The Wicked and the Foolish
Shakespeare warned in Macbeth that "something wicked this way comes" and we would be foolish to think it is fiction. The crisis in today's world proves the Bard was on to something and we will be as well if we discern "to be or not to be" among those who relish wickedness or among those who practice virtue. The truly foolish would opt for the former, the fools for Christ would choose the latter.
"Being a true follower of Christ and a true Catholic is very much about not just accepting mockery, ridicule, persecution, and hatred, but actually embracing it as giving back to The Divine Savior a fraction of what He endured for us. Every time we are attacked for the sake of Christ, we step closer to His Cross and our eternal home. Let us all strive to be 'fools for Christ.' Let us seek a Heavenly King in a cave and not a palace, follow a Carpenter and not a Pharisee for moral guidance, and find our Savior on a cross and not a golden earthly throne!"
There is a certain sign that one is walking on the path to Christ and eternal salvation. While this sign is not a guarantee by any means since our free will, human weakness, and sinful nature may spoil our journey, it is nevertheless a positive and comforting sign that one is at least facing our Divine Savior. Isaiah 53: 12 and Luke 23:37 mention that The Messiah was to be counted among the wicked and that should be our expectation given this world and society.
This World's Judgment is Not God's
By now it should be painfully obvious that the judgments of this world have very little if any relation to those of God. This world has slowly but surely defaced its moral visage to the point that very little of its present face resembles that of God in content, expression, interpretation, or application. One need only look at what is popular, accepted, encouraged, promoted, sought, admired, and even adored in this culture and society to realize that truth and virtue and deception, distortion, corruption and sin have traded places. It is becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible to please this world while pleasing God. In fact, the shortest distance to pleasing this society seems to be by displeasing God Almighty!
Wickedness is Now Virtue
This society admires those who seek and manipulate power and wealth for their personal agenda. Such people are called shrewd and creative. Likewise, those who pursue pleasure at all costs are the envy of many who wish that they could do likewise. The murder of innocents young and old is clothed as noble freedom and compassion.
We hear from the power elite how barbarians who butcher the unborn are actually compassionate angels who care. Sin and perdition is now sold and bought as tolerance and inclusiveness. Truly it can be said that much of present virtue is a sham, the ultimate moral fraud.
Virtue is Now Wickedness
This society now demonizes anyone who conjures religious and moral causes for their actions and words. Loving admonition has become hate speech. Any shepherd seeking to embrace lost sheep is now painted as a divisive radical seeking to enslave everyone in his own twisted beliefs. The so-called Red States, presumably representing moral and virtuous thinking, are depicted as ignorant and intolerant. We hear miles of talk as to how God and Christ are about love and peace and accepting this and that behavior and conduct. Anyone claiming only one road to salvation is represented as evil and destructive. Truly it can be said that good is now evil.
History Repeats Itself
This inverted moral chaos is nothing new or shocking to those who listen to history. Were not the early Christians seen as evil, destructive radicals who had to be eliminated?
Do not just causes such as The Crusades suffer from very negative present interpretations by scholars? Is not someone like Pius XII treated like some dangerous criminal? Are not religious people scoffed and depicted as evil and divisive radicals? Were not religious mistreated at every revolutionary turn? It is clear that it is the lot of those who follow Christ to be counted among the wicked just as the Master was.
The Badge of Humble Service
The only sure path to truth and salvation lies in wearing the badge, the label of wickedness in humble embrace if that wickedness is being counted with Christ. The New Order throws that label on those who follow Christ hoping to either isolate them or cause them to surrender their loyalty. If Christ shows us His wounds and reminds us that He received these marks for us, can we then show our Jesus the wounds that this society has inflicted on us and tell Him that we took those marks for Him? We must not only seek and embrace to bear such marks for Christ, but beyond that actually see those wounds as symbols of our dedication, of our membership in the only club that really matters.
Being Fools for Christ
St. Francis once said, "The Lord told me to be a fool and a simpleton, the like of which was never seen before." Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently exhorted conservative Christians to be "a fool for Christ". Whenever this society and world are not painting true Catholics as wicked and destructive, they choose to mock them as foolish and ignorant. Imbeciles like Jesse Ventura, Ted Turner and Bill Maher describe religious people as simple-minded morons who gullibly buy fairy tales. Such is the lot of those who look to God for guidance and obedience. Were not Noah, Moses, Abraham, John the Baptist, St. Francis, Thomas More, and every saint conceivable seen as fools?
Did not the crowds burst in mockery when Bernadette spread mud on her face at Lourdes? Do not people still look at someone wearing ashes on their forehead as if they had a head, or brain injury? Above all, does this society not see voluntarily walking around in poverty, working as a carpenter and unjustly dying on a cross as the height of foolishness? It should not be surprise that April Fool's Day is usually near Good Friday by a few days or weeks since this society views Good Friday as a day celebrated by mindless fools. In the end, the greatest gift that God Almighty can give us is the privilege and honor to be ridiculed, mocked, criticized, and persecuted for following Christ, for from those ashes of secular trash rises the sacred gold of eternal salvation.
Christ reminded us in John 15:5 that "Without Me you can do nothing" and Corinthians tells us that "Divine Folly is wiser than the wisdom of man."
Being a true follower of Christ and a true Catholic is very much about not just accepting mockery, ridicule, persecution, and hatred, but actually embracing it as giving back to The Divine Savior a fraction of what He endured for us. Every time we are attacked for the sake of Christ, we step closer to His Cross and our eternal home.
Let us all strive to be 'fools for Christ.' Let us seek a Heavenly King in a cave and not a palace, follow a Carpenter and not a Pharisee for moral guidance, and find our Savior on a cross and not a golden earthly throne!
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.