Shepherds, Sheep, And Fighters.
Looking at the challenges facing Christianity all over the West one cannot but wonder what has gone wrong. Only sixty years ago Christianity had Western Europe and all of the American continent firmly in its hands; as we write the Year of The Lord 2013 sodomy is about to be given the name of “marriage” even in the United States.
No doubt, these years will be remembered in the centuries to come as a catastrophe comparable to Arianism, or a violent attack to Christian customs similar in its scale – though for now less current – than the French Revolution. The Church will not die, of course, but Christianity could well be pushed underground in vast part of the West, where the sacrifices of its members, and perhaps the blood of its martyrs, will fertilise the soil again. The question will arise: how could this happen?
If you ask me, it happened first through a massive failure of the Clergy (both the real and the pretended one) to properly defend and transmit Catholic values. When those properly instructed died, the new generation was so horribly formed they started to waiver – the Protestant first and more brutally; the Catholics later and more gradually – and their own children grew up thinking everything is fine, provided no one gets hurt.
It is often said the challenges were there already: welfare, consumerism, and the like, and the decline was therefore unavoidable. I don't buy it.
In all ages, we have seen saintly people among the rich. On a collective scale, there is no reason to believe being prosperous is a danger to being fervent Christians. Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg are the most Christian region of Germany, and the richest. The rigid Calvinists of the then United Provinces – actually with a lot of Catholics among them – did very fine indeed. The United States were until not long ago the most Christian country in the West. The excuse of welfare just doesn't wash.
Certainly, every age has its own challenges, but strong Christian values have always been a formidable barrier against them. This age has not invented contraception, or abortion. Sexual perversion wasn't born in the Sixties. Poverty and luxury have always been occasions of sin: but properly instructed Christians could still see abortion is the butchering of an unborn creature of God, and dealt with it accordingly.
When the clergy began to abandon Christ, the foundation for the present desolation was laid down. How can you expect the sheep to avoid the ravines, when the pastors are blinded by their desire to please them, or to avoid the hard part of their job. The rod and the staff were abandoned, and the shepherds started to picnic and have a good time, blabbering nonsense about the newly acquired wisdom of the modern-day sheep.
Desire to please, desire to be liked, perhaps desire to do things they would otherwise not be so easily allowed to do: this was the driving force behind the betrayal.
It would be unfair to blame the sheep for the immense arrogance and stupidity (or worse) of the shepherds. We all know things went really south when the old generation died, and was replaced by the horribly instructed and even more horribly thinking baby boomers. The new, cowardly shepherds certainly did not change many of those already formed; but they utterly ruined those they formed themselves.
Are the latter without fault, then? No, they certainly aren't. They could have seen and have not seen, they could have heard and have not heard; but how more difficult was it for them to recognise the Truth, when their own shepherds sabotaged it every day.
Now, we are in a vicious circle: whilst a minority of Protestants and Catholics still can fight for Christian values, the grassroots are largely rotten, and they perpetuate (the Protestants) or provide an alibi (the Catholics) for the cowardice of the clergy.
The punishment for both is coming swiftly, on this life and thereafter. What is the coming wave of heathenish thinking – if we want to call it “thinking” – but the punishment God allows to fall on both the sheep and the clergy? A punishment already in full swing, with the families of the baby-boomers ravaged by divorces, abortions, and single-parent households. A punishment, though, in my eyes still mild compared to the judgment that will fall on all those – Catholic or not – who had souls entrusted to their cares and have preferred an easy quest for popularity, taking refuge in “social issues” (the number one excuse of the enemies of God, starting from Judas) as a convenient excuse to forget God's laws whilst still appearing oh so caring.
Two generations of disgraceful clergy have brought us on the verge of Christianity being officially wiped out from the moral code of entire Nations; nay, from most and perhaps all of the West. The retribution will come swiftly, as these societies already nurture in themselves the cancer that will destroy them, until slowly but surely the Truth of Christ will triumph once again, as always happened in the past; long after our time, I am afraid.
Was Athanasius sad he had to live in disgraceful times? You bet he was. Did this weaken his determination to fight? Of course it didn't. Did the madness of his time sharpen his resolve and steeled his determination? I am sure it did.
I think it was Leo XIII who said that Catholics are born for combat.
We have our combat at hand.
Bring it on.