“For now the axe is laid to the roots of the trees. Every tree therefore that brings not forth good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire.
“And the people asked him, saying: What then shall we do? And he answering, said to them: He that has two coats, let him give to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do in like manner.
“And the publicans also came to be baptized, and said to him: Master, what shall we do?
“But he said to them: Do nothing more than that which is appointed you.
“And the soldiers also asked him, saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man; and be content with your pay.” (Luke III, 9–14)
Indeed, the principal issue and element factor in the ills of our modern times is that most men have forgotten God. The failings of the human conscience, deprived of the divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of the modern world.
No matter how formidably war explodes and overturns cities and beliefs, no matter what successes it attains in seizing territories within or without each nation—it is doomed never to vanquish Christian Civilization, founded by Evangelization, which has been transmitted down through the generations until now. Of course, the New Evangelization is misreading Catholic Tradition, when it proclaims a new interpretation of it (the Hermeneutic of Continuity) for persons, families and countries in today’s process of De-Christianization.
The despondent attitude of Western countries taken by the spirit of war, afflicting Eastern nations, has sunk in a large measure due to the fatal error of believing that the only issue is that of nuclear weapons—whereas in reality the maintenance of peace reposes chiefly on stout hearts and steadfast men, not deprived of divine dimensions. The Catholic Church is needed for such dimensions because her Founder is a divine Person: Jesus Christ.
All the attempts to find a way out of the plight of today’s problematic Modern World are fruitless without a repentant reorientation of our conscience and understanding towards the Blessed Lord, Creator of the world, Who sent Jesus Christ unto the world to redeem it by His Blood shed in the Holocaust of Calvary.
What shall we do? This question comes to many of us, not only once but very many times. We are sometimes overwhelmed thinking about it, and spinning in circles. Moreover, God wants us to collaborate with Him in the work of eternal salvation. No one but God has the power to heal in sickness, and to give peace to our convulsive world and Church. He wants us to believe Him, to ask Him for His love and pardon.
This is exactly what people were asking St. John the Baptist. He answered believers in the Messiah by giving them the precept of charity and poverty—it is better to give than to receive.
To the publicans, he gave wonderful advice: “do nothing more than that which is appointed.” That means to do our duty of state. It is difficult to practice our duties faithfully, to keep up our obligations and to be upright in our intentions. Indeed, it is the same as Our Lady’s words to Lucy, when she asked Her what penance we should do.
To the soldiers, he was concrete in guidance: “Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man, and be content with your pay.” As we know, often a war is deceitful because there is rarely a right reason for engaging in war against nations. Power or ambition have been causes for waging war. Belligerents frequently calumniate each other. Nations are not exempt from detraction and envy. Factors of instigation from ambitious men hungry for material pleasures are at work, but the ultimate calumny is waged against God. There is no more belligerent attitude than fighting for religious beliefs. The more antagonistic they are, the more pernicious war will be.
“The cause of all evils” (says Saint John Chrysostom) “lies in the fact that we consider as alien the things that concern our own body. No one is fulfilling his own duty if he ignores his neighbor’s salvation. If you dare to contend that you have nothing in common with your fellow member, if you think you have nothing in common with your brother, then neither have you Christ as your Head.”
What then shall we do? It is known that the divine Will is expressed in the Commandments of God and in the precepts of the Church. Yet, it is manifested in a more concrete and detailed way in our duties of state and the various circumstances of our daily life. These duties of state determine how we must act in our daily affairs so as to be always in conformity with the divine Will, not only as an individual person but also as a particular nation. One man’s duties, for instance, might be those required by his family life, or his profession or occupation, including social activities, even good citizenship. In the case of a priest, his duties are those of keeping his priestly obligations including the care of souls.
God’s will thus concurs with those circumstances of our life, whether important or not, to the smallest detail (health or sickness, poverty or wealth, desolation or consolation, success or failure, misfortunes or struggles) so that divine dimension will be present in our deeds, words and intentions. And from time to time, the Blessed Lord will ask us to fulfill special endeavors towards a specific neighbor.
However, modern “theology” cannot deny the transcendent goal of human existence, but it lets it fade away with up-to-date technological development, without resolving the puzzling effect of the materialistic life which is mastering human beings: modern man cannot function without being plugged into electronics and cybernetic life.
Within such a frame of life, modern culture undergoes a disjunction between material and spiritual issues. Materialistic life outstrips the spiritual, leaving it behind. Its point of view regards technology as basic social interaction (network); it builds upon an ever-increasing knowledge of the material world, with its wealth technological discoveries; and cybernetic weapons of instant destruction between nations provoke constant psychological warfare in today’s society.
In truth, the crucial distinction is rather between a culture that aims at the perfection of human nature, and the culture that seeks the perfection of the human person. Rejecting the supernatural end of mankind, the latter’s driving force drills in progressive human action, constantly changing and adapting to modern social developments, not only for individuals or families but also for governments and religious groups, including the whole Catholic Church.
After the Second Vatican Council, the post-conciliar church has had a tendency to include all the values of Humanism within the teaching and morals of the Christian Gospel. Frequent use is made of some expressions like, “human and Christian values,” “the Church has man as its center,” “religion makes man more truly man,” “New Evangelization in the context of the modern man and society,” and so forth. Those expressions demand of the Church its opening up to the world, and its attempts to put itself at the head of human progress. Therefore, modern men are in trouble. Here is a problem—Christianity wants to give rise to a new world that is more just and more human, which hardly keeps the spirit of Jesus Christ.
As a matter of fact, the New Evangelization is demanding a new leadership: churchmen imbued with Humanism based on the post-conciliar teaching, morals and liturgy. She talks about a new world, and a free society preaching about immigration of particular religions to other countries, in order to push people towards a unified worldwide society—the New World Order. In fact, the Catholic Church is regressing! It is seemingly returning to the Old Testament’s spirit of religious practice and the political intervention of the ancient law, inculcating a “Christ” which is not Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Consequently, let us remember what Our Lady of Fatima said to Lucy: “Pray and do penance.” And then, Lucy asked her, what penance shall we do? “The best penance is to keep and perform the duties of your state of life.” So, single people, be honest in word, thought and deed, not only in Faith and Charity but also in Continence and Purity. So, married couples, be faithful to your marriage vows over the whole extent of your household, including the dining-room and bedroom.
Therefore, our duty in this life is to save our souls. Hence, the excellence of the evangelical counsels represents the sacrifice on earth in seeking the Kingdom of God, as it is in heaven, in the private and the public sphere.
¡Viva Cristo Rey!