If you comb the headlines like I do, you’ve probably been scratching your head for years (if not decades) wondering, “What in the world are people thinking!?” Canada is legalizing assisted suicide, possibly even for teenagers. The federal government is picking on an order of nuns (click for related story). And some of those seeking the highest office in the land are acting like juveniles.
How did it come to this? Has our culture devolved or is it just that the 24-hour news cycle allows us to be informed of every un-newsworthy incident? It’s both. But it’s deeper than that. Here’s my theory: When a person, a community, a culture or a nation separates itself from God, then logic, reason and truth become irrelevant.
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). Catholic teaching is clear that the fullness of truth resides in the Church because Jesus is Truth itself. So when our culture tells God that He is irrelevant or “dead,” then we are quite literally on our own. We become the arbiter of truth. That’s a mighty big load, and none of us can carry it because we are not God. As a result, a whole host of errors — plainly obvious to faithful Christians — become part of the culture.
Saint Paul warned about this when he wrote to Timothy: “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths” (2 Tim 4:3-4). Sadly, the time he warned about is here. We need to remember that bringing logic, reason and truth to the table is only part of our duty as faithful Catholics. Prayer is essential. Actually, prayer must come first. Sin causes confusion in the hearts of sinners (all of us). Prayer helps sweep away the spiritual cobwebs. We need to have that constant lifeline to Jesus.
If we have any hope of turning the culture to Christ, we must embrace prayer and fasting — after the feasting of Easter is through, of course. We must take the lessons we learned during Lent and turn them into resolutions to be saints in an era that begs for saints.