The Lot We Have Been Given
Many times in my life, even before Francis, I have bemoaned my being born in the second half of the Twentieth Century.
A very conservative guy born in a very conservative family, I always felt a bit of a “fish out of the water” in the world I saw around me. It actually began as I was a little child, and the adolescents around me had long (often dirty) hair, wore those horrible blue jeans, and swore like you wouldn’t believe; none of which happened in my well-ordered, rigid, socially very conservative family. Basically, I have felt an outsider, and one born in the wrong age, since the age of four or five. I was terrified of growing up to become one of those long-haired cretins. Happily, it never happened.
When I became an adult, things got worse. The sexual mores of the age were – whilst much more rigid than what I saw afterwards – very different from the traditional Country I had learned to love through intensive reading and the exortatiosn of my grandmas and grand aunts, and which corresponded to my deepest longing. I saw around me not only the sinfulness (that, I assure, I always had myself), but an attitude towards it that I found shocking. The world had found its own morality and was very happy with it. I confusedly rebelled to it, but literally did not know where to look as the Church clearly was infected with the same disease and all those example of the past were gone. I longed for the world my grandmas and grand aunts so clearly represented and in which, it was clear, they had felt so comfortable their entire life.
Now things are, if not at their most painful (if you really want to know pain, you need to be twenty), certainly at their worst. They are, in fact, almost apocalyptycally bad. And once again, I find myself wishing that I were born in a different age.
But then I reflect that I was born exactly at the hour and minute God wanted me to be born. I reflect that all my pains and challenges, God knew before all eternity. I reflect that we are not given to choose the lot that is given to us. We live in the Age of Insanity; when men think they are women, and he who objects is the one with the “phobias”.
God made us live in the Age of Insanity so that we can do our part and collaborate with His Grace, fighting the insanity He has allowed to happen. From abortion to euthanasia and from sodomy to Francis, he has put us here perfectly knowing all of this, and in order for us to give our testimony against it.
Nor were past ages a bad of roses. When would I have wanted to be born, exactly? Shall we say, 1890? That would very possibly have meant a trench in the Alps. 1910 perhaps? Ah, that would have meant, quite likely, a barrack in Somalia, my own Country torn by civil wars, and effing Commies wherever I turn. 1930 then? Fine, you get to grow up with an unprecedented threat to humanity, and a Communist nightmare taking over more than half Europe. What about 1950? Far too late. Actually, this is the generation that started the whole mess.
Granted, a young man in a trench in the Alps can see a senseless massacre around him, but his world will still be in order: Truth and Pope steady on his side, and a system of values allowing him to die in comfort. But many have not died. They have been maimed, and coming back as cripples have seen the girls of their dream marrying someone else, who had all his limbs in place, whilst a possibly very long life in poverty awaited them, a life of scars both physical and mental.
I really think we don’t count our blessings often enough.
I am here now, approaching old-ish age. I can sit comfortably at my computer, for now free of religious persecution, and fight for what I believe with a keyboard; in the warmth and comfort of my home; surrounded by unprecedented wealth in the Country and Continent, and not in any need myself; able to afford the luxury to be in pain because of Francis’ antics, rather than because of the grenade exploded 30 feet from my foxhole, or the American bomber flattening out my barracks; and, most of all, with the Internet giving me both a voice and a set of ears inconceivable in every age past.
This is the lot we were given. An Evil Clown as Pope is an unprecedented challenge; but so were the Summer of Love, the Cold War, Hiroshima, the First World War, the French Revolution, the Thirty Years War, the damn Ottomans, Luther and his ilk, the Western Schism, the Plague of 1348, the Great Schism, the damn Muslim hordes, the damn Barbarians hordes, the Great Heresies of the IV Century, and who knows how much I forget now….
I reflect on all this, and I do not complain too much. God knows what he does, and I must say my lot was very painful at times, and I will carry the scars for life; but all in all, it was a pain born of comfort, and a full belly, it was the pain of rich societies. Yes, we can play spiritual and say it would be better to suffer hunger an entire lifetime and know that the Pope is staunchly Catholic, but I am not entirely sure we would really switch places given the possibility.
This is the lot we were given. We were given it for a reason.It has good and bad like every other age before an dafter us, and it has unique challenges like many other ages before (and after) us.
Think of it next time Francis sounds like he is on drugs.