By David M. Carollo –
Our World Is Like an Amusement Park Ride
When I was young growing up in Chicago, my parents occasionally took us to Riverview, an amusement park on the north side of the city. The rides were thrilling to a 5-year-old who eagerly followed his dad on any adventure. The parachute jump was awesome. As you sat on the bench, it slowly raised up and then, from what seemed to be a mile in the air, released. The parachute then deployed, allowing you to float to the ground. Riverview was never destined to put Disney out of business, but it provided great memories for many of us who grew up in the 1960s.
Another ride at the park, The Rotor, comes to mind as I write this article. It was a simple design – a circular rotating compartment which spun at a pace at which centrifugal force pinned the riders against the wall before the floor dropped out, leaving us pasted to the wall with feet dangling for what seemed to be an hour. In reality, the ride only lasted a few minutes. This ride is symbolic of our world today.
As participants in civil society, it feels as though the bottom has dropped out and we are pinned against the wall, helplessly immobile while our world is redefined, unable or unwilling to fight the tide. No one entered the rotor involuntary and in fact, we enjoyed the helpless feeling that accompanied the adventure. In the real world however, we cannot dangle, unconcerned about the trajectory of our society. We need to be proactive in fighting the anti-culture which not only demands that we accept the rejection of our history and of natural law itself, but that we embrace this redefinition or face the consequences.
The Work of God is Final
We are taught to hate the sin but love the sinner. We hate sin because it offends God and disrupts the natural order. We hate the sin because persisting in sin leads to the ultimate destruction of the sinner and eternal loss for them. We hate sin because we acknowledge that we are guilty also, and that only repentance gives us the chance of redemption. It is for this reason that we cannot stand by blissfully happy that we are pinned against the wall unable or unwilling to respond to this upheaval.
The narrative today is being formed by the proponents of redefinition, often referring to objections as no longer relevant and a settled issue. Changing the physical basis of life itself has not–and never can be–altered. That issue was settled long ago by God at creation. We are created in His image and cannot change that. Why would we even consider deviating from the image of perfection that we were molded after? No referendum or government edict can override the work of God.
We Can Change Things for the Better
In any system of representative government, the people are poised to alter the course of governmental actions through the electoral process. This, however, requires citizens to be alert and thoroughly vet candidates and issues, and to vote accordingly. A properly formed conscience directs us to support those things and people who respect the laws of God and to reject those that do not. Eternal vigilance is the cost of freedom in any society. Being lost in the constant whirlwind of entertainment and daily obligations, we lose sight of this. Spinning about with feet dangling, accepting helplessness, is not a Catholic response to the world. Looking the other way because we have strayed in our faithfulness is not acceptable. In fact, we who have been brought back to proper thinking and action through the grace of God and the reception of His Sacraments have an even greater obligation to stand up and be counted. The past is the past and leading as many as will hear to a future in accordance with the will of God is our goal. This is the charge given to us by Our Lady at Fatima.
Stay the Course Set by God
Uncertainty rules the day and we as Catholics lament a lack of leadership on issues which should be clarified, but we know the course. Political change can be made by the will of the people, although rule by whim is dangerous. Therefore, we have a constitution which limits rule by emotion and requires a much higher threshold for major change. Church teaching on moral issues, however, is unchangeable. Any notion that this is acceptable is false. There is no better constitution than the laws of God. Any electoral choice that violates or diminishes this is wrong. Our society was built on adherence to this principle.
We were warned at Fatima that a time could come when practices and fashions would be offensive to God. Today we are expected to accept as a new normal things that are contrary to the very basis of our Faith. Like the riders pasted to the wall of The Rotor, we are to laugh and enjoy the ride. No chance. Our culture is at stake. The souls of countless people are at stake. The very soul of the nation is at stake. It is only through true contrition and repentance, accompanied by reparation, that we reconcile with God. His laws are not on a sliding scale that moves toward our desires but are the rock-solid Truth that never changes. Pontius Pilate asked Our Lord “what is truth?” He was asking Truth Incarnate this question.
Sometimes I long for the simple days of childhood and the secure feeling that my parents were guarding us from the attacks of evil. They often spoke of days to come when we would need to stand up and be counted as our beliefs would be attacked from all corners. These days have arrived, and we must be strong and trust in the protection of Our Lady. St. Louis de Montfort spoke of these times and how an army of devoted souls would be raised to stand as a defense against the enemies of the Faith. Let us be counted among that number and not be pasted against the wall awaiting the end of the ride.
God bless you and Mary keep you in her Immaculate Heart.
David M. Carollo is the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA/National Blue Army Shrine. He wrote this for his Voice of Fatima column.