Archive for February, 2009

Recognizing and Fighting Real Evil

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

 

February 1, 2009

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dt 18: 15-20: 1 Cor 7: 32-35 ;Mk 7:21-28

Dc. Larry Brockman

“The devil made me do it”- a line from Flip Wilson’s old Reverend Leroy character.  We used to laugh, because of the hypocrisy- excusing one’s personal actions by placing the blame on the devil.  At least there was recognition of the devil and evil.  What is worse, is acting like there is no devil by excusing evil, and ignoring it.   

In our society today, collective consciences have been dulled, dulled by the acceptance of everybody as they are, and the idea that everyone has the freedom to choose, and that you can’t, and shouldn’t, legislate morality.  The argument against legislating morality is this:  “Let them do their thing;  They will have to suffer the consequences of their own actions; I shouldn’t judge others; and I don’t need to get involved.”  So, we collectively seem to look the other way when a line needs to be drawn, a line that defines when something becomes evil and adverse to society as a whole.  And even when our consciences tell us there is evil, we are all so busy with the activities and people in our own lives, we find it hard to marshal our resources and fight evil collectively and effectively.   

Last weekend was a notable exception.  The parish collected nearly 3000 postcard sets to send our Congress in a collective fight against the Freedom of Choice Act.  We can all be proud of that- Congratulations.  But the war against evil doesn’t end with one battle.  It goes on and on.  God knows that; and so, he sends us Prophets.  As we recall Moses words today, recognize that they are meant just as much for you and I as they were meant for the Israeli people.   

The Old Testament is the recorded history of a repeated cycle of events.  The people came to the Lord in times of Crisis and a perceived evil, and God provided for thewm, and so, the Israelis prevailed.  Then they experienced prosperity.  That was followed by the people abandoning God’s will for them, because they were self absorbed by their prosperity and didn’t think they needed God or his will.  So along came the words of warning by a new set of prophets.  The Israeli people then lost prosperity as evil crept back.  They finally listened to the prophets, but only after experiencing ruin.  And then the cycle repeated itself.   

We are no different.  After decades of prosperity since the great Depression, we are being told that a hard time is coming.  And so, we need to listen to the modern day prophets.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking about the prophets of financial gloom and doom, although there is certainly some truth in what they say.  Rather, I’m talking about the prophets of the Lord.  The Church has many such prophets- our Pope and Bishops.  You see, the root of our problem comes in moral decay, and we need to listen to the prophets that address it.   

The evidence of moral decay is overwhelming- rampant lust driven by Pornography; gay marriage driven by a lack of understanding of God’s natural law; and we all know that our financial crisis was fueled by greed.  And that greed fed all kinds of selfish behavior- lying, embezzlement, opulent living, etc..  Where did all of this selfish behavior come from?  The prophets of the Lord are speaking loud and clear, but are we listening. 

Consider this:  If we are a God fearing nation, then the Right to Life argument makes sense.  If you don’t believe in God, why would you care if a person in the womb was another human being?  The thing that matters is your convenience- that is the ultimate good, not God’s will.  That’s why it’s called pro-Choice, because choice for the individual is what matters, not God’s will. 

Now you might think that this kind of thinking on abortion doesn’t have far reaching implications. But it does.  It leads to assisted suicide, because that’s what some think is best for them; and it leads to Euthanasia, because that’s what some think is best for their suffering or for very old person’s family or finances.  Historians tell us that the same process occurred in Germany as Hitler rose to power.  First came the abortions, then Euthanasia, and then this kind of thinking led to the horrific holocaust, because the people in power decided that they, not God, knew how the ultimate strong society could be evolved.  It also led to separation of children from their parents, because the state knew better how and what children needed to be taught.   

Can it happen here?  Oregon and Washington already have laws that foster “choice” for assisted Suicide, and California has adopted a first step toward Euthanasia.  Our country cannot say prayers in the schools; our president and the majority of Congress favor Pro-Choice, and the public school system suppresses anything that doesn’t recognize secular teaching on evolution.  Yes, it can happen here.   

In fact, the voices of those who are pro-choice, evolutionists, and atheists sound very much like the possessed person in today’s Gospel.  They sound like this:  “What have you to do with us, you Christians, you are trying to destroy us”?  And then comes the follow up argument:  “Leave us alone”.  Well, the time has come for all of you to be concerned.  You need to help cast these demons out of those who deny God, His law, and His will.  And your efforts must be as relentless as theirs.  Make no mistake about it.  There is a devil, and there is evil, absolute evil, not “it depends” and “it’s relative”.  The evil needs to be met with authoritative teaching like what our Church is telling us.   

One of the great things about this country is that we still have the power to make things happen with our collective voice.  The country wanted economic change.  We are going to get it, for better or worse.  But I sincerely believe the country did not vote for a pro-choice change, euthanasia, and a movement away from “One nation under God” to accommodate a minority.  You all have the power to make a moral change.  But that power comes by relentless action to live the will of God and profess it with your votes. 

Let it never happen, that some day you ever say  “The devil made me do it.”