(In atonement for neglecting this poor, starving blog for so long, I thought I'd feed it a 3-course meal; sit back, and let the rhetoric fly! :) )
I need to start this post with two confessions.
First: not only am I a sinful man, but I find it extremely hard to live up to the exhortations that I offer to everyone else. I can spend an entire evening teaching catechumens about the glories of redemptive suffering, and then I can mope for the entire following day because of my physical ailments. I can teach about the moral imperative of charity (and rejecting all ill-will toward our neighbour), and then sulk interminably over an offense that someone gave me. Oh, to be sure: I very rarely let these sins out of my head and into the external world (where others might see them)--and I sometimes even congratulate myself on my self-restraint in that regard--but, lest anyone think that I'm capable of "preaching from an ivory tower", I assure my readers that my feet are composed of the poorest quality of clay. I need that clear, lest people think that the fingers I wag at others are not equally wagged at myself. I assure you, they are.
Second: for all my talk of "faith, hope and love are choices, not feelings!", I was an enthusiastic proponent of "feelings-faith" (and basically making emotions the dominant guiding force in one's life) as recently as 7 years ago. When I condemn that error now, I do not do so as one who has no experience with such; in fact, the past 7 years have largely been a repudiation of that same philosophy which I embraced (and defended strenuously) for the majority of my life. (All right, all right: for the incurably nosey: I'm 40 years old, as of a week ago; okay? :) Now that *that's* out of the way...)
Why do I now fight so strenuously against this "emotion-driven" approach to life? Three reasons, primarily:
1) Rational: I've since examined the "emotion-driven" view of faith, and I've found it to be not only flawed, but completely unworkable (and--quite frankly--utterly insane).
2) Practical: it doesn't work. Or rather, it works to bring evil and ruin, all too successfully; what it does not do is bring about any substantial or lasting good.
3) Personal: with apologies for being vague, suffice it to say that the "emotion-driven" approach to faith leaves one open to horrors about which no sane person would even care to dream. I was lucky, and I survived... and I learned that the fight against "squishy, feelings-based faith" is not simply a matter of taste, or merely a fastidious distinction of systematic theology, or even a "good and laudable idea"; it's a matter of life and death. (Again: I hate to tantalize with a story that I won't tell... but to Little eye, my respected "sparring partner" on Jen's Wonderful Blog, I can say that--if it's any comfort--you're not the only one with stories which, if told to the general public, would cause many others to doubt your sanity!)
As the President-Elect of Death prepares to mount his new throne, won for him in large part by Faux Catholics (and Faux Christians, and squishy-thinking emotion-worshippers of all flavours) in two days, I'm tempted to stand in amazement at the sheer lack of all awareness of the darkness threatening to engulf us. Does that sound extreme? Hyperbolic? "Fanatical Apocalyptic Right-Wing?" (That last one was in honour of--and virtually quoted from--the hundreds of hard-working trolls out there, who work tirelessly to mock and neutralize truth in orthodox Christian blogs throughout the world.) Not only have the pagans of our land voted for the foremost champion of death of our time and country, but feelings-worshipping Catholics (and other self-proclaimed Christians) pushed him over the top... by quite a margin. The man:
- who's promised to re-legalize partial-birth abortion,
- who's promised to mandate all health organizations to provide "abortion services" to whomever asks for them,
- who's promised to throw wide the floodgates of taxpayer funding for abortions of all kinds--at home, overseas, and even after being born, (no reason why poor women should be denied the "right" to have their baby, born-alive after a botched abortion, strangled or left to die on a shelf; it shouldn't be an exclusive privilege of the wealthy, after all!),
- who's promised to throw open the taxpayer coffers in support of Embryonic Stem-Cell Research (what Paul, at his masterful blog, fittingly calls "recreational cloning/killing").
Need I go on? (Don't answer that, please.) Death is coming to our country's highest elected office in a way never before seen, and a majority of Catholics rejoice. I know of few other sentences which contain the very essence of heartbreak, as does that. May God have mercy on us.
So... in addition to a lament for the evil that's coming upon us (and which has already settled on the hearts of misled and/or morally corrupt members of our land--including at least a plurality of Catholics and other Christians), why do I mention this? I mention this because of three things:
1) Even in the midst of this ugly and perverse time: this battle--bloody, grotesque, and inhuman as it is--has already been won. Christ Jesus, Lord of All, has won. Don't despair. Grieve, certainly... but don't despair. Be faithful until the bitter end. If you grieve, know that faithful members of the Communion of Saints are grieving with you... and, God willing, you'll see them--face-to-face--rejoicing with you in the Kingdom, when all will be made new.
2) I offer this as another wake-up call to those who are "Faux Catholics/Christians", but who are sensitive enough to harbor twinges of doubt and unease at the agenda of the new "secular pseudo-messiah" who's ascending the "throne" of the presidency... and to those who are honest enough to be willing to re-examine the dynamics which brought them to their heterodoxy in the first place. (I was one of your number, for over 20 years of my adult life; I do not condemn you, but I also urge you to question where you are... and, God willing, to move out of it!)
3) I believe that Edmund Burke was correct when he said that the only thing necessary for evil to be victorious is for the good to do nothing. I don't claim to be "good" in any absolute sense... but I certainly claim to follow the good, found within the Lord of Perfect Goodness, Himself: Jesus Christ; and I don't want any non-Christian who's ignorant of the Gospel to accept the "Obama-led culture of death", simply because it seems to be the only game in town, and no one has said anything to the contrary.
Two days until the war takes a new and bitter turn. Pray, followers of Christ. Pray, and mean it. Rearrange your lives for it. Pray, fast, offer mortifications. I suspect this type of demon can only be driven out by prayer and fasting (cf. Mark 9:28). Get on it, warriors for Christ!