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Questions and Answers

I think, however, that your comments on the futility of protest are wrong and are not in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. You seem to think that the only response Christians can or should make to injustice is to pray. If Moses had had that idea, the children of Israel would still be in bondage in Egypt. Where would the world be if Solidarity had not challenged the Soviet Empire—with the full support of Pope John Paul II? Should African Americans have just stayed home in the 1950s and waited for white people to get their acts together?
 
Should we never go and pray in front of the abortuaries and instead just stay home while children are murdered?
 
Be wary of being an apologist and defender of evil and injustice by recommending political “quietism.”

Outline of the Answer
• Hard Work
• Protest?
• Real Prayer
• Real Change

 
Moses led the Israelites from slavery in Egypt without any protest at all. He simply did what God told him to do. He went to Pharaoh and asked politely to let his people go. When Pharaoh refused, Moses prayed. God then sent a plague on Egypt. Moses went back and asked Pharaoh again to let his people go. Pharaoh refused again. Moses prayed again. And he suffered greatly—through the mistreatment inflicted on the Israelites. So it went. Requests, refusals, sufferings, plagues, and prayers. Until finally Pharaoh got tired of it all and told Moses good riddance. 

So, as Moses learned, real prayer depends on total trust in God in the midst of suffering; it’s hard work.[1] Listen to what Jesus told Saint Faustina.

  

My daughter, I want to instruct you on how you are to rescue souls through sacrifice and prayer. You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than a missionary will through his teachings and sermons alone. I want to see you as a sacrifice of living love, which only then carries any weight before Me. You must be annihilated, destroyed, living as if you were dead in the most secret depths of your being. . . . Outwardly, your sacrifice must look like this: silent, hidden, permeated with love, imbued with prayer. . . .

I will now instruct you on what your holocaust shall consist of, in everyday life, so as to preserve you from illusions. You shall accept all sufferings with love. Do not be afflicted if your heart often experiences repugnance and dislike for sacrifice. All its power rests in the will, and so these contrary feelings, far from lowering the value of sacrifice in My eyes, will enhance it. Know that your body and soul will often be in the midst of fire. Although you will not feel My presence on some occasions, I will always be with you. Do not fear; My grace will be with you. . .

—as told to Saint Faustina,
Diary, 1767

  

 
Protest?

Now, you ask where we would be without protest. Well, look at where we are now, with it: we are in a world growing increasingly self-indulgent, increasingly secular, increasingly cynical, increasingly antagonistic, increasingly cold, increasingly brutal, increasingly evil. In today’s world, not a day goes by that someone isn’t protesting something. Moreover, in the midst of all this sin, look at all the wasted time that could be spent in prayer. Look at all the hours wasted watching TV and movies, playing video games, surfing the Internet, chatting and texting on mobile devices, and posting images of vainglory on social networks. If all that time were spent in prayer, it would be a different world.

 
Real Prayer

Why isn’t all that time spent in prayer? Because real prayer is hard and demanding. It requires disciplined self-sacrifice and humility. It’s far easier to wave a banner in the face of an opponent than to empty yourself in sacrifice before God by living a holy life. Protest feels good. Protest, like junk food, is satisfying—or, at least it gives the illusion that it is.

  

Thus we reach the ultimate irony that your protesting the fraud of the world only makes you part of the fraud.

  

 
Real Change

If you want to change the world, renounce the box of social illusion and fraud. Living outside the box is not a form of political quietism; it is not a matter of sitting back and doing nothing about the social corruption about you. We must do something—but that “something” must be based in love, not politics. Do what Jesus did. He never protested anything. He prayed, and He trusted in God, totally.

  

It was no more an act of protest when Jesus drove the money changers from the temple than it is an act of protest to sweep dirt off your kitchen floor.

  

So if you want to change the world, “do something” through love by living a holy lifestyle.

Pray constantly.

Live a lifestyle of humility and chastity.

Read and study to learn what the true faith really is.

Witness your faith in public by refusing to do anything that contradicts the true faith.

Dress modestly.

Give Catholic money a voice. Avoid spending your money on anything, especially entertainment, that brainwashes you into abandoning the true faith.

Purge lust from your life.

Renounce competition and vainglory, especially in sports.

Real prayer is a battle—not a battle against other persons but a battle against the demonic powers of evil. Prayer is more than just saying the words. Prayer is a lifestyle that must be lived constantly, in every moment. Because of fear you call such a lifestyle “quietism.” Like the rich young man who walked away from Christ (see Matthew 19:16–24), you’re content to keep the “law” externally but you fear to “sell all that you have” for the sake of following Christ from the depths of your heart in the great spiritual battle against demonic influence.

 

Who wrote this web page?
 

Notes

1. Genuine Christian prayer can have aspects of passive contemplation, but that simply means that the soul remains passive while God’s grace actively works within it (as Saint John of the Cross made clear in his Dark Night of the Soul). The fruits of prayer, however, are very real and very tangible. This website, for example, is the fruit of prayer. Missionary work can be prayer. And keeping a vigil before an abortion facility can be prayer—as long as the vigil is quiet and peaceful and does not aim to make itself seen. Once you address your actions to the world, rather than to God, you set aside the humility of prayer and step into the pride and narcissism of protest.

 


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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.

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