If Christianity Makes Sense
Those who, like me, aren’t the youngest anymore must have noticed how different modern Western societies are from the ones in which they grew up. In my case, the difference is even more noticeable, because coming from Italy I have experienced a bigger “jump” to the modern British society than one born here would experience.
It seems to me that Heatenism has now become mainstream, and that heathenish behaviour is considered normal by many of those who consider themselves, otherwise, Christian. The examples are too many to mention, from open and public premarital sex without even a hint of shame, to cohabitation, to open “celebration” of perversion, to open approval of abortion.
The young woman carelessly impregnated by a careless man is not ashamed anymore. She expects your support and approval as “single mother”. Actually, she will often expect money, too. The young colleague will tell you that he is “moving in” with his “girlfriend”, and the fact that the very thought would have horrified his grandmother does not enter his mind. Acquaintances will talk to you of their “gay friend” as if this were something vaguely amusing, very modern, and showing a great degree of “openness” and “tolerance”, XXI Century’s cheapest fare. Add to this the less public, but very real, massacre of children.
I could go on. You get the drift.
Now, this is exactly the behaviour that you would expect in, and used to read about, heathen societies. No shame, superstition as faith or no faith at all, cruelty to the weak, everyone as he likes it.
One must wonder, then. How were those heathenish societies of old treated by Our Lord? How many managed, do you think, to be saved? And why would a society that chose to forget Christianity be treated less harshly than a society who did not know it?
Can we really lull ourselves in the fluffy thinking that God, in the end, will be the Awfully Nice Guy In The Sky and save pretty much everyone, from Raul Castro to the activist feminist with three abortions her own? If this is so, what does “mortal sin” mean anymore? Why two thousand years of Christianity? Why evangelisation, proselytism, missionary work? Either all that was entirely wrong, or what is wrong is the Awfully Nice Guy In The Sky stuff.
No. If Christianity makes sense, there must be a big difference between a Christian and a Heathenish society. It cannot be simply a matter of nuances, and it cannot be that “nice types” are saved merely… because we like to think so. If Christianity makes sense, great will be – bar epochal changes – the number of the damned around you: those whom you are just observing now in the bus, the train, the office, or the cinema.
If most of those living in a shockingly heathenish, but oh so nice (not to aborted children, of course) society are saved, Christianity does not make any sense and we can relax thinking that The Great Guy has lied to us for some awfully smart reason of his own, and he will take care that we are all fine in the end. But then we cannot relax even in this case, because in this case God has lied to us, and I would find the idea, beside blasphemous, terrifying.
Again, no. Christianity makes sense, and there is no way you can imagine a world where it doesn’t, and you aren’t in big trouble. Therefore, one must conclude that – bar an epochal change – we live surrounded by a great number of reprobates. A terrifying, but a very logical thought.
How do we react to this? In the only way we can. Praying for everyone, even those in most need of God’s mercy, and caring everyday for our soul and for the soul of those we love; so that, in the great shipwreck I seem to observe if I look back to my youth and compare that world with my present one, we can at least help ourselves to reach a rescue boat, and manage to heave on it other poor souls, and as many as we can of those we love most.
I look at the people around me and cannot escape the thought: if Christianity makes sense, very many of these – hopefully excluding yours truly – will be damned. If most of them are saved anyway, and there are no real consequences for living a heathenish life, then Francis is right, Christianity has been pretty useless these two thousand years, is certainly almost irrelevant for salvation and only good, at most, to improve one’s quality of life in the “joy” of a salvation that will come anyway, for pretty much everyone.
If Christianity makes sense, the reality around us is simply terrifying: a multiple nuclear explosion in instalments waiting to happen, and making more victims among souls than all wars in the history of humanity caused in loss of lives.
We, my dear reader, register this obvious consequence of Christian thinking with a renewed effort to save our own soul, and to do what we can to heave our beloved ones – and those we do not know, too – in the rescue boat with us. Terrifying as the thought of mass punishment is, we know the Lord does everything right, nor can we say we have not been warned.
Let us pray more, and better. Let us stay near to the Sacraments. Let us not relent in our effort. Let us not become complacent in the thinking that “we will be fine”.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Its absence must, therefore, be the height of stupidity.