevail. They distract us from paying attention to the real prophets God has given us: our Holy Popes for 150 years have been prevailing upon us the need to seek our own holiness now. And as the true mouthpiece of God, the Popes and the saints instruct us on how to grow personally holy whereas the numerous online visionaries do not teach the discerning life or personal relationship with God from which it flows. They offer nothing necessary to living our life today. Every moment attending to them is a moment turned away from God, even if done in His name. Whatever does not lead us to discerning Him in the present moment leads us away from Him. (Micah 2:10-11, 3:5-11; 1Kings 22:21-23; Prov. 25:14; Jer 5:31; 2Thes 2:1-12)
If we endeavor for God’s will in our own life, He will give the temperance to avoid too much immersion into the press of our day, the prudence to recognize unholy sources even if their pitch is factually correct, and the fortitude to avoid them. This disposes us to His 7 Gifts of His Spirit and gives us His tongue to speak in the world. In contrast, when we follow online visionaries, cheesy news sources and sensationalized media, we expand their presence, which is not of God. There are only two standards: guess whose presence we expand?
On the third day, at completion of the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene and the other women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus. They knew the tomb was enclosed with a huge stone and that there was no possible way they could move it. Unfavorable guards placed to watch over it (MT 27:64-66), the women likely knew they would not have assistance. And they didn’t bring the men to escort them, which would have been culturally-expected behavior. All human reason says they should have stayed home. Instead, they got up that morning and set out to do that which they knew they were called to do. Doing so gave the opportunity for God to act (MT 28:1-3), and until the end of time we will have that testimony to remind us of His true power and glory.
This is the history that must repeat itself through us. We are called to the same prayerful life through which ultimate trust in God is developed. We simply need to live it out one day at a time, not sorrowing over the past nor fearful of the future. As the Church Militant, we live in a spiritual type of Noah’s Ark and are experiencing the flood. The time is now for the New Evangelization taught to us by many past Popes, to bring God’s children into that Ark with us. Neither we nor they can enter it without permitting God to heal and sanctify us. This is the intended life of the baptized Christian. It brings us to live in the fullness of His love so we can fulfill His only commandment to us: to love others as He first loved us. This is Hope.
Be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the devil’s snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will. (2Tim 2:24-26)
“Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace, to live peace…Peace will be the last word of history.” (St. John Paul II). Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. 😊