“Woe to the world because of scandals!”

Jesus, in Mt 18:7

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[Today I begin a series of posts on evil.  I do so in a time, and in a culture, where those who would lead us in any venue seem unable to offer any coherent thought on the idiocy of the evil we experience daily.  Case in point, an elected political “genius” in a small Rhode Island town ordered the local firefighters to remove the American flag from firetrucks because displaying the flag made the firefighters look like ISIS.]

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The world is populated by good souls and by the godless.

The latter group is composed of unbelievers who are hostile to religion as it challenges their pride, self love, their pursuit for pleasure and lust for power and riches. And it captures those indifferent to religion – ones who prefer apathy to living a full life.  And, of course, it includes the devoted sinner who cherishes their wilful conduct above all other things; and, finally, those who claim religion but prefer an appearance to discipleship.

The exclusionary secular culture belongs in many ways to these godless who, in mass communication, relentlessly project themselves on us in the images, stories, icons, words, maxims, fades, fancies, language, ideologies, hierarchies, structures, systems and politics of the culture.

Such a culture raises up not God but man, the human being – as the rich, the celebrity, the powerful, the selfish, the pleasure-seeker, the fashionable, the exhibitionist, the opiate-addicted “entertainer,” the ideologue, the “educated.”

Such a culture opposes and attacks the faithful and what is good.  It mocks them and belittles them and their beliefs and practices.  It seeks that we conform to their views and fades, fancies and ways of thinking and being.

The courage to resist this rests on our seeing this mortal life as less than eternal life.

Yes, to defeat what we face is to live and see in the light of faith.  Then, we will know our adversaries and their ways and we will not stumble willy-nilly into costly, the spirit-killing compromises, habits and ways of thinking of this secular world.

Think about it.  Where are you at this point, in this culture.  On guard and informed?  Or easy prey?  What do your politics tell you about yourself?  Have you been captured?

Shalom.

Note – This post draws in the work of Adolphie Tanquerey, S.S., D.D. in The Spiritual Life.

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