TRIUMPHALIST--YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT? I believe that the Catholic Church was founded by Christ, on his Apostles, especially Peter, the first Pope. I believe in the teachings of the Ecumenical councils, I revere the Fathers of the Church, and I am an unapologetic Ultramontane Catholic. If you don't like it, too bad.
"I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF EXHORTATIONS TO SILENT! CRY OUR WITH A HUNDRED THOUSAND TONGUES. I SEE THE WORLD IS ROTTEN BECAUSE OF SILENCE."--St. Catherine of Sienna
And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Never the less, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke, 18:7-8, RSV 2d Catholic Ed.--emphasis mine).
Well, will He? Seriously, I look at our society, and western culture and shudder. I especially look at it's hostility to religion and shudder. It's easy for us Catholics and other Christians to yelp and whine about a hostile political climate, but we're not really alone. The Secularization of the State has no room for competition from religion. The seeming preference for "minority religions" is a false perception. Even among devotees of various oriental sects,and those who push to tolerate and understand Islam, there is little real devotion, but an indifferentism born of a philosophical rejection of the idea of absolute truth, or absolute knowledge. The apostasy of the West did not begin with a rejection of God--it began with a rejection of the ability of Man to know and discern truth. I remember Philosophy class, and the gist of it being, aside from the survey of the various branches of philosophy, being that we actually couldn't know anything. (It was interesting to shell out big bucks for a class, taught by a specialist, that went to great lengths to teach us that--according to his specialty-- we couldn't know anything. And this in a titular Christian school.) Once one rejects the idea that there is truth, then one is left with the position that one makes ones' own way and finds ones' own version of "truth", that only applies to an individual and that can change according to need, circumstance or whim. Intellectually, at this point faith ceases to be an act of will--the decision that something is true and the decision to act on that truth in all aspects of life-and at best a comforting delusion, at worst it is perceived as a delusion or something to be used as a political tool.
One of the great things about us rednecks is this: Even when we obtain an education, we look with a jaundiced eye upon those who merely bandy words to make truth seem to be whatever they want at the time, instead of using them to describe the world as it is. This is called "Common Sense". It is common sense that forms the heart of our ability to resist the godless (quite literally) trends of our society, should we choose to do so. I will go out on a limb here and say that most of the people who read this will not consider themselves to be rednecks, but that they do embrace faith, and with our entry into faith at baptism comes the gifts of the holy spirit, one of which is Wisdom. Wisdom and Common Sense are not the same, but as a practical matter, there seems to be considerable overlap! And common sense and wisdom are the spine of our resistance.
Resistance has no purpose if there isn't a defined end point. For Christians, history is linear. It has a defined start--creation--and a defined end point--the events described in the Apocalypse of St. John. It is of this end point that Our Lord was speaking when he wondered if He would find faith on earth at his return. Futile resistance if of no use. The story of Chief Joseph my bring tears to the eyes of hard men who love liberty, and tales of the Forest Brethren may kindle the hearts of the romantically inclined, but in the end both were exercises in futility. But our resistance is not futile--we have Our Lords promise of this. He will return and his return will be fearsome. ...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the glory of his might...(2 Thessalonians, 1:7-9, RSV 2d Catholic ed.) Our resistance is more in line with the resistance movements of WWII--preserving what we can, preventing what we can, until we are liberated by triumphant armies of the Lord, Dominus Deus Saboath! The Lord, mighty in Battle. So then, we resist with an eye towards vindication, even in the midst of suffering and oppression, by the Lord God of Hosts.
So, are we to take up the sword? Certainly not a sword of steel, or any earthly weapon. Such a resistance would be doomed to fail. Rather, we should resist with the Sword of the Spirit, with the two edged sword that is the Word of God. And with this two edged sword, we shall cut ourselves, for without pain, there is no training. There is no training without standards as well, and we have standards, given to us by Our Lord. The first standard is this: If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15, RSV 2d Catholic Ed). The second standard is found in Matt 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (RSV 2d Catholic Ed). The training method is also outlined. it's given in detail as well, but the outline is clearly the place to start: And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself". (Matt 22: 37-39).
It is upon these that we shall cut ourselves as we fumble with our two edged sword. It is upon these that we shall fail to meet the standard. No soldier, whether Regular, Guerrilla or resistance fighter trains himself. Who is to be our trainer? Who will teach us to fight, For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness... (Eph 6:12, RSV 2d Catholic Ed.)? We have a trainer: Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle. Ps 144:1 RSV 2d Catholic Ed)
Our resistance is a spiritual battle, that will occur first and always within ourselves, as we contest with the zeitgeist, with worldliness, with our own sins and sinful nature. Earthly weapons will not help us, so we must put down the cobble stones of confrontation, the guns, the bombs and the bayonets of rhetoric, and pick up the shield of faith,..the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:16-17). Remembering always that In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made. In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines forth in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. (Jn 1: 1-5, RSV 2d Catholic Ed).
As we begin this Advent season, looking and longing for the Second coming of the Lord, we must look around us and resist the present darkness, so that indeed, the Son of Man shall find faith at his coming. I have cut myself to ribbons on scripture writing this, I have so far to go! But even as I long for the Return of Christ, I shudder at being one of those who do not obey the gospel--I have yet to allow the lord to train my hands! But I shall not change my beliefs to accommodate my weakness, not shall I give up, for I know that the Day is coming, even if I do not know the day or the hour, and I would rather stand as a failure, having tried, than stand as one who never tried. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Maranatha!
I wasn't able to get this up in a timely manner last Saturday, but the weirdest search term that brough anyone here in the last week has been "pacifist like guns". I think it's weird because never have I stood up as a pacifist--in fact, I'm rather anti-pacifism. I've also never thought of this as a gun blog.
Maybe Google knows my blog better than me.
Also, in the last week I have had more readers from Russia than Canada. Maybe I should buy a Canadian Gun?