Undermining the New Communist Menace
After the Ascension, when Jesus completed his earthly mission, He brought our redeemed humanity with Him to reign at the right hand of the Father. He then sent the Holy Spirit upon us to guide and direct His Mystical Body, and He inspires us to constant conversion and renewal, as we share in His generous Spirit of love for the transformation of the world.
How does the Holy Spirit transform us, our immediate life circumstances, and our institutions? The question seems particularly urgent today.
There are historical precedents of Christ’s people in desperate circumstances. What practical tips in the Spirit did Father William Corby offer the Irish Brigade before their commanders ordered them into the killing fields of the Wheatfield and Peach Orchard at Gettysburg? What encouraging words could we imagine a chaplain offering to the Confederate soldiers lined up for their final assault on Union lines—Pickett’s Charge—leading to their disastrous defeat? What should a priest say to his people today as they head into the gale-force winds of cultural upheaval, a new cold civil war?
It is no longer possible to ignore the spread of something eerily like Communism in our country. The telltale signs are undeniable. Universities teach young students to despise history, and the central government regulates many of what would ordinarily be considered the intimate details of everyday life. An ever-expanding government is poised to take over the entire economy. Perhaps the most concerning is the silencing of traditional-minded Christians in workplaces, smothered by political correctness.
The most significant indication of a Marxist-like influence is the reign of lies, a sure sign of the presence of the Evil One. An astonishing number of government, corporate, and religious officials—as well as most of the media—lie with impunity. The only escape for me is to turn off the news and listen to Civil War audible books (if you haven’t yet guessed a favorite pastime).
The constantly changing CDC directives during the pandemic have become a form of psychological warfare, with most of us complying in fear and trepidation. Many of us will also probably accept vaccination passports with little or no complaint. But make no mistake: such hi-tech control of the population is only the beginning. Or so it seems to me.
At the moment, the lower clergy are least likely to suffer the wrath of an angry culture, mostly because we are usually (but not always) surrounded by sympathetic parishioners. Nevertheless, we increasingly find it necessary to think carefully about where we stand and how we express our options.
Should a priest enter into the political arena with policy suggestions of his own? Should he resort to the tactics of the elites (including elites in Church bureaucracies), providing detailed top-down plans of action? What should a priest tell his flock?
The short answer in political matters: I have some ideas, but I mostly do not know.
How much do I know about your private lives, jobs, professions, the economy, immigration, the climate, and the flu virus? How much commentary do you need from me in particular or the clergy in general? My answers should have a general Christian application and be compatible with that of the chaplains at Gettysburg, with that of all good priests speaking to people under duress, extending back to the persecutions reported in the Acts of the Apostles. Priests must always invoke the graces of the Holy Spirit as a means to fulfill every Christian obligation.
The corporal and spiritual works of mercy summarize our Christian duties in every era. Providing food, clothing, and shelter for the needy—beginning with our families—are social duties. So are visiting the sick and the imprisoned and burying the dead. Instructing the ignorant, admonishing sinners, and counseling the doubtful are the obligations of parents, priests, and all leaders, great or small.
Bearing with the faults of others, forgiving offenses, and comforting the afflicted requires sometimes painful generosity and calls for uncommon graces. Praying for the living and the dead should be as routine as the sun rising and the sun setting.
Using the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as guides, here are a few questions to ponder:
- As parents, are you diligent in providing sufficient food, clothing, and shelter for your family and the poor?
- Do you have a schedule to keep in touch with the elderly and the sick?
- Do you spend time improving your understanding of the faith?
- Do you express your faith in deeds and, if necessary, in speech?
- Do you prudently admonish those in your family and circle of friends who violate the Ten Commandments?
- Do you forgive others their trespasses as you forgive those who trespass against you?
- Are you “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger”? (James 1:19)
- Do you protect the children from the promotion of perversions, distortions, and denial of history in our public schools?
- Do you monitor the religious education of your children?
- Do you “trust but verify” the religious teaching of Catholic schools and universities?
- Do you watch over the college courses your children take and guard against politically correct indoctrination?
- Do you constantly evaluate the worthiness of charities—including Catholic agencies—you support?
- Do you refuse to vote for pro-abortion political candidates?
- Do you put in an honest day of work?
- If you are an employer, are you equitable?
- Do you make an effort to know your subordinates and coworkers with a healthy and basic human interest and kindness?
- Do you express your Catholic morals in action and refuse to cooperate in immoral policies and procedures? (Sample comment to a coworker challenging your Catholic morality: There is nothing personal in my disagreement. You are a nice person, but I prefer not to violate the Ten Commandments. Thanks for asking for my point of view.)
- Do you habitually and explicitly invoke the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
The works of mercy that transform the world are not top-down elitist plans. They are bottom-up personal responses to the gifts of the Holy Spirit—in wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
Still, priests who encourage a few holy conspiracies, with God’s grace, to undermine the new Communist menace, do not seem out of line.
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