We, as the human race today, as the Western world, as the Church on earth, are in a dark place—but the lamp of Christ’s doctrine is still shining for us today as it was yesterday and as it will tomorrow, saving the souls who embrace it as the way to eternal communion with the Blessed Trinity. The Morning Star, Jesus Christ, is risen, and He rises anew in every faithful soul. Peter Kwasniewski, Marriage: Cross and Crown
I happened to catch an interview on Squawk Box last week with a man who appeared to be in his late sixties-early seventies. He was corporate CEO in the retail industry commenting on the brokenness of the world. He caught my ear when he said, “We were raised to disagree without being disagreeable”. It made me think how out of tune we’ve become as a people. Good Sunday Morning Dear Friend…
One Peter Five’s observations of our “dark place” are pretty well in sync with those of the retail executive I listened to. One man speaking from a spiritual place, and the other speaking from a business place made me think. Is it what we are learning in school? Or is it what we have not been learning in our churches and synagogues that has brought our society to this dark place where we are so out of tune with one another?
National Review’s Victor Davis Hanson writes a scathing review of our Universities, where instead of preparing the next generation for the realities of a harsh world, they are treated as “fragile adults” who are entitled to “safe spaces” where they become “coddled like hotbed orchids”, and shielded from authors like Joseph Conrad and Mark Twain!
And then there was my own experience of inviting the priest of a local parish to an informal meeting (no press) of regional Judeo-Christian clergy and laypeople with their government representatives to discuss the “rising tide of world-wide anti-Semitism, the persecution, kidnapping and slaughter of Christians and support of Israel.” His knee-jerk response to me was, “That’s political.” I respectfully replied, “No Father, it’s Religious.” His response begs the question, “If man’s inhumanity to man is out-of-bounds in the eyes of our church shepherds, what is left for us to discuss…Macramé and needlepoint?”
When we put the two together it’s no wonder we are in the mess we’re in! The question then becomes, what do we do about it? Do we wait for our professors and priests to grow a pair, or do we wake up, assess the situation and take it upon ourselves to tune our own instruments? These are some tips designed to help us do just that:
- Set the intention of eliminating the “dark place” by lighting “the lamp” within.
- Establish, if you haven’t already, a routine of prayer, meditation and fasting.
- Check your environment to eliminate (where practical) the kind of “junk” that has become the regular diet of a “severely toxic” 24/7 cable newsfeed…or, what I like to call the A-train to Hell!
- Lead by example with more encouragement than expectation.
- Learn to develop your powers of observation without “judgement” as a tuning-fork.
The last bullet-point is as powerful as it is subtle. A disturbing characteristic of our “dark place” are the poor habits we’ve allowed ourselves to develop. How many times does the conversation among friends or on the family car trips turn to gossip? How do we respond internally when hearing of the success and/or achievement of another? When we catch ourselves, it’s an opportunity to re-tune and adjust. When we catch our children, it’s an opportunity to teach and encourage.
“Don’t let it bring you down, its only castles burning, just find someone who’s turning, and you will come around.” ~ Neil Young