Problems of Disaffection |
by Father Yves le Roux
Accept no substitutes when it comes to protecting the souls of our kids and future generations. Do not be fooled by Protestant morality. It is a sell out that will lead to totally selling out! History confirms this fact!
In our carefree childhood we built wonderful houses of cards, but we felt sad and helpless when they collapsed. Years have passed, our childhood is gone and our adult vocation weighs upon our shoulders with heavy responsibilities. We have left behind the joys and sorrows of our childhood and have received in exchange the charge of our children's souls.
Yet, it seems that our childhood is not totally over, as sometimes we see the castles we build in the air collapse with the first breeze that comes along. It is not rare to have resounding failures regarding our children and see our young left miserably stranded, at the mercy of their passions. Is this shipwreck of our young inevitable? Should we remain untroubled and plead in our defense the harshness of the present times or the weakness of their souls?
We can only answer these questions by tearing down the masks that our modern age puts on to hide its true origins, which are satanic. We must reveal the revolutionary principles that animate it and repudiate them with force, but without making the fateful mistake of thinking that they affect only the political arena. The atmosphere we breathe daily is laden with revolutionary toxins that poison us without our knowing it.
First among these subversive toxins is the powerful illusion created by Protestantism, to which we must pay close attention. In certain areas, this heresy still maintains a certain moral severity that seems to be sound and, thus, unfortunately seductive. Its characteristic insistence on morals has deceived and led many Catholic minds astray.
In a world where morality is shamelessly trampled underfoot, Protestant moralism appears as a paragon of virtue when, in fact, it is its murderer! Protestant morality presents itself as an absolute, as the ultimate and self-sufficient reality. Yet a grave error hides behind this triumphalism. We must unmask it and see its dramatic consequences, because the present amorality is the natural offspring of Protestant "morality." If morality is an absolute, that is, independent from any other reality, it makes the arbitrary the unique foundation of man's life and opens the way to every manner of sordid deviation.
Catholic morality, on the other hand, rests on dogma. Morals are the incarnation of dogma in man's daily life, allowing man to attain his true dimension. Protestant "morality" stems from its erroneous conception of original sin and its disastrous consequences for human nature. According to Protestant doctrine, as expressed by Luther, human nature is not only wounded, but totally destroyed. Thus, for Protestants, nature cannot be healed by grace, for it has been irremediably wrecked and must therefore be utterly despised. Protestant “morality" does not respect the reality of nature, and thus it is no more than a set of arbitrary rules that is unable to reach man's interior. Even more, it is stifling, and man hastens to reject with horror its unbearable tyranny.
Catholic morality, for its part, respects man's native frailty and helps him to overcome his weakness that inclines him toward evil. Catholic morality recognizes that our wounded nature is powerless without grace, but also knows that grace rests on nature. Grace takes root in our nature, as the famous axiom says clearly: "Grace does not suppress nature, but elevates it." This is the greatness of Christian harmony, in which divine love seizes man at the very core of his being. In Protestantism, grace is only a pretense, a play on words, with no effect on nature, which remains forever overwhelmed by sin and must be kept in total quarantine.
Protestantism is a terribly pernicious revolutionary doctrine, for it seems to personify moral virtue, while it is no more than a deception. In that way, it surreptitiously attacks man by exposing human nature to public contempt. Is it not revealing that no bloody revolution has ever taken place in countries where Protestantism had previously established its hegemony? The revolutionary job had already been done by the Protestant heresy.
Unfortunately, this Protestant spirit has infiltrated even the Catholic world, contaminating it under the mendacious pretext of defending the morals so openly violated. We suffer from that influence and it would be easy to point out many spheres where our reactions are more Protestant than Catholic, as we will do in a future and more exhaustive study on Puritanism and its disastrous influence in our ranks.
Bearing in mind that these fatal principles have impregnated our modern world, let us answer our initial questions: Is the shipwreck of our young inevitable? Should we remain untroubled and plead in our defense the harshness of the present times or the weakness of their souls?
Certainly not! Our human nature is not so altered that we cannot do our part by relying on God's grace. But we must also be on guard against the error of expecting everything from God, entrenching ourselves in a fatalistic, "providentialist" attitude. Such a behavior would be the regrettable proof that we had let ourselves be ensnared by the poisonous atmosphere that we here denounce.
Indeed, the world possesses a rare power of seduction and it can fascinate a young, tender heart. But we have an excellent weapon of our own to protect and fortify our children's souls, so that Christ's charity will remain victorious over their sometimes violent inclinations. This weapon is our love.
The fascination that the world exerts may, at first, appear strange to us, Catholics, for is there in it anything but a vulgar display of brutality? Yet, the world must contain in itself an unusual force of attraction - one needs only consider its numerous spoils! This force can only be a depraved principle, because only a principle, even truncated, can display such a power of seduction. The present world is based on love, obviously false and grotesque, but a genuine center of attraction. For man, love is essential nourishment that strengthens his soul and gives it its profound significance. It is then easy to understand what disaster comes upon a soul when a corrupted love settles in. It is imperative, then, that we immerse our children's souls in a just and pure love.
A soul influenced at least a bit by Protestantism may not be able to grasp the role of that love, and will be inclined to conclude hastily that the subject does not matter much. It seems that it would be enough to condemn today's sensualism with strong words, and then turn to exclusively supernatural reasons to put out the fire that consumes the child's heart: This is not how it works! Nature abhors a void and all our best reasoning will not penetrate the souls of our children if they are not nourished by their parents' affection.
Affection is the only effective antidote to respond adequately to the seductions of the modern world. It is also the appropriate remedy to the disaffection of our young in respect to religion. The heart is made to love and is primarily and naturally directed toward one's parents. The latter are responsible for forming it and fulfilling their children's legitimate desires. This task is the essential duty of parents, who would gravely fail in their duty of state if they did not fulfill it, especially in the today's circumstances.
Affection is a form of benevolence that makes the lover give to the beloved the necessary means for his stability and to do this with gentleness, disinterestedness, courtesy and goodness. A grave fault in this virtue provokes some grave deficiencies in the child who suffers its consequences, deficiencies capable of bringing him to the brink of the eternal abyss. The absence of parental affection creates a great imbalance in the child's heart which needs, in order to find its just measure and live harmoniously, a simple, benevolent climate that will make it blossom. This early period of life is crucial, and the affection shown by the parents to the children is for the latter a never-ending source of steadiness in the somber hours of existence. As measure and balance are rare virtues nowadays, it is thus of the utmost importance to acquire them. Are they not the surest guarantee of fidelity?
The parents' love for their children is natural and quasi instinctive. Consequently, if parents are not moved by this affective attention to look after their offspring, they will nonetheless lean sentimentally on their children. Yet this sentimental love is wrongly called "love." It is, in fact, a blindness of passion that briefly produces fleeting, confused impulses in the heart of the one who feels it. This tenderness, sincere as it may be, has no value and cannot educate the child's heart. On the contrary, it only excites his urge for love, and the child who receives that sentimental effusion is left with the harmful impression that love is only a passing feeling that defies any kind of control, especially that of reason. This disordered act is particularly fatal for the child's education and predisposes him to future catastrophes, heavy with consequences for his life and eternity.
If the child is deprived of the genuine affection he should normally receive from his parents, he will seek to fill this void by inventing imaginary or impossible loves, which are short-lived and open to unfortunate and often sordid affairs, and where thoughtlessness takes a heavy toll on chastity. The child turned adult will keep in his heart an open and ever-festering wound, stemming from an initial pursuit of love unfortunately gone awry.
Children raised without any genuine affection are not prepared to overcome the pitfalls of the modern world - a world that champions profane love and exerts a terrible fascination on the souls insufficiently prepared for life's rough struggle through true love. Such attraction could have been easily avoided by the reception of pure and magnanimous parental love. But being unable to live without love, a man will turn to whichever false "love" is proposed to him, and, victim of a deadly deficiency, he will run aground on the shoals of life.
Parents have thus the grave duty to give true affection to their children in order to save them from the throes of vain love. A life laden with sentiments can in no way fill the affective vacuum created during childhood. On the contrary, it can only emphasize the initial imbalance. This essential affection must come forward in concrete and physical gestures, where honesty, purity and the uplifting of the soul particularly shine forth. The child must regularly feel his parents' presence beside him to guide, encourage and simply show him their love. These simple affectionate gestures ennoble the one who receives them, as they are laden with all the purity a father's or mother's heart can contain. They teach the child that our human nature, fragile from its very duality of body and soul, must be respected and considered as a whole. It would indeed be dangerous to neglect the soul or the body. Both must receive the sign of affection that contains the promise of future balance.
We foresee that some caustic criticism will come our way for writing this. Since the subject is of the highest importance, we do not hesitate to confront such criticisms.
The first one is peremptory: "You have no children. Who are you to talk about such a topic?" The answer is simple, and we allow ourselves a smile before answering. We are so entangled in materialistic conceptions that we think that only the concrete and personal experience of a situation allows us to understand it. If it were so, then, perhaps it should be better to let people with cancer cure one another, rather than to have recourse to doctors who are not themselves dying of cancer! Should we, in a similar manner, leave the education of children to the children themselves? Of course not! Then, who are we to speak of these matters? As priests, we know that all fatherhood comes from our Heavenly Father and that the priestly heart reproduces in his deepest being that fatherly love. It is said that a mother's heart is the most faithful mirror of God's heart. We dispute the validity of this saying when we assert that the true showcase of Christ's charity is the heart of the priest.
A new criticism, similar to the one just mentioned, asserts with force that the priest, when dealing with such a subject, exceeds his role. Really? It is actually amusing to hear this! Priestly fatherhood is a concrete reality that demands from us to descend into the arena to instruct souls and make up for some natural deficiencies that have an important impact on the supernatural domain.
Do we have to mention those objections that pretend that affection is just misplaced sensitivity, only good enough for some overflowing feminine sensitivity, or that it may be dangerous, being sensual? This seems to have been already answered when we said that affection is a powerful and particularly well-adapted means to repel the pernicious attacks of the world upon our children's souls. We have also emphasized that such affection, coming from fatherly and motherly hearts, can only be imbued with purity. Honesty and nobility are the natural ground for it to grow.
Parents should hear our call. It has a capital importance. Our children must acquire the profound convictions that alone will enable them to keep the Faith. These convictions will become theirs only when their hearts open to receive its imprint. Otherwise, we will have weak Christians utter from their lips shreds of truth that will only be vain formulae. This subject is far from being secondary. Man's nobility lies in his power to love. But parents still have to form that power!
In Christo Sacerdote et Maria,
Fr. Yves le Roux
For past feature articles , see Traditional Thoughts ARCHIVES