Long and short: Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Or, seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness.
In other words, this is the vale of tears, the long defeat, that overarching path of Judeo-Christianity that has brought the world its notions of the sanctity and dignity of life, equality, universal ethics and liberty and freedom. It is not a straight line upwards. It is not ten billion years of nothing until three days ago when everything became awesome because me living today.
History is a long, sad, brutal and disappointing series of ups and many downs. A burst of revelation followed by veiled truths and dark ages. We're watching the death throes of Western Civilization right now. The reasons are no doubt many, but the author of the design to destroy it is well known to believers.
We're also watching the great apostasy, where more than anytime since the revelation of Christ, believers are abandoning the Faith, its doctrines, and its revealed moral teachings. That, perhaps, is the more shocking development, especially as we see leaders in the Faith we imagined were moored to the Rock suddenly jettison anything and everything they once stood for to keep up with the godless Jonses. Meanwhile the Church seems unable to answer this except by doing more of the same, following the old 'definition of insanity' rule.
It is what it is. In the end, we don't call this life the 'vale of tears' or 'the long defeat' for nothing. Golden ages happen, but so do dark ages. Perhaps, given what we did with the golden age we inherited, the coming dark age might be better for the soul.
In any event, on this first day of Autumn, I'm going to try to focus more on what I can do - pray, receive the Sacraments, pray some more, see Creation through God colored lenses, and do the work of loving God and my neighbor, and less time bemoaning what I can't really prevent anyway. Besides, I think some of my more wild predictions over the last ten years have been vindicated, more's the pity.
It's not as if I'll use Faith as a cover for cowardice or apathy. But I believe a first course of action ought to be groundedness in the Faith, as the good bear says. So while I won't ignore grievous developments, especially if they could sway people from the straight and narrow or threaten the world my sons will inherit, I see no reason to keep repeating the same old same old that should be painfully obvious by this point in history.
I know I've said this before, and then all of a sudden something develops that I couldn't imagine happening in my country, and there I was again posting on the latest. By now, however, the direction we're heading is pretty clear, so it will take a little more to jar me the way some things have in the past few years. If I comment, it will be more about bigger things I've noticed, trends and lessons to be learned, like the folly of Christian conservatives' blind support for corporate interests in the name of capitalism or the free market. How did that work out?
But I won't be beholden to the latest headline that merely reinforces what any sane, honest person can see happening. Instead, I will be trying - trying real hard - to do my own little part for my own faith walk, that of my family, that of those around me, and only use this to reflect on past blunders or mistakes or lessons learned as we enter a new historical era which, unless things suddenly go in a different direction, will promise to be yet another in a long line of dark ages following a golden age.
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