Time to Speak Plainly
Last Sunday, we heard the “Prayer Before An Election” after the General Intercessions. This lengthy and bland item put out by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops covers all the politically correct bases in our society – unborn, abandoned, oppressed because of race, creed, religion, or gender, you name it – and gives no offense to anyone.
I wanted to yell out, “Deliver us from evil, O Lord!” and “God save our country!” Short, to the point, and an accurate appraisal of October, 2020. But, being a good Catholic matron, I didn’t. Disruption of Holy Mass is for dissenters. I wasn’t dissenting, I wanted to cut to the chase and have him tell it like it is.
If ever there was a time to speak plainly, this is it. We have a committee of allegedly civilized crème de la crème Senators snarling like a pack of dogs at a Supreme Court justice nominee because she might in the future maybe contribute to a ruling they don’t like. Never mind there will be other justices on the court who will carry the decision in question, she and she alone is perceived as the nemesis.
We still have cities with riots and looting and the burning of buildings with blocked streets as islands of protest – all disrupting civil society because those in authority don’t want to appear to be oppressing anyone, even though, like spoiled children, the rioters are oppressing the legitimate citizenry of the cities in question. Appeasement might be another word for it and we all know how that worked in World War II (if that is still taught nowadays). Meanwhile, community agitators like the carpetbaggers of old are going from city to city to stir people up.
There are calls to defund the police, yet complaints about increased murders and hijackings and violence in these same cities. A member of the US Congress, Ilhan Omar (D-Minn), addressed a press conference on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol building about the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020:
“We can’t stop at criminal justice reform. We are not merely fighting to tear down the systems of oppression in the criminal justice system. We are fighting to tear down systems of oppression that exist in education, in health care, in employment [and] in the air we breathe.
“We must recognize that these systems of oppression are linked. As long as our economy and political systems prioritize profit without considering who is profiting, who is being shut out, we will perpetuate this inequality. So, we cannot stop [with reform of the] criminal justice system. We must begin the work of dismantling the whole system of oppression wherever we find it.”(thenation.com)
Omar calls for a change in society. To be replaced by what? Hatred, race wars? She chose to come here, to become a citizen and now she wants to destroy the same country that guarantees her the free speech to spawn such anarchy.
The community pastors harangue and cry out for Justice! Justice and Peace! Equity! (not the financial kind, but what we used to call equality: Equity in Education! Equity in Health care! etc.) Transformational Justice! But no one acknowledges that justice can only be transformed by Jesus Christ – by a radical commitment to His teachings which are colorless, classless, and abounding in charity and mercy for one another. Running out of Target in Minneapolis with a stolen carpet on one’s back isn’t going to do it.
Don’t the Bishops See the Chaos?
Five months of insanity and we shouldn’t be crying out at Mass for God to save us from the evildoers around us? Instead we get a nondescript, innocuous prayer that totally misses the signs of desperation in our times. One would almost be tempted to think there is no hope, but that thought itself would contribute to evil around us. Don’t we pray, “Jesus I trust in You”? We must trust.
When I was younger (older than the “little” in a previous Bellarmine Forum piece), my parents would go fishing every weekend. After all, we were Catholics and obliged to avoid meat on Fridays, so we would go to a lake to catch the Friday meal. Obviously this was before the advent of the frozen dinners of today.
My folks would rent a rowboat and we were off. I was relegated to the bottom of the boat with comics, sharing the space with sloshing water and a dead worm or two. At one point in this long tradition, I noticed that the boat was wooden, made with thin slats. Were they nailed or glued? How did this thing stay afloat with people in it?
“I hope this boat doesn’t sink,” I recall thinking.
Of course there was nothing to be done about it if it did sink, so I went back to my comics with the idea my folks must know what they were doing.
That incident was my first lesson in hope and trust. There have been more such lessons over the years as I am sure there have been for everyone reading this, times when the only thing to grasp in the raging waters of life is the straw of faith and hope in the hand of God. St. John Paul had it right:
“I plead with you, never, ever give up on hope. Never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”
I think in these troubled days of 2020, we must keep before us the fact only Jesus Christ transforms, not any political party or anarchist group or divisive, screaming rioters. Only Jesus is our rock and salvation, only accepting and living His teachings can save us, and His mercy deliver us from evil. It would be helpful if our bishops and pastors acknowledged this point at Mass because the battle before us is truly between good and evil. It really is time to speak plainly.
This article, Time to Speak Plainly is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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