Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Annual Lenten Attack

I'll have only been Catholic for five years (the anniversary is this week!), but there's one thing that I've come to expect from Lent and Easter and this year certainly didn't "disappoint."  I say "disappoint" in quotations because in a way this particular facet of these important seasons are very disappointing indeed, but they occur like clockwork, as all that is evil in our world ramps up the attacks on those who believe in Christ and on his Church every Lenten season.

Some years they are slightly more successful in the media blitz portion of the campaign than others.  Remember the year (it wasn't all that long ago) when they shoved Obamacare down our throats while saying:  "Oh look at the Pope!  He's bad!  He's very bad!" on pretty much every major news station.  This year I was hardly surprised when we were waiting in the hotel room in Orlando for my parents to arrive from California, at the start of Lent, and a reporter (I believe it was on CNN) started talking about some document that had been discovered that admitted all sorts of evil that was stamped something like:  "Super Top Secret Vatican Document" and I shook my head and kept unpacking and wondered if they couldn't come up with something a teensy tiny bit more believable (the fact that I never heard anything more about the story shows that at least someone may be checking facts and might have questioned a document that sounded too bogus to make it's way into the pages of a Dan Brown novel).

Of course the main attack this season was the HHS mandate and the governments increasing disregard for the first amendments guarantee of religious liberty (among other attacks... Did you see the administrations wildly inappropriate and downright frightening questioning of the right of the Supreme Court to perform it's Constitutionally established duties?).  But that hasn't quite gone as planned for the President.  The Bishops surprised the President when they showed up for the showdown and he was shocked when people of different faiths spoke out against the encroachment upon religious liberty while nervously wondering if they would be next.  His poll numbers didn't respond as he planned.  And the Church isn't backing down.

Something I was slightly more surprised to find was the surge of personal attacks in social media that I've witnessed this Lent.  If you're Catholic and you don't make apologies for that fact, then there's a good chance this Lent felt like open season.  Things so incredibly offensive that people would never have dreamed of saying them to a person of another faith, are somehow socially acceptable to say to Catholics (I guess the President's attack on the Church and Catholics everywhere made it increasingly socially acceptable for the far left to act as if their Catholic friends were second class citizens).

Tolerance is the new God.  And it's not enough to be tolerant.  We must love the sin.  We must love abortions.  We must keep our beliefs to ourselves lest we hurt someone's feeling and make then feel a little bit sorry for something they've done, are doing or are going to do.  Because we can't possibly understand, right?  And our world is adept at rationalizing every sin into common acceptance.  If we don't accept and embrace we're "Judging" and aren't really Christians anyways (for more on that oft twisted verse click here) and Jesus would be very disappointed in us (to sum up the sentiment I've encountered lately).

I've seen the most foul, offensive language, posted by fellow Christians who have accepted a different version of love than the one that I've come to understand as a human who longs to share heaven with the whole of humanity (this is where I add a quote by a English Professor in college who said:  "The use of profanity in your work simply tells me that you aren't intelligent enough to come up with a better way of expressing yourself."  It's harsher than what I would have said, but I'll admit it comes to mind whenever I hear or see someone who's chosen to express themselves in that way, but I digress...).  Love is accepting everything everyone does, they tell me.  They've forgotten the often quoted verse:  "love the sinner, hate the sin."  In this new world we're told we must love the sin as well.

But that's not what love is.  Love is wanting heaven for everyone.  Love is knowing that our souls are worth far more than the brief blink of an eye that we spend here on earth, and that if we strive for nothing more than pleasure here we'll be completely lost.  This isn't an excuse for spewing hatred and shouldn't be used as such (because let's remember, love is gentle and kind too!).  But we can lovingly and truthfully speak the words that need to be spoken in our fallen world.  And that is what love really is.  Saying the words that need to be said.  Giving the person a chance to accept the truth of reject it.

And if they reject it, we love them, and we storm heaven with our prayers for them.  Of course in the end, we are each responsible for our choice and our actions, for accepting the grace that's available to us or rejecting it, and we can't make that decision for someone else.  But we can speak the truth, live lives as best we can that show others Christ's love, and we can pray for the people we meet who are struggling up the same steep path that we are while being told that they can do whatever they need to do to feel good.

And then we can pray and pray and pray that hearts are opened and souls are healed.


  1. I do agree to a certain extent that SCOTUS is showing their biases on decisions like this... and that both the right- and left-wing justices are guilty.

    Jurisprudence would be analysing conflicts between the Constitution and the matter at hand, which (for most non-politicized issues, anyway) usually results in either a unanimous decision or something close (1 or 2 dissenting opinions).

    Cases decided at 5-4 show how political the court has become and proves nothing other than there are more judges of one side or the other.

    The same thing happens, albeit at a far lesser frequency, at the SC of C.

  2. Oh wow... WOW. It's eerie how similar my experience has been. Spiritual attack, indeed.

  3. Thank you for writing this; I really needed to read it. I've lost a friend this Lent due to a lot of reasons (I think it's been in the works for a while) but the HHS mandate, and our disagreement about it, was definitely the straw that broke the camel's back. As you said, it's not enough for some people that I keep my opinions to myself, I must also approve of every life choice they make, or I'm being judgmental and disrespectful. I find it no coincidence that it happened over Lent. Of course I'm sad to lose a friend, but I'm even more afraid of losing eternal life with God. No contest, really.

  4. I just wanted to let you know that my five year anniversary as a Catholic is this Easter, too! I enjoy reading your blog!

  5. Oh Cammie, Cammie, Cammie, I love your posts. This one is great and SO TRUE. My personal anti-Catholicism battle came from facebook friends who were more like acquaintances and my own dear little brother, who reminded me vehemently that he doesn't need an "infallible man" to tell him what's right and wrong because (unlike me), he has the Holy Spirit to guide him. Yeah. The anti-Catholicism in our country is palpable right now. It's a little frightening actually.

  6. Thank you so much for saying all of this. "Tolerance is the new god" put into words exactly what I've been thinking over the last two days. That whole paragraph really summed it up for me... as did the while post. I love your blog.

  7. People have gotten so open minded they have let their brains fall out.

    I've been Catholic for 16 years now and still receive attacks at regular intervals. I too have noticed that EVERY year during Lent and on up to our holiest of all Holy Days, "the world" attacks the Church and all those who love her. If we receive a personal attack as well, be it from the unseen or through, family, friend, or total stranger, it is only because we are seen as being a member of that holy body the Church.

    Enjoy it. If I were not being attacked I would have to ask myself just how tepid my zeal had become that the devil left me alone!

  8. I completely agree! My husband and I are coming into the Church this Easter and I have been attacked in new and different ways beginning on Ash Wednesday. I have never felt anything like it. God has put us in a very good place if Satan feels the need to attack us as he does.

    Praying for the remainder of your Lenten journey. Let us all rise and overcome with Christ in just a few short days!

  9. Oh, and just to add, this is a good time of year to apply some Holy Water and do a nice room by room blessing of your home.


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