Surveying the condition of the world and its people, near and far, one can only imagine what the shape of things would be without Our Mother’s children, both young and old, offering her millions of penances and prayers, throughout the day, with an equal plentitude of loving next right steps to present to our Father at His Throne. Deo Gratias as hearts continue to cry, Maranatha! The screeching winds, swirling seas and violent lightening strikes bespeak the reality that the hour is late in this Time of Choosing. And within THE Choice for God are myriad choices to be made, day by day, moment by moment, to ensure we fall not prey to hopelessness and despair. Jesus, our Emmanuel, has never left us and He never will; it is we who are tempted to turn away in discouargement, losing heart – yet, we can choose, instead, to believe, to trust and to hope in Him.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. (2Corintians 4:8)
Many of our commenters have expressed their choice to dial back on news intake and detach from additional life activities which trigger internal unrest and outright agitation. In understanding this choice, I’ve become very selective about what I read and view by seeking the wisdom of spiritual and temporal writers and speakers who bring depth of understanding and insight to the issues we face. To this end, I’ve long appreciated the writings of a great voice crying in the wilderness of our times, Fr. Dwight Longenecker. One of his recent pieces, Sparado, Straw Men and Scapegoats, is a well reasoned and piquant response to the article written by Antonio Spadaro (edit- the article is co-authored with Marcelo Figueroa), in La Civiltà Cattolica, which some of our commenters have mentioned and many Catholic writers have analyzed. Excerpt from Fr. Longenecker:
“The article that everybody is talking about at La Civiltà Cattolica can be read here…
The problem is that the authors are commenting on something they don’t know about from personal experience. It’s all theory from a few books they’ve read and perhaps a few conversations with fellow intellectuals in some coffee shop in Europe.
The American Evangelical scene is far more complex and crazy than these guys understand. Their snide comment, for instance about Evangelical fundamentalists being mostly “white men from the deep South” is a racist bigoted comment on the level of Obama’s famous and fatuous wisecrack about country folk who “cling to their religion and guns” or Mrs Clinton’s “basket of deplorables”…
But the main problem is that in the second half Spadaro and Figuerao attempt to throw Catholic conservatives into the same pick up truck as the “stupid Evangelicals”. They come up with a name “Catholic Integralists”. This shadowy group want to create a “theocracy” and go to war with the Muslims etc. etc. As others have pointed out, such American Catholics only exist in the imagination of Spadaro and Figueroa…”
Victor Davis Hanson is another writer and speaker who provides clarity amidst mass confusion. His piece, “The Fifth American War,” reflects exactly what Charlie has written and spoken about, extensively, after having revealed these things more than twenty years ago to his spiritual directors. Here’s a peek at Hanson’s beginning:
“The country is coming apart, and the advocates of radical egalitarianism are winning. The wars between Trump, the media, the deep state, and the progressive party — replete with charges and counter-charges of scandal, collusion, and corruption — are merely symptoms of a much larger fundamental and growing divide between Americans that is reaching a dangerous climax.
On four prior occasions in American history the country nearly split apart, as seemingly irreconcilable cultural, economic, political, social, geographical, and demographic fault lines opened a path to hatred and violence.”
Charlie has recommended Cardinal Sarah’s newest book and I, too, have been savoring this gem. Sweet silence, in contemplation and communion, restores peace and equilibrium in these days, nearly overwhelming with the noise of the Storm with its chaos, confusion and division. The holy silence provides opportunity to rest near the Lord’s Heart – as surely as St. John did while reclining at table – for us, it’s reclining in the stern of the Barque of Peter, safe and resting in the Lord, a respite from raging waters, praying: Save us O Lord; carry us back; rouse your power and come.
Excerpt from Robert Cardinal Sarah’s newest book: The Power of Silence – Against the Dictatorship of Noise:
God carries us, and we live with him at every moment by keeping silence. Nothing will make us discover God better than his silence inscribed in the center of our being. If we do not cultivate this silence, how can we find God? Man likes to travel, create, make great discoveries. But he remains outside of himself, far from God, who is silently in his soul. I want to recall how important it is to cultivate silence in order to be truly with God. Saint Paul, drawing on the Book of Deuteronomy, explains that we will not encounter God by crossing the seas, because he is in our heart:
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:6-9, drawing from Deuteronomy 30:12-14, 16)