We live, as you all know, in “strange and disturbing times”. Christianity is challenged all over the West and whilst in the United States the fight to take back our Christian values already rages, in old and tired Europe the attitude is rather one of resignation, ignorance, and apathy. This has in part to do with the demographics (every European travelling to a big city in the United States would, I think, soon notice the difference; it is like being in a small European university city like Cambridge, or Tuebingen), but in greater measure with the fact that whilst in the United States the religious feeling has continued to play a big part in people’s daily lives, in Europe it has been allowed (not least, by the Catholic clergy) to be considered like a beautiful piece of art you put on a shelf and look at, with mild satisfaction, every now and then.
Moreover, at times it seems that everything is going from bad to worse. With the abortion industry now surpassing Hitler’s wildest dreams of extermination and Nazi thinking now spreading all over Europe in other matters – you know how the 1939 German Euthanasia law called it? Gnadentod, which means “merciful death” or “death out of mercy”. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…. – we are now confronted with repeated calls for euthanasia laws (out of mercy, of course; like old Adolf did…) and, it goes without saying, with a delirious fashion for the toleration of everything that is sexually deviant, provided that the “no rules rule” is applied to everyone else.
My comment box – and not only mine – is, as a result, at times used to post comments reflecting this atmosphere; comments in which resignation, desperation, expectation of the worse, or even a clear “end of the world” mood is reflected. This is not only bad for the individual concerned – provided the individual concerned doesn’t draw a strange pleasure from being a prophet of misfortune; which I sometimes suspect – but, more relevantly, it is bad for the cause. Therefore, your humble correspondent wants to try to give a different – nay, the opposite – perspective.
1. If you think that we live in exceptionally difficult times, think again. Only in the last century, Nazism and Communism have done their worst to obliterate Christianity. Not only entire countries, but half the European continent have contracted a cancerous disease which took decades to eradicate. Countless priests and laymen have been persecuted, thrown in re-education camps, died tormented by their torturers and forgotten by the world. More than 2500 priests landed only in Dachau, the concentration camp in Germany, and more than 1000 never returned.
Do you want an “end of the world”-feeling? Try France during the Terror.
Mind, those times could come back sooner than you think if we allow the liberal terror regime to set foot in Christian countries. But we are not there. By far not.
2. Empires have crushed. The Church has remained. The Church has a promise of indefectibility. It will never, ever go down. Yes, Christianity might be completely wiped out in your country, but no one will ever succeed in wiping out Christianity. No Country, no Empire, no army can say the same. The alleged thousand-years Reich literally went down in flames in twelve years, and even Communism’s great moment in history was no longer than the Kingdom of Jerusalem’s. Nothing that is made by man escapes this rule of rise and fall; not the extremely mighty (but rather short-lived) Assyrian empire, not the British Raj, not even the greatest of all political wonders ever devised, the Roman Empire. The Church, and only the Church, will always stand, in the middle of crushing worlds, seeing Empires become dust. Therefore, don’t be upset when the friends of abortion, euthanasia or sexual deviancy squeak their little slogans. The rat trap awaits them already. They are like little hamsters thinking that by desperately running in their little stupid wheel they will change human nature, or defeat Christianity. Fools.
3. There was no age without fight. A golden age in which Christianity wasn’t challenged has, in fact, never existed. Even in times which seem now to us dominated by an iron Christian orthodoxy, challenges were everywhere; the only difference is that in past times the defence of Christian values was taken seriously, whereas today there are people, even among the clergy, ashamed of what once was considered “sacred” (yes: the Inquisition!). From the Cathars to the Hussites, from the Lollards to the Waldensians, heresies were present – and were a real threat – even in those most Christian of times. There’s no age without fight, or without dangers. Christ came with a sword, not with a cocktail. Similarly, there has been almost no age without its own prophets of misfortune, and its own army of people thinking that the end must be near because things are oh so very bad…… Call me cynic, but to me “the end is near” is on the same plane as “we are soon going to run out of oil” and “the weather ain’t what it used to be”.
4. Things do change for the better. It is a legend that once something has been corrupted, there is no way back. In fact, the pendulum always swings, given time, the other way. The French Revolution wanted to wipe out Catholicism from France, but after just a few years Napoleon was allowing her to rebuild her structures again. The once ferociously persecuted Catholic Church has now millions of followers in the United Kingdom. Poland and Hungary, once prey of the communist beast, are now so Christian that they can be of example for every other country on the planet. The very worldy eighteen century was followed by the beautifully spiritual nineteen century, the corruption of the Church during the early Sixteen century was the starting point for the beautiful, energetic Counter-Reformation. The examples are endless. Things do get reversed.
5. It is our duty to fight the good fight. Instead of moaning for the last initiative of the cretins most recently blinded by Satan, reflect that this is one of the ways our generation – like every generation before us – has been given to escape Hell and, one day, merit Heaven. Be a brave soldier. Know that in the end your side will be victorious; not in your lifetime perhaps, not in your country perhaps; but victorious nevertheless. No soldier, no Communist party officer, no Pol Pot follower ever had such a solid reassurance of this as you do. Bask in this feeling, and draw energy by it. By all the anger that the enemies of Christianity cause to you – I know something of that, being of unhealthily emotional nature even for the Italian standard myself – never lose sight of the big picture. We must get rid of this effeminate mentality by which we get persecuted and react by showing how very meek we are, all the while basking in our cowardice and calling our submission to the pagans and infidels “Christian”. Submission, my aunt. Take the sword that Christ offers you, and fight the good fight. With your relatives, with your friends, with your colleagues, don’t be tired of defending our values; is this not what perverts, post-nazis and now even atheists do all the time? Be prudent, but be clear. Carry your faith written in your forehead, and show it with visible signs of devotion. Even little things count; no sign of the cross made when you walk past a church goes unnoticed; seldom by passers-by, and never by the Blessed Virgin. Look at how great saints like St Francis and Padre Pio were extremely meek in their interior attitude, but at all times tireless warriors of the faith.
et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Don’t be a pussycat. Be a brave Christian.