If you feel assaulted and assailed by our modern culture the fact that you do is a good thing. The tide of modern culture seems determined to wash away the essential underpinnings of our Christian values. If you haven’t been violently buffeted about, you need to carefully analyze your relationship with your God for you may have been seduced by your culture to the detriment of that relationship. It amazes me how far modern western culture has moved from its Christian routes during my own lifetime. This has happened notwithstanding the model of love exhibited to us by modern saints such as Mother Theresa whose canonization is scheduled for September 4th this year in Rome.
We can turn to the prophetic words of Pope Pius X set out in an address to the French Bishops in August of 1910, as he attacked the development of Sillonism, initially a Catholic movement.
“We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a religion [for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion] more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men to become brothers and comrades at last in the ‘Kingdom of God’. We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind.
“And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, we ask ourselves, venerable brothers, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One –World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world [if such a Church would overcome] the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer.”
In our more modern times, we face the beneficiary of this type of organization in the minds and hearts of those who applaud the permissiveness of modern secularism and the laws that flow from this philosophy which trumpet the rights of those opposed to Christian values: no matter the degree to which the rights of the weak and the dispossessed are trampled upon. Can we expect anything else from a culture coloured often by its agnosticism and by its increasingly hostile attitude towards anything Christian?
We need to remind ourselves daily of the danger of becoming complacent for we lose our potency as Christians when we fail to be observed as being different than the mainstream. In our age, this is no easy feat. It calls us to conversion each and every day of our lives. We have a duty to bring others to our Saviour and we can hardly be successful in doing that unless we are the hands, feet voice and heart of Jesus. As our Lady of Medjugorje said in her message to Mirjana in April of 2012: “ When my son will be the ruler in your hearts, you will be able to help others to come to know Him”.
We must also expect to be persecuted for our Christian views and we must expect that persecution to become more prevalent as we move forward in time. Our views make others uncomfortable and that type of environment always invites persecution. We have however the Holy Spirit living within us who will guide us as we attempt to live good Christian lives knowing that the cross is part of our heritage and the means by which we get closer to Jesus.