By David Carollo –
When there is difficulty and uncertainty we turn to prayer. We hope to solve our issues and find the way back to normalcy. On Sept. 11, 2001, and for the weeks that followed, the churches were full as people came to comprehend the unthinkable occurrence of that day and to petition God for our nation. Our once safe and somewhat impenetrable facade was shaken at its core. I attended a mid-day Mass that day. In the chapel where 15 to 20 people normally attended, there was an overflow crowd. I thought to myself, ‘this is good and perhaps we all will come to realize that only God has the answer to our problems.’ Only He could allay our fears. We soon forgot, however, and fell back into complacency. More seriously, we fell further into indifference towards moral decay and the resultant lack of diligence that was the foundation for what happened then.
Let us return to normal, we prayed. Normal, however, had been on a sliding scale for some time and has moved even more since then. Normal, as we now define it, is offensive to God. How can we sincerely petition heaven to allow us to return there? In 1917, Our Lady warned us at Fatima that we were living as a society in defiance of the laws of Almighty God. How many things that have become normalized today would have been unthinkable 103 years ago? This continued drift away from God had begun many years before her admonitions at Fatima. Adherence to divine teaching now seems a distant memory, or worse, not even a remote part of our psyche. God carved His laws in stone and imprinted them in our hearts; they are not changeable. There is no sliding scale of morality, such as we have come to accept.
In the interest of harmony, we have long forgotten our responsibility to admonish the sinner, and as a result, what was wrong has become “right.” What was unthinkable and immoral has become tolerated, and now, accepted. Many of these things are now the dominant force of societal action and definition.
We can never expect to coexist peacefully with evil, yet we fooled ourselves into believing it would never come to dominate our society and break down the institutions that are the foundation of our very civilization. So many are now shocked at what is happening throughout this country. But those who are shocked have either not been paying attention, or have chosen to hide from the reality that our way of life and the resulting freedoms we enjoy are being diminished daily. To think that it is only happening somewhere else in the world is no longer possible.
I think of the things that were once out of the realm of Christian and even civil thought that are now championed as necessary for our way of life. Abortion up to the day of birth and beyond, irregular unions, divorce and remarriage outside of the blessings of the Church. These can never be accepted. We even see pedophilia creeping into “normal” with its “Love has no age” slogan and drag queen story hours, with which many parents seem to have no problem. Do we admonish the sinner with charity so as to bring them back to a life of grace? If not, we do not truly love them as we must. We are obliged to stand for the rights of God and to work tirelessly for the salvation of souls.
We can and we must fight back with every bit of energy that we can muster. We must pray with more zeal than ever before so that God will pour the grace of conversion down on this sinful nation. We must as a nation, like the people of Nineveh put on the sackcloth and ashes, adopt a disposition of penance and ask for forgiveness for our sins. We must be fighters in this battle against God and His commandments. Nothing short of this will win the war.
It all begins with prayer. Many initiatives aimed at good results in the upcoming elections are good and beneficial, but they are hollow if there is not a commitment to continue the fight long afterwards, all the way until the end of our lives. We must work for the triumph of the rights of God with unceasing energy. Our Lady expects nothing less from her children. Accepting as normal our current tolerance for sin will not only lead us further away from God, but will eventually bring us to destruction as a society and put many in danger of losing God forever. The enemy has as his goal the total destruction of Christian society. Those causing the disruption in the country today openly state that this is their goal.
The imperfections of our nation’s founders are regularly highlighted these days as part of a political narrative that refuses to acknowledge that it is God who should correct these imperfections. The United States matured into a nation dedicated to the cause of righteousness and a great quantity of American blood was spilled defending others. The selflessness of previous generations seems to be just a memory today, and if some have their way, it will be totally removed from historical accounts.
The First Saturdays devotion that Our Lady gave us will lead to the triumph of the Immaculate Heart that she promised. Our commitment must extend well beyond November. Evil will not cease on November 4th. It will intensify its attacks no matter the electoral outcome. Pray that people with their eye on the prize of justice for the rights of God will prevail, and then be committed to supporting a return to morality.
Within weeks of September 11th church attendance had returned to the historic lows that had become the norm. The downward trend has continued these past 19 years. Deprivation of the sacraments during the present time of crisis has reduced these numbers even more. With churches only partially opened and the obligation to attend Mass suspended, it will have a long-term effect on Catholic spirituality. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but often absence makes the heart grow wonder. Do you hunger deeply for the nourishment that is only available in the sacraments? For many the hunger is not there. We need to instill in the faithful that hunger once again.
When we cry, “Oh Lord, spare us from our sins,” we need to think of His words to the woman, “Go and sin no more.” The ability to turn things back is in our hands. Are you in it for the long haul? If not, we will certainly see the destruction of our society. If yes, we will stand victorious as at Lepanto in 1571. Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us. Our Lady of Fatima guide us in our mission.
God bless you.
David Carollo is the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA.