Comfort to believers
A few days ago, the Catholic Church celebrated the feast day of 16 Discalced Carmelite nuns who had been executed at Compiègne at the height of the French Revolution.
What crime can a group of cloistered nuns have committed against the new order to deserve the guillotine? Their accusers decreed that they had been “fanatical” in their adherence to their faith. Today, they would necessarily be called “fundamentalist”!
Many Catholics harbour the false conviction that in today’s secularist world they would be left alone to carry on with their lives if they sort of “lie low”, that is, refuse to go too public or be too assertive about their faith and the values they believe in. Secularists and all those who are set out to de-Christianise society will have none of this even though it is hard for them to admit this, even to themselves.
The “sole thought” that pervades Western society refuses to accept opposition. It is a “sole thought” where God is firmly told that His eternal laws are passé and have no business in an enlightened world.
The very fact that there could be those who, for example, believe that a child should be conceived solely as a result of conjugal relations between a man and a woman within the context of marriage and that abortion is murder at whatever stage of gestation, is enough to whip up antagonism and deep hostility.
All this is reminiscent of the condition that Christians found themselves in during the first three centuries after Christ’s death and resurrection. Why did the pagan world feel threatened by the adherents to the new faith to the point of fiercely persecuting them? The most obvious reason was the refusal of Christians to worship and accord divine status to the reigning emperor.
However, besides this, there were other reasons that made the Roman world regard Christians as the enemies of the state to be hounded out with whatever means necessary.
Today, secularists delight in defining themselves as being “progressive” and those contrary to their views as being “conservative”. What the former refuse to concede is that the views that they embrace were the norm before the coming of Christ.
Divorce, the killing of the innocent, born or unborn, rampant homosexual behaviour were accepted as ordinary in the pagan society of 2,000 years ago. It is only with the coming of Christ that the prevalent values were turned upside down, thus incurring the hostility of the society of the time.
From now onwards, the pure of heart will see God, the meek will inherit the earth, women are not to be treated as chattels anymore to be sent away at their husbands’ whim and every human being, including those for whom society has no consideration whatsoever, is endowed with the dignity of a child of God.
Adhering to these values is to be truly progressive and on the right side of history!
It is sad to reflect that secularists have learned very little from history, especially that pertaining to those such as Voltaire, the French revolutionaries, Hitler, Stalin, etc, who had vowed to vanquish Christ and His teachings. Believers, on the other hand, despite their failings and sinfulness, live with the certainty that, despite everything, the last victory will be Christ’s.
Their thoughts turn to Julian the Apostate, a fourth-century Roman emperor who had vowed to reintroduce the pagan order in the empire after Constantine’s Edict of Milan, which allowed Christians to freely practise their faith.
He even maliciously attempted to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem to bring Christ’s prophecy to nought. He failed and his alleged last desperate cry before dying – “The victory is yours, O Galilean” – has echoed throughout the centuries, a grim reminder to those who today can be politically incorrectly termed as “the enemies of the Cross” and a source of great comfort to believers.