What the Church says about worshiping today’s new images of perfection
The following account of recent events in the United States, similar to those in other nations, was read in all Catholic churches today (Wednesday of the fifth week of Lent):
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Now the President and his Court made a false image of perfection and set it up for all to see. Then the President sent to assemble all his officials, mayors, governors, representatives and justices throughout the land for the dedication of this image. And speaking over the airwaves, he said:
You are commanded, O peoples, nations and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music—that is, the joyful acclaim of my administration—you are to fall down and worship the image of perfection that the President and his Court have set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace of indignation, ostracism and punishment throughout the whole land.
Then some malcontents came forward and maliciously accused certain Christians, saying:
O Mr. President, live forever! You have made a decree that whoever does not fall down and worship the image you have made shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Christians who have heretofore been influential in our affairs. These pay no heed to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the perfect image that you have set up.
Then the President and the entire government, in furious rage, commanded that such Christians be brought to answer this charge:
Is it true, O foolish Christians, that you do not serve my gods or worship the perfect image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe—in short, all the happy sounds of my devoted followers—if you are ready to fall down and worship the image which I have made, well and good; but if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace; and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?
But the resisting Christians said to the President and all his government:
We have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace of your wrath; and he will deliver us out of your hand. But if not, be it known to you that we will not serve your gods or worship the false image of perfection which you have set up.
Then the President was full of fury, and the expression of his face was changed against these Christians. He ordered the furnace of public indignation to be heated seven times more than it was accustomed to be heated. And he ordered his strongest servants to bind them and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Because the furnace was very hot, the flame of its fire slew the souls of those who pushed the Christians into the furnace. But the Christians stood in the midst of the extreme heat and prayed.
The President was astonished. He said to his counselors, “Did we not cast these Christians bound into the fire? But I see all of them loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and I also see one whose appearance is like a son of the gods.”
A more courageous witness would certainly be notable, perhaps modeled on the Book of Daniel, chapter 3.
What, I wonder, will the end of this story be?
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