It should be all too obvious by now that tearing Christians apart is once again a spectator sport, as it was in Ancient Rome. Just as hypocritical cowards satisfied their deep hatred and utter distaste for Christians back then by watching lions rip innocent men, women, and children apart from the safety of their coliseum seats, so too hypocritical cowards today satisfy their deep revulsion and utter disgust of Christians today by watching the entertainment and news media slice and dice Christians and all that is sacred to them with nary a concern nor any hesitation. Just the other day Saturday Night Live, that clear reflection of current social norms, decided that it would be funny to insert an item mocking Christ, the fact that He was conceived while His Blessed Mother remained a Virgin and, indirectly, Christian’s belief in that Virgin conception, all in the course of thirty seconds. The gratuitous shot at Christians drew the typical laughter from an audience which has been well taught by this society that mocking Christianity and its beliefs is not only acceptable but, more often than not, a sign of being sophisticated and modern. Worse still, many of those in the front lines of that mockery either called themselves Christians at one time or, incredibly, still do!
Every disrespect, every mockery, of Christianity, is justified by some absurd rationalization or twisted logic. For Catholics, such offenses have become more and more frequent and common place. Whether it is the image of Our Lady made of dung, a crucifix in urine, or some scandalous play claiming Our Lord was a homosexual, such despicable offenses against our Catholic beliefs are justified as art. Vulgar statements or images are defended as freedom of expression. All of this while Catholics increasingly find that our own expressions and right to be heard and respected is minimized and marginalized. The abject hypocrisy and disrespect of this society toward what we hold sacred and, above all, toward Our Lord and His Mother is rampant, unmitigated, insolent, treacherous, and detestable.
So we live, in many ways, in an environment somewhat like that which Our Lord saw, where evil is right and right is evil, where mindless fools imagine themselves purveyors of morality and fairness, and where those in power scandalize our beliefs by even pretending to demonstrate any of them with any sincerity. Catholics helped elect a leader who is a true opponent of our faith, and so-called Catholic politicians just killed an effort to somewhat soften or mitigate the evil of that leader’s health mandate regarding contraception. Our faith is betrayed daily by traitors who proclaim themselves devout Catholics but are nothing but heretics who have sold their souls, and that of many followers, to evil in return for earthly gain.
We are followers of Christ and, as such, we must face the mockery, disrespect, suffering, rejection, and utter ignorance which characterizes those who would mock, criticize, or twist our faith pretending to speak and act in our name. Like our Master, we now have the opportunity to reject the subservient accommodation of our beliefs to the twisted notions and norms of this lost society. The cutting edge, the front lines, of our faith is not to be found in the comfort of a church or the convenience of our own homes. No, it is far from those things. If you really want to follow Christ, if you truly want to serve Him and know you are serving Him, continue to do your work in His Name until they begin to criticize and mock you for Christ, for when that occurs you have truly found the front lines of this struggle.
As Christians in general and Catholics in particular, we must realize that the path to salvation is paved with a faith and love etched through imitating Our Lord’s love and service. We must constantly remember that we have not really begun to serve God until our efforts are mocked, ridiculed, as which point we must double our efforts.
Perhaps, one day, Catholics in particular and Christians in general may find themselves physically persecuted. This has happened all over the world, and there is no reason to believe that it will stop anytime soon. In order to find salvation, we must first push the envelope of this society’s myopic view of the world which often requires us to choose between our beliefs and conscience.
Do not be afraid of suffering, nor too strongly embrace convenience, for these situations often keep you focused, disciplined, or on a necessary edge each day. Above all, remember that people of faith embrace suffering as the channel to drawing some portion of His sacrifice. If, on the other hand, you play everything safe and seek to avoid conflict or struggle, then you are evading your ultimate responsibility to your audience and to yourself.
Copyright, 2012 Gabriel Garnica