cant carry your cross
if youre carrying resentment.
Catholic Psychotherapy |
Spiritual Counsels |
Compensation for Injury |
To Condemn the World |
For the Sake of Love |
A World Littered with Corpses |
A Quiet Refusal, Not a Public Protest |
The Real Battle
HENEVER children are
hurt, for whatever reason, some part of them cries
out, Stop, or Ill die! Then, through the tears, a
desire for some form of recognition and compensation
takes shape. A piece of food, a piece of candy, a piece of moneywhatever
it might bebrings the teary, blurred world back into focus. Death fades
away and life resumes.
Thats the way it works
Therefore, even as adults, there
will always be a child-like part of us that seeks some recognition of our
pain and some compensation for any hurt we suffer. We will say, Why
me? This isnt fair! We will feel like innocent victims being
persecuted by the world. We will point our fingers in
To Condemn the
Like Hamlet holding a mirror
up to his
the person feeling victimized will seek to show the world its own face as
evidence that, he hopes, will condemn the world for its own
Hamlet appealed to his mother,
lost as she was in her own vain deception, hoping that she would recognize
her sin. But where was his father? Dead, and seeking
revenge. Receiving small satisfaction from his mother, Hamlet therefore took
matters into his own hands. And so a play about
revenge ends on a stage littered with
And so when we march in the streets
and in picket lines, whom do we hope will see us? Whose gaze do we seek
psychologically? Just as Hamlet appealed to his deceived mother, perhaps
we, frustrated with the injustices of the world, unconsciously appeal to
our own deceived motherto Eve herself? And all the while we wage our
futile protest, holding up a mirror to the Mother of Disobedience, the devil
snickers in the background.
Where, then, is our Father? Well,
unlike Hamlets dead father, our Father is
everywhere, a living God, witnessing everything. What injustice can occur
that God has not already seen? And in His Passion and death, did not Christ
experience personally every injustice known to humanity? And did He not endure
all injustice with prayer, forbidding us to take
When he was insulted,
he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he
handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
1 Peter 2:23
For the Sake
A child copes with life by trying
to get others to change their behavior, so as to make things more manageable
for himself. Persons of mature wisdom, however, cope with life by patiently
hatred and without
angerfor the sake of
love itself: to be filled with love and to sow seeds
of that love in the world around them.
The agents of
evil, therefore, choose protestand
terrorismas their choice weapons, but
the humble and the just can say, My help
comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth (Psalm
A World Littered
Therefore, if we choose to listen
to a living Father, rather than a dead one, we will learn to
pray, rather than protest. We will pray in
faith, trusting in divine justice, rather than take
matters into our own hands only to die in a world littered with
How long, O
LORD? I cry for help but You do not listen! I cry out to You,
Violence! but You do not intervene. Why do You let me see ruin;
why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there
is strife, and clamorous discord.
Then the LORD answered me and said: Write
down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not
disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be
late. The rash one has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith,
Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
A Quiet Refusal,
Not a Public Protest
Even though Christians live in the
world but not of it, Saint Paul told us that Christians have an obligation to be
subject to civil authority, to pay taxes, and to give respect to whom respect is
due (see Romans 13:1–7). Nevertheless, there are limits to this respect. Still,
these limits should not be taken as an excuse to vent your anger
at God. For example, it would be a grave sin to protest and attack traditional
conservative values or the teachings of the Gospel because they dont suit
ones ideology of progressive liberalism. But when civil law interferes with
the peaceful practice of religion, then dissent can be justified.
This philosophy has its support
from the Old Testament. For example, in the book
of Esther we have the story of Mordecai who refused to kneel and bow
down to a kings servant as if the servant were a god. In the book of
Daniel we have the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were
thrown into a fiery furnace for refusing to worship the golden statue that
Nebuchadnezzar had made (Daniel 3:197). In the same book we also have
the story of Daniel himself who was thrown into a lions den for refusing
to follow a law prohibiting prayer to any god or man except the king (Daniel
6:129). In the book of Maccabees we have the story of the martyrdom
of a mother and her sons for refusing to eat pork in violation of Gods law
(2 Maccabees 7:142).
Moreover, we have the stories
of countless Christian martyrs. It began with Christians who refused to worship
the Roman emperor, and it has continued through the centuries with those
who suffered persecution and death rather than betray their
Notice that the
directive here is not to protest laws contrary to the faith but to
refuse to follow any such laws imposed on us personally. Moreover,
even deeper than this is the fundamental Christian directive to live in
the world but not of it—that is, to refuse to participate in any aspect
of society that condones sin. Furthermore, Scripture makes it perfectly clear
what that price can be: persecution even unto death.
Imagine if all Christians had a common
Christian identity and refused to engage in the wickedness of the world around them.
What if all Christians lived chaste lifestyles? What if all Christians refused
abortions? What if all Christians refused to support the fundamentally anti-Christian
arts, entertainment, and advertising industries? What if all Christians refused to
allow their minds to be corrupted by watching TV and movies? What if all Christians
refused to spend money on competitive sports, movies, and popular magazines? What if
all Christians refused to wear immodest clothes? What if all Christians refused to
waste time playing video games, texting, and social networking? Think of the immense
power that Christian behavior could have in witnessing a genuine love for God in a
world grown cold with lust and hatred.
But now, sadly, Christian behavior has no more
power than the filth it wallows in. That’s why we are in the insane mess we’re in today.
That’s why so many families today are falling into psychological and spiritual dysfunction.
That’s why so many children have fallen from the Church
into the anti-Christian wasteland of social doom.
Every Christian has taken baptismal
vows to renounce Satan, to
turn away from evil and sin,
and to turn to Christ in chaste and holy service.
Therefore, every Christian, in everything he or she doesno matter whether
trivial or importanthas an obligation to be a good and holy representative
of the Church to all of society. Thats a serious
The real battle
of life is between Satan and your soul, not between
you and other persons. Have no doubts that Satan will tempt you through
others in every way he can, to induce you to lose your
patience, to fall into
hatred, or to defile
chastity. And God will allow him to tempt you,
as a way of strengthening and purifying your soul. The wicked are not here
for us to eradicate them; they are here to help us become saints, and in
the process, maybe to convert some of them.
So no matter how others bait
you, your responsibility is to act always in total imitation of Christ, as
a faithful and fruitful representative
of the Church. If you fail in this, then the enemies of the Church will just
sneer, and say, See? Those Catholics are all just a bunch of
hypocrites. You will be labeled a fanatic
and fall into ruin, and your enemies will be strengthened. Thus everyone
end up in hell because you try to fight the devil with anything other than
love, you will have no one to blame but yourself.
1. William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III,
The text of
this webpage, integrated with other material from my websites,
has been conveniently organized into a paperback book of 350 pages, including
a comprehensive index.
Though Demons Gloat: They Shall Not Prevail
by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.
Though we are attacked by liberal activists from without and by apostasy
from within, the true Church—that is, the body of those who remain
faithful to Church tradition—weeps, and she prays, because she knows
the fate of those who oppose God.
Our enemies might fear love, and they can push love
away, but they can’t kill it. And so the battle against them cannot be
fought with politics; it requires a profound personal struggle against
the immorality of popular culture. The battle must be fought in the
service of God with pure and chaste lifestyles lived from the depths of
our hearts in every moment.