In a situation of the world so serious that there are even rumours of Japan’s recent peacetime disaster, with its estimated 27,000 people dead, being not an act of God but an act of man (look up HAARP tsunami on the Internet), what can a Catholic do to save his soul? In all truth he cannot do much for the world, but the very least he can do for himself is watch, or stay awake.
It is Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane who puts watching, i.e. keeping our eyes open and not falling asleep, even in front of praying (Mt. XXVI,41). The reason is obvious. If, like Peter, James and John, I do not keep watch (Mt.XXVI,43), I will cease to pray, maybe, as in their case, when Our Lord most needs it. How many Catholics in the 1950’s and 1960’s, especially the clergy, were not watching the signs of the times in Church and world, and so were caught completely on the wrong foot by Vatican II? That is why “Eleison Comments,” as “Letters from the Rector” used to do, are constantly turning on economics and politics, to get Catholics to wake up to their religion and its demands, far outweighed by its promises (I Cor. II,9).
Thus an expert on Wall Street (see JSmineset.com, March 30, 2011) may say, “The financial system is screwed up beyond repair. On top of that there is no desire to repair anything because the wise guys know it is impossible. It is the world that the flushing of Lehman has created. It is not a brave new world” . . . Jim Sinclair says it does not matter how much “funny money,” as one can call it, the central banks go on creating . . .”The damage is done and there is no solution . . . please get physically self-reliant” (his words, my underlining).
Still, even Traditional Catholics are being tempted to doze off, not to say fall asleep. Here are two recent testimonies. The first is from a teacher in a Traditional school:— “I feel awfully alone in the battle, not the battle with external enemies in the world, but the battle inside the Society of St Pius X, which is being waged with such subtlety that nobody seems aware of it. It is the same as it was in the mainstream Church in the 1960’s, the same slow gradual shift in behaviour.”
The second comes from an inside observer of today’s Traditional Catholic scene in the USA:— “ It appears to me that Catholic militancy is declining. I see many Traditional Catholics, especially family fathers, accepting the ways of the world. The fight is no longer important to them. They are happy to have their beautiful Mass on Sunday, but on Monday send their children to public school. Each November they go out and vote for the lesser of two evils, watch (conservative?) Fox News and declare the (conservative?) Republican Party to be the answer to all of the world’s problems. In my humble opinion this lack of militancy is becoming more and more pervasive in the Traditional Catholic world. Are we (the laity) returning to the same set of circumstances that led to Vatican II? Is the Sunday Catholic now the predominant majority in the Traditional movement? I’m afraid that the answer to both of these questions may be, yes.”
For is it not so much easier to give up trying to swim against today’s current, so much cosier to fall into the arms of Sleep? The very least one can do for oneself is throw out that television set.