"You aim at a devout life, dear Philothea, because as a Christian you know that such devotion is most acceptable to God's Divine Majesty," says St. Francis de Sales in his book "Introduction to the Devout Life".
And we can all be Philotheas, as St. Francis notes: "I have made use of a name suitable to all who seek the devout life, Philothea meaning one who loves God."
I think it’s a good time to really pay attention to
the Vortex – starting with last Friday’s episode. I’m told that this week’s
episodes reflect some important information from top sources in Rome. Things
are bad, but that can be a good thing.
Last Friday’s episode (6/21/13) was entitled “The
Whole Rotten Mess”. The script is available here; I’ll summarize with excerpts.
Michael Voris was reporting from the Acton
Institute conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, attended by close to 1000
people who “gathered to discuss the affairs of the world from a Christian
perspective”. Voris notes that
…when a society cuts
itself off from God and changes course on close to two thousand years of
understanding of man and his inter-relationships that bad things follow. First
principles – their importance cannot be overstated. If you get it wrong in the beginning, the whole
project is doomed to failure; sooner or later, the whole thing will come
This is the prospect
for the so-called western democracies, both in the US and Europe. The clock has already run out. The West is merely running on fumes right
now. It IS taking some time for it to all to burn out because it was so big to
begin with but we are writing checks our morality can no longer cash.
There are some brave
noble souls fighting the good fight, hoping against hope that the current
situation can be salvaged, but it cannot.
Gee, thanks, Mike. Always the bluebird of
happiness, eh?! Yes, I know, it’s not a
pretty picture, but the thing is, this is reality. For too long, we have been
going along, whistling in the dark, telling ourselves that things will get
better after the next election, that we’ll elect more pro-life politicians,
that people will see the light as Planned Parenthood and the Gosnells of the
world are exposed.
It’s a nice thought, but as Voris says:
It is unreasonable
and naïve to conclude that the West is all of a sudden going to become pro-life,
anti-same-sex marriage, anti-contraception... in short, anti-selfish… after
multiple generations have been fed a non-stop diet of self-satisfaction as the
highest ideal. Read it: AIN’T. GONNA. HAPPEN.
Voris has spoken before about the “third rail”
issue of contraception. Until the pro-life movement as a whole begins to see
that contraception is at the heart of the abortion problem, things will not
change. And the population at large is not likely to come to an understanding
of the grave moral dangers and the demographic side effects of contraception
any time soon. The information is out there, and it’s getting some press, but
people are, as Voris notes, selfish.
There has been little catechesis even (especially?) in the Church about the
salvific value of suffering, about the necessity of sacrifice. Instead,
modernist and personalist philosophies have infiltrated Church teaching and
turned our minds toward the individual’s perception of his own private experience
– and that has made “forming my own conscience” the watchword.
And just like the culture, says Voris
The Catholic Church
in the West – the Establishment – no longer operates with the same set of first
principles that She once did. Her entire
self-understanding, Her own self-conception, has been jettisoned and been
replaced by an entirely new and rotten sense – rotten to the proverbial core.
Leaders have traded
away the notion of truth and goodness and beauty in exchange for accommodation,
and indifferentism and political correctness. Truth Beauty and Goodness inspire
zeal and apostolic fervor. There is almost none of that left because those core
constituents; those first principles are gone.
What is left is
Church within a Church – a small remnant of those who still cling tenaciously
to those first principles and ALL that they necessarily admit of… ALL of it…
…If you want to know
about the condition of the Church, all you have to do is look at the culture.
When the culture is in calamitous straits which it is, it means the Church has
failed to convert the culture.
When the Church is in
such a calamitous state, it means the culture has converted the Church. This reality simply cannot continue. A large portion of the Church will either
repent, or it will be pruned away. And the culture, deprived by Church leaders
of the truth of Christ, will be the instrument used for the pruning.
That can’t be denied, can it? The culture – which has
forsaken Christian values, let alone Catholic ones – is currently the set of
pruning shears that will reduce the Church – the true Church – to a remnant.
The HHS contraception mandate will separate those who will cling to the faith
from those who will throw in the towel. The homosexual agenda is another
pruning point. How long before Catholic churches are required to allow “gay
weddings” to take place in their very sanctuaries? Etc.
that this Vortex episode made me wonder about myself a little. I was so pleased
to have Voris say there's no hope for the West, and no hope for the
"establishment" Church! I often think about the parallels between
where society is going (has gone) and where the Church is going (has gone).
just a closet pessimist and harbinger of doom? Is that I liked hearing the bad
news? No, not really; I actually am the eternal optimist, once you get to know
I like is hearing the truth. And I have found that more and more I'm not paying
that much attention to the pro-life "victories", because they are
largely meaningless. Blogger Tantamergo
read my mind when he asked in a recent post why people are so excited about the
House passing that 20-week abortion ban. Big deal! The Senate won't pass it,
and Obama would veto it anyway! People want to kill babies, and the tide has
turned to such an extent that they are going to kill babies. Again, there will
be no real victory for the pro-life movement until the movement itself as a
whole sees the evil of contraception. Even then, it's probably too late now. I
think we have to hit bottom for real before we can rebuild.
note of “Doom and Gloom” continued on Monday’s (6/24/13) Vortex (script here):
bottom line, though: seeing it all as “doom and gloom” is a worldly perspective. As MV says:
There is a lot – a hell of a
lot… emphasis on Hell – wrong in the world today. So much so that it’s easy to
look around and despair. And that despair is understandable if we view things
from a strictly earthly perspective. In fact, it is the NATURAL response to the
current situation of so much madness in the world AND in the Church.
we take a supernatural perspective, we see that
Great saints are forged in
these circumstances. The chance given us by Heaven to rise to the occasion and
lay hold to the kingdom prepared for us from the foundations of the world.
We are called and baptized to
battle evil – in ourselves as well as the culture – and by doing battle, merit
Heaven. Heaven is not the gift of grace so much as the opportunity to lay claim
to it is. No one earns heaven strictly speaking; no one has a claim on God by
their natural right. But He Himself has bound Himself to us under oath to give
us out heavenly inheritance according to our deeds, and in His infinite
inscrutable ways, He has allowed the current crisis to unfold whereby we can
seize our inheritance.
So we must fight. We must fight
until we die. We must die fighting.
little excerpt doesn’t inspire you, be sure to watch the whole Vortex (I
recommend it regardless!).