I am a poor choice to write about the wimpification of America and the world, but as they say, somebody has to do it. Yours truly included, we were especially wimpy during those aimless early years of the new spirituality of Vatican II, when the churches, replete with guitar, tambourine, and bongo masses, were emptying out. Most families began practicing zero attendance at church in those days save for Easter and Christmas ceremonies, a practice that many of us continue to this very moment. It is said that even George W. Bush, Protestant, followed an aimless path in the 60's and 70's and early 80's, and then he became President. It was a time of danger, because the Spirit of Vatican II blew up in our faces like an egg omelet, and we didn't even know it yet.
Shielded from realization of the planet-wide devastation, we believed that we were undergoing a new awareness, a new consciousness and voice stream, full of hope, a new plane of communication and talking point with the Almighty. We saw only a New Springtime, and some only see the vision of it still, maybe His Holiness included, those who wait patiently for the imminent arrival of a new age of love and harmony and equality and fraternity of all Mankind, where the peoples of all religions will come together and rejoice as the Brotherhood of Man, holding hands in solidarity and like mind, swaying to the beat of human enterprise, whilst waiting for the Kingdom of God to return. And we have seen a glimmer of it already in the Assisi meetings. Swami, Imam, voodoo witch doctors, Indian medicine men, animists. These persons have a dream, but in fact it's a mirage.
Now many holy people, and great saints, have learned to do good and be real men and women, practicing right before God, merely upon hearing the words that come from the mouth of God, which are found in many books as well as in the mouths of true missionaries. They never needed a Vatican II to jolt them, but come trouble or not, they knew how to behave, how to conduct their lives for the glory of Him for whom we live. Real movie heroes, dear friends, and more to the point, real life heroes, always have a purpose; they always know what to do. In contrast, wimps are the antithesis of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne and the like of secular 'Western' movies - and more importantly they are the antithesis of the saints - because wimps are always thinking about, me, me, me, what can be done for self. But to the main issue - it seems most every male in America has become wimpified, correct me if I am wrong. They are chasing after dreams and mirages and refusing to face the reality that Hell is hot.
The wimp is a man who always wants more for himself, deep down being afraid of everything, always taking offence, never truly kind and courteous, at least not for the love of it, wondering why he doesn't have more, never being satisfied with less, in regards to women, desiring 'conquest', pretending to be good, but actually quite a baddie, gotta have a king-sized SUV or truck just like the little one he pushed in the sand when he was a toddler, pernicious, not taking responsibility, blaming the other guy, discourteous on the road, in the shopping mall, in any public place, at home, maybe cursing like the notorious Ozbourne family, wanting to be entertained, looking for a spectacle, rubbernecking at the 'bad' accident on the Interstate, short-changing the Church, giving the kids the 'chance to be themselves', worrying about their smoking but not their chastity, doing just enough but never more, feeling that godliness stops with weekly church attendance, leaving it to someone else to keep our nation(s) strong.
This would be my definition of a wimp, dear ladies and gentlemen, and most all of us men fit it, particularly the white males, I'm sorry to say. Although we led the industrialization of the world, we are now leading the second fall of Rome (and I mean that both in the historical and ecclesial sense). It is the reason why I can't get too angry at the Japanese and Korean auto commercials on TV although they are always denigrating white men. Like the Honda commercial that shows the guy using his baby son as a mop to wipe a water spot off his new Honda. Or the Mitsubishi commercial that shows kooky white people whose heads are bobbing and swaying to the sexy music. Or Britney in her floozy dance numbers, as well as movies and billboards, that lately show blondes swarming over African-American males. And for that matter, an abundance of African-American males, from OJ to Tiger, skirt-chasing after blondes, clueless ne'er-do-wells who are bent on conquest. Can you blame them? It testifies against the many wimps, particularly among white men. We had coming what we've gotten, as we've written elsewhere in We Reap what We Sow. We are not men, almost all of us are not, we are certainly not role models, and it has gotten so bad that I think it might take a miracle to break out of the rut. They call the World War II generation 'the greatest generation'. Not quite, because that generation was the setup for what we are experiencing today. They were better than us in a way, except that they did not guard the future. Now, the task lies before us not only to break out of the rut but to change the future.
Which brings us to Catholic action. Everything we need to know has already been written; there is nothing that is now written that hasn't been written before. The Gospel is of all time, it always was, is, and always will be. And good versus evil has existed since the time of satan's rebellion and fall, and from Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. Hence we know all we need to distinguish right from wrong, and where we are not sure, we have the Counselor, the Holy Ghost, Who is the Paraclete, to guide us. He governs our Church perfectly; the problem is that the people of our time don't want to listen. 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear!' Jesus commanded us.
Was it the Holy Ghost who said to tear down the Tabernacles and the High Altars since 1965? Sodomite ex-archbishop Rembert Weakland said it was fine and dandy to do this, but did the Holy Ghost concur? Did the Holy Ghost say it was ok to go easy on pedophiles plying their trade? Was it He that allowed many seminaries to become synagogues of sodomy? Could it really have been Him that recommended the bongo and tambourine masses, the middle-aged female cantors wearing short skirts and go-go boots, and elderly ladies in pants suits distributing the Communion wafers? Did the Counselor emphatically state that we should not be overtly concerned about gaining indulgences and going to Confession regularly? Did He ask that Latin be eliminated from the life of the Church, or that the Tridentine Mass should be forgotten? Did the Holy Ghost direct us to supplant the work of the Church toward the salvation of souls with social activism and feel-good prayer meetings of the charism? If He did, then I think it's really a funny Holy Ghost that guides us. Because the results of these actions speak for themselves. In a few short decades, Roman Catholics have become a people with almost no knowledge of the Catechism, lacking men of heroic character, and contributing to a society aimless in direction, wallowing in immorality, resplendent with wimps in both America and throughout the world.
Although arguably 'generation y', those young adults coming of legal age, are hardly any better than older folks with respect to wimpiness, the tragedy is that they can scarcely be blamed. They have no one mortal to teach them right, except a few devout souls who are few and far between. It would take a real miracle of the Holy Ghost or some great saint, or perhaps a particularly assertive guardian angel, to bring up the young people well without some help and guidance by mortal men. And this is the great problem: unless there is a critical mass of goodness, which is lacking in both the present generation that is in power now, and in the training of the next, the world will keep spiraling downward, and downward still more, until it crashes and burns. 'Well', the reader may say, 'All well and good. Then everything will be renewed and will return to God.'
And 'tis so, you are right dear reader, but the problem is I wouldn't want to be of the generation responsible for the world crashing and burning, because God will not forget that the state of things has become so dismal, and He is the Righteous Judge. Sins of omission lead to hell just as easily as sins of commission. To not take strong action when issues are clearly awry will absolutely lead to dire results; it results in further disorder, and a sense of hopelessness. Since we will all die sometime, these points should be considered carefully.
And so what to do? In the first place we cannot clean up the acts of others until we clean up our own. And to do so in a timely manner is urgent, because if we are not careful we will spend our entire lives cleaning up our own act and never get to the point of helping others. A year goes by and we're not where we want to be with our own lives, and then two, then a decade, then two decades, and then a whole lifetime! And we will have wasted it, burying our talent in the sand. Woe to us, a lazy and wicked generation! We must be supermen, and by that I mean not flying around like a comic book hero, but superhuman in the sense of using a superabundance of supernatural graces, that are always freely available to us so long as we live and ask God for them, in order to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and start flying. And by fly I mean in the sense of knowing God and loving Him and have it show in everything we do. It means that we are at the point where most every one of our actions could be put under a microscope, could be as a light shining on a hill, and it would do us no embarrassment, but rather would do Jesus honor.
Are we at that stage? Each of us must answer this question for ourselves. And if we are not at the stage where we might venture to bear good fruit, what is our plan to arrive at this stage rapidly? Most likely we will need some guidance. The humble man (and woman for that matter) accepts help and guidance from those who are in authority. And these include the priests and religious, who speak as from the very mouth of God, the organ and oracle of the Lord.
Now occasionally a priest or religious writes to me about something I say in these posts. Often complimentary, but sometimes with correction. I listen to them, because it is as though God is speaking. And I try to honor them, and in so doing honor God. God's priests are holy, and He takes great offence when we do not diligently heed their warnings and corrections. They are there for our good, and we will never stop being wimps if we do not understand this concept. Jesus said: 'They sit in Moses' seat, and you must do everything they tell you.' The same with confessors and spiritual directors, we must heed their warnings and carefully consider their advice. And if we don't at first, but later think better of it and realize that we should have done as they told us, we should immediately set out to do what they mentioned in the first place. For example, all of us have little crosses to bear, and we should bear them with joy and thanksgiving that the Lord has found us worthy to have these small crosses. When a priest tells us to rejoice in little crosses, or at least to bear them patiently, we must; it is God speaking. Then we will be found worthy before God, at least in such matters, and it will be credited to us as merit. And I can tell you something: most all of our problems today can be attributed, they can be traced back, to little conflicts in our lives, within our families, at work, even between people at church and other places, that get out of hand. This must not be so! Let a slight go, let he who has more have it. Give the burden to Christ on the Cross, and rejoice, don't put on a pouting face! God does not like pouters, and it is a waste of time. Neither does He like those who think they are better than the others, like the Pharisee who prayed about himself in the synagogue. As Saint Paul tells us, 'Why not rather be wronged?' The Apostle counted all things of this world as rubbish, compared to the unsurpassed glory of Christ Jesus and knowing Him.
Now that is not to say that we should treat the wrong as a right. Knowing what is sin, discernment of right from wrong, is highly important, and we must instill these lessons in our children. But the real man walks away from an argument; he lets the other person have the last word. Should however someone come up to us and ask our opinion, and also with respect to those under our guidance, children and students and so on, we must tell them the right things to do - it's part of our job! And we, like God, must be merciful when they don't listen to us, giving them a second chance, a third if necessary, and maybe more if prudence allows it. Instruction must be given firmly, but not as though we know everything, because we don't. None of us are God, and we will all die and be judged, and that, sooner than we think. Every day should be lived as though we were about to die and be judged by God, because in fact we are. We all make mistakes, and so we should be mild in attempting to help or instruct others. After all, we might discover later that we are wrong in what we say, and all of us are at different stages. In cases of those not under our authority, the best teaching is most certainly by example rather than berating a poor soul, the latter of which I've seen time and again over the Internet between so-called 'Catholics'.
Yes, there are missionaries who do go out and preach the Word, and we thank God for them, but it is not presumptuous on their part because Jesus told them to, and because true missionaries have authority from the Church. For the rest of us, in the case of communicating with those not under our authority, but who might be acquaintances or friends, setting a good example is both wise and prudent. People are always looking for someone to model their lives after, and with respect to Christians, not just Jesus and the saints, whose words we have, but also someone of everyday life so that they can see how to live even in mundane circumstances, reinforcing what the Lord told us. In the person who leads a godly life, others will see the imitation of Christ, so necessary and yet so rare nowadays.
And so dear friends, we must resolve to be wimps no longer. A few wimps will get to Heaven, to be sure, by the grace of God, but they will just make it in the door before it is shut, as one escaping the flames. They will live in the lowest part of Heaven. And we are all wimps presently, let us admit it, because we have not done enough to preserve the Holy Faith, our Church, and our future. Saint Francis tells us: 'Let us begin to work, because up until now we have done little or nothing.' Most certainly, up until now we have not only done almost nothing positive but in fact we have regressed in our transgression. As a holy man once said, 'the only real progress is in the elimination of sin', yet our sins have multiplied in recent generations. Let us face the music: the world is in an awful state, and it is a direct result of the weakness of the Church at the present time, that is, her members are weak. There have been few heroic examples for us recently, among those widely known I can think only of Padre Pio and Sister Lucia. And I daresay, most among the unknown persons of the past who have lead heroic lives are dead and buried. We must discover how to be men (and women) all over again, and the first place to look is the Catechism, I think the Baltimore one, the writings of the saints, and the Gospel. We cannot live our faith until we know it, and knowing it, let us live it as though our lives and the lives of others depended upon it, because they do.
Súscipe, quæsumus, Dómine, preces pópuli tui cum oblatiónibus hostiárum,
Receive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people with the offerings of sacrifices.