Trials and Tribulations of an Aftermath
God! Why did this come upon us?
“Where did it all begin” I thought, as the morning mist began to clear listening to the relaxing sounds of early birds’ chirping after finding the food they knew, unconsciously, that God prepared for them as He always does. Somehow we knew it would happen, although very few were prepared for the outcome that so much turmoil could possibly produce. It now will take preparation, using utmost discretionary thinking, and people with a strong internal fortitude coming together picking up the pieces of humanity’s left-over pride, seeking God’s very presence, and finally begin to rebuild what should have existed, with an early morning awakening, instead of the emptiness that sits all around, everywhere the eye can see.
The sound of glasses clinking from lightly tapping spoons got the party-goers’ attention. They were celebrating the opening of the new amphitheater that would ultimately allow many community residents a place to gather. The calendar was already clustered with locked-in dates of celebrities contributing for this progressive area. It was the city’s attempt to encourage the elimination of prejudice towards the many nationalities, races, and varied religions in the region.
A well-known 22nd century speaker began with a prayer to God. 2105 was a strife ridden world, with many near-nuclear threats and small skirmishes that were quelled by the World-Wide Governments’ establishments of peaceful control. God was the one entity the entire world population adhered to.
This perhaps was the one major criterion that existed, but since a New-world religion was trying to influence its tentacles on everyone, Christianity struggled to keep the flock of believers connected. Rome was constantly receiving threats from those against the Catholic Church creating, or trying to create Schisms. Even though this speaker was well liked, he still adhered to a one-world religion. This could prove to be disastrous at some future time since Jesus Christ was now relegated to just a prophet, compared with many 20th century and earlier self-proclaimed prophets. This was not like the old Judeo-Christian prophets of the bible; copies that were hard to find today.
His main topic, which was very short, spoke of our god (not the God from Genesis through the Resurrection of Christ). This would be a Deity that actually accepted the peoples’ prescriptions of needs according to their design which would eventually become a church from Hell! All we could do was play along, but in actuality continue to pray and keep the Sacraments as our mainstay and trust in a God who is Real. Maybe someday, as in the Old Testament, we would see the one True God once again, in this world gone mad.
It was back in 2016-2018 when the New-age philosophies began extending their reach into society and the birth of misunderstanding reached the ears of many so-called Christians who really did not know God as He is. The path towards creating a new belief wherein money, power, and prestige promised just what people wanted, not what they needed. It was now a quick-fix to all my problems and a faith in those who were self-proclaimed prophets of what might become a dooms-day excursion on a slippery slope that could do nothing but produce a ride into Hell. The One True God, the Holy Trinity was no longer viable, according to the new theology being promoted.
As I listened, with much trepidation, his few words reminded me of the Old Testament stories wherein many were led astray from the dictates of what would eventually be the forerunner to the Paschal Mystery. Our True God, would create the Incarnation and He, God, would take on Himself Humanity to save His people. They would rather have nothing to do with forgiveness and a hope of future peace, in lieu of quick gratification with an “I did it my way” pronouncement. I only sighed and said, “When God will this ever change”? Relentlessly, I returned home, elated that something was being done to bring people together, but on the flip side saddened that this world we’ve inherited and somehow contributed to changes that might not be good down the road, did little to lift my spirit like it should.
News reports, lately, do not get your attention since what comes across is never earth-shattering; shootings-now as in the 21st century; government corruption. The new-world government control had quieted some of the disruptive scenarios, and the same old philosophy of creating a one-world religion is just hyperbole and not too serious, at least up till now. But, today something grabbed my attention with news that was not just startling it was devastating to all of us who were Catholic and felt secure with our Church and Rome in charge.
Creating tension that might subvert and instill Schism was no longer a threat, that we always viewed as a possible barrage upon our faith. Now it has made a firm step towards undoing what for centuries felt secure in being part of was on the verge of government control and we might not be able to protect it.
There is that old statement that says, “be careful what you ask for, you may not like the result you’ll get.” For years those who are the “Powers to Be” promoted eliminating some Christian writings. This included voluntarily destroying our bibles, in place of new-age writings and a common religion that would make everyone the same, believing in a one-god-faith with direction promoted by those who rule. Many people accepted this and of course thought nothing of it, until now. What might have sounded as an abstract thought has now become reality, and the results may not be to the liking of any of us, who are Catholic and other God-fearing Christians. Is this the new battle that we will be confronted with, a single entity against a Goliath? Will a sling-shot have the same out-come?
Unlike the past when more than one person or group would prepare to confront each other this skirmish held out a far different cry perhaps never seen before since it wasn’t going to be guns and bombs, but nerves of steel, at least our thoughts leaned that direction. Any confrontation always holds an array of mystery; wondering what the other side will present that may make the battle very difficult to maneuver into with the best minds preparing to fight.
We met at the Church, about 100 members including priests and two bishops, to discern what direction was needed. Reports came in daily that the new-age combatants were not satisfied with the diminishment of published materials that have been around for centuries. It appears these combatents were seeking a way to curtail the Church in its mission, with the established hierarchy feeding parishioners all the tenets of the Catholic Church, Sacramental truths being taught, and continued ordination of priests and deacons who represented an armed militia, ready to defend via true biblical teaching without using weapons of destruction, but an armor of traditions from the over 2,000 years of Christ’s Church.
God sent Joshua and the Israelites into Jericho without weapons; just faith. Would our attack be like David with a sling-shot, Joshua with singing and yelling, and Moses leading the Jews from Egypt with signs of Blood as in the Passover. All of these sounded like visions from the past, yet God would be with us now, as He always was throughout history for His people.
Continued meetings as this kept all of us on our toes and ears listening intently to news of what the other side was doing, even though their groups appeared to be tolerant of our teachings, the messages coming in were contrary and sent warnings throughout our camps; the Church and the clergy. It was a time of caution and ever-mounting paranoia since we didn’t have enough proof to confirm what we believed was happening. The subtle manner that was used to infiltrate our side was uncanny and alerted our suspicions to a crisis pitch.
Enter an unknown character that would soon become our modern-day David, sling-shot in hand and a faith that seemed lacking from a group-hysteria we reflected. He wasn’t ruddy as David or young like we’d expected, but an older gentleman with signs of “get down in the mud, roll up your sleeves, and don’t be afraid attitude.” I am here! Not anticipating an all-out-war-like atmosphere we questioned his relaxed yet aggressive suggestions to confront without violence, until the time was right. Violence when the time was right? Something the group had considered but drew back from fearing bloodshed and a chaotic upheaval that would turn back years of struggle to find peace, not usurp it.
Who was this man that came with a charismatic power that certainly took over in a manner that made us feel relaxed, willing to follow his directions, and stand with him whatever that might mean. It wasn’t the time to retreat but to follow a leader who seemed beyond the tenets any of us possessed and the excitement grew in the hearts of us all as perhaps God heard our prayers in a way that was not explainable. Whoever he was or wherever he came from never entered our minds to question. He was here and represented a hope like nothing our modern society had ever dreamed could happen.
In the days that followed we listened with eagerness to what he suggested, opening our minds to a lot of Sacred Scripture, for perhaps the first time. One such quote came from Matthew (Mt. 10:16) where Jesus warned the disciples, “Behold I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” The very essence our plan of attack would entail is not running headlong at those who promised our demise in Church adherence but finding the way to express the teaching of Christ. Those who have established a new-way that certainly do not agree with the original Plan of God and the Holy Trinity. He continued teaching us in ways like that to not be ready to pounce upon our enemies without counting the cost first. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Lk. 14: 27). Jesus also told his disciples to be aware of what they must give up to follow Him (see Lk. 14: 20, 33). Receiving and pondering on these and many other teachings, this stranger exhorted to us changed our plans to become aggressors and act like doves that would find methods to reach out to our enemies with an olive branch in lieu of a sword.
One day, after many discussions with those we considered enemies, we were to meet in an open area, not cowering in secret, and were surprised to find some of those we considered our foes also came to share with us their thoughts on compromise. Looking around, the stranger who had suddenly come into our midst at a time we weren’t sure of the how, when, or where of confrontation, was now nowhere to be found. “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke revealing the scriptures to us.” (see Lk. 24: 32). Could this have been….” Was he ……..? God works in ways unknown to us but to be sure He works on our behalf.
“Where did it all begin” as I awakened to a new day and my eyes now saw the emptiness that wasn’t so stark but filled with new hope, new expectations in a world filled with the Grace God sent us. Compromise, maybe, but an opportunity to still believe and worship in the Roman Catholic Church and make inroads to bring people back to the faith too many have abandoned for new-age philosophies. Does this INC Christianity pose a problem to future worshippers? Yes, and emphatically, we must be aware of just what effect compromising our ideals will create. The words from Jesus, “be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves” is not a paradox, rather being gentle but become aware of undercurrents that always may be present. We no longer live in a world that is not under attack from powers and principalities. This is part of the definite existence of evil that will do everything to upset the tenets of the Church Jesus Christ established. These are the most subtle ways of drawing good meaning worshippers away to some of these quick-teaching themes of “my way and not the Church” is the way to go.
As can be seen from this story there are elements of anti-Church teaching that certainly will attack the very tenets of traditional Catholic Dogmas and are ready to tear down 2,000 years of faith, drawing many away from the Church they grew up in. Should we fight to keep what our parents labored so often in getting us to the Sacraments, teaching us our prayers, and promoting vocations to the religious life and priesthood? Absolutely! What weapons should we use? Simple; the breastplate of faith and armor of the Sacraments. This may appear too simple, but so is a God whom we can’t see but His Holy Spirit lives within each and this has been successful for over 2,000 years. Joshua conquered Jericho without weapons; but faith. Abraham gained the trust of God by following His command to kill Issac, and was redeemed by an everlasting progeny because of belief. Moses, used the weapon of trust and led the Hebrews to the land flowing with milk and honey. We must continue the fight of instilling faith through the breastplate of the Sacraments and all they represent.
RBH March 2018