Thursday, November 8, 2012
Let It Be
Leila, over at her Little Catholic Bubble blog (http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/), quoting an unknown author, notes that, historically, all democracies end in dictatorship. (The quote or a variant of it has been around for a long time.) I had seen that quote before, and always thought of it as a warning, a trap our country must be wary of. Leila uses it as the start of a series of quotes, sequenced to help build our faith in this time of trial. But perhaps it is good if that old quote were read in isolation, bluntly read without interpretation or feeling, as just a statement of historical fact --- and likely future. Then regardless of what emotion that statement evokes, given it is a fact, we should ponder on that future.
The Anne Murray CD continued playing in my car as I drove to church this morning. And I heard her sing an old Beetle’s tune: Let It Be. As she sang the words “Mother Mary, pray for me,” it drew me into prayer and thoughts about: what is “to be.”
The late night news analyst yesterday spoke of his feelings about the U.S. election: “It made me sad,” he said. “The people have now spoken about how this country will be in the future, and the future is not one I’d choose. This is a great country; I won’t leave it. I’ll pay whatever taxes they charge and obey whatever laws they dictate, but I’m afraid I won’t ever think of this country in the same way again, as the country I love.”
I guess I feel the same way.
Will all the things we fought against, I fought against, come to pass as “the will of the people” anyway? Will things I think of as illegal and immoral, pornography, drugs, gay marriage, polygamy, euthanasia, cloning and selective abortion, all come to be not only legal, but espoused in law, making those who won’t do those things felons, to be ridiculed or put in jail? Will these new “rights” be taught in our schools and enforced by our police? Will those I now think of as being “Catholic” in name only become Catholic, while I become one of those “Catholics” --- those who are breaking the laws of man?
Like the news commentator, I will obey whatever laws they dictate, but where will be my heart? Where will be my faith? I said this Year of Faith was well timed. Many women, this week, thought they were voting for their “right to choose.” The question is: What will they and their friends choose now, and demand I choose? Where will be their faith? Will people in the future of our country still be reading bedtime stories to their children, of the Easter bunny and Santa Claus, --- and the Catholic Church?
I looked at the flag hanging from my front porch this morning, as I walked down the drive to pick up the morning paper. “I don’t think of the country that flag represents in the same way anymore,” I thought. “Should I take it down?”
I left it there, for now.
Back at church this morning, the deacon stood up in front of the altar before the group of 50 gathered for mass. “Fr. Steve called and said he was ill. There will be a Communion Service in place of mass this morning.” My reaction was one of feeling that the dark cloud continued over my head. I received the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, as I do every morning, but my mood was somehow different. And as we closed with the Prayer to Saint Michael, the archangel, I said it with a little more fervor.
And then there was no Eucharistic adoration after the service.
As I sit in the chapel writing these words, I miss the monstrance and host in front of me, and I fear there are many things I shall be missing in the future in this country. And I know it will be okay if I shed a tear in memory of those things past, even as I do while I write this. It is a good thing to mourn over good times (and good people) no longer with us, but we must not forget that our faith is not just about times past and people, it is about God. And He is with us even now, even in our sorrows, and even if we cannot see Him before us. And He still loves us. Someone spoke of history and the eventual demise of all democracies, but he never said there would be no future democracies or good times or good people again, for there will be. That too, is history. God does not abandon His people. It is only people, sometimes, who abandon Him.
In our times of sorrow, and “change,” will we be one of them?
The title I was led to choose for this blog, Do Not Be Anxious, feels more prophetic than ever. I wonder if Leila over at the Little Catholic Bubble feels the same way.
Let it be.