Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Urbanity And Faith: A Quickie Rumination

     One of the nicest parts of being retired is the opportunity to attend Mass daily. I avail myself of it whenever I’m physically able. In so doing, I’ve learned more than I expected.

     Today is the Day of the Martyrs, on which Catholics pray for the souls of those killed for their Christian faith. The world is awash in the blood of martyrs today, and I pray most sincerely that each such shall be awarded the “martyr’s crown” of immediate and unconditional admission to eternal bliss. It makes quite a contrast to Islam’s claim that dying while on jihad will earn the jihadist admission to Paradise.

     Martyrs aren’t being slaughtered in America as far as I know, though given the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, such a day might yet come. We face a different threat: the urbanity that tempts to secularism.

     It’s the urbane, “politically correct” thing to do to express genteel derision of us unreconstructed types who, though we strive to tolerate those who disagree, refuse to accept same-sex marriage, or abortion on demand, or flagrant homosexuality, or any of a number of other modern practices that nineteen centuries of Christian thought have all ruled unacceptable. The urbane of the Left chuckle at us over white wine and Brie, we poor rubes who simply “can’t keep up with the times.” Their veneer of worldliness and sophistication is sometimes enough to seduce the weak of conscience into abandoning their faiths and the convictions that accompany them.

     A book that received less attention than it deserved, Jeremy Leven’s Satan: His Psychotherapy and Cure by the Unfortunate Dr. Kassler, J.S.P.S., noted that in our times it takes far more courage to believe than to disbelieve...and a key to understanding why this is so lies in the derision of the urbane.

     Urbanity appears to promise several rewards. Some of them are material; others include admission to circles frequented by “the right people.” Still others are commercial or academic in nature. The temptations can be severe.

     By all means pray for the martyred, both those of today and those of times past, but pray also for those weak of conscience who are in danger of being seduced by contemporary urbanity. They need it too...possibly more than we know.


neal said...

I live in New Mexico. The old Missions are of the remnants of what is trying to survive. The Megachurches are full of armed security and business deals.

Tears of the Saints, and Climate Control.

It is like selling entanglement through choice of presentation. I thought that that entanglement was supposed to be the real thing, and a challenge of body, soul, and maybe Spirit.

And yes, we have pilgrims. And traveling preachers that ride in oxen carts.

Remnants. No place to park. Shade, when one can find it.

John said...

I loved Leven's book when I read it 20+ years ago. I should re-read it. I remember it being hysterically funny. It was made into a not-bad movie, although converted to a horror/thriller and absent much of the humor, called Crazy as Hell.

Happy 4th.