Tuesday 3 January 2023

A War on Reality (4)

I concluded my previous post in this series by writing that is why I have called this series of posts A War on Reality, for it is the Devil's war. And I will write more on that aspect in the next post in this series. 

To start with, I want to think about Reality. And the ultimate Reality is the Blessed Trinity. All else is contingent. So when I write of a War on Reality, I am really referring to the Devil's continuing war on God; a war which, since he was defeated in Heaven by Michael and the heavenly hosts, he now conducts on Earth, through us.

Nonetheless, his fiercest hatred is for God, and the reality that is God, and the reality that God has created.

Consider the Blessed Trinity in a bit more detail, and in particular the qualities appropriated to each Person. 

If we think of the Father, the most essential characteristic is that He is, and arising from that, that He is omnipotent. So He revealed Himself to Moses: I Am who I am; and so the prayer taught us by the Son starts: Our Father, who art... It was Frank Sheed (if memory serves) who observed that 'nothing is impossible to God' also means that it is impossible for God not to be. Turning to the Son, we think first of the Logos the Word of God, by which all was created. This Logos is the wisdom or knowledge of God: the ultimate truth. The Holy Spirit, we know, proceeds from the Father and the Son by way of love.

It is, of course, no coincidence that the Penny Catechism teaches us that God made us to know, love and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next.  To know, to love, and to be: those three again (with the addition of serving, as befits our status as creatures and ultimately sons).

The reason, therefore, that I call the current crisis surrounding human sexuality and identity a war on reality, is that it directly attacks existence, truth and love; and I see that as no coincidence either.  The assault on truth is perhaps the most obvious. By this, I mean not just the obvious lies of the progressive movement, but the requirement that we too must lie. We must use a language that bows to their ideology, whether that is preferred pronouns, or LGBTQ2S+... Failure to do so incurs severe social, and in some cases (and increasingly) legal sanctions. Questioning the dogma in any way risks being punished as a hate crime.

But it is also an attack on love; and that on many levels. In the first instance, it distorts our understanding of the nature and purpose of human sexual love. We know what the Church teaches about this; how the Jewish people were formed over centuries towards an understanding of this that was brought to fulfilment by Our Lord Himself and the institution of matrimony as a sacrament. And we can witness, both in history and in our own time, the good that flows when human sexual love is lived as Christ taught, and the terrible damage, to individuals, families and societies, that ensues when His teaching is ignored.  It further distorts our understanding of other human loves: that idea that we may (and indeed should) love others in ways that excludes a sexual component. And it distorts our understanding of how we should respond in love to those in difficulty - not least those suffering from poorly developed human psychosexual formation. Instead of offering them hope, support, and true compassion, we consign them to the alphabet soup and pretend that we think their deviance is not only acceptable but a type of normality (and that is another attack on truth, as well). And we do that in the belief that it is kind; rather than engage with the truth and work out what, in true charity, we might better do.

And finally, ultimately, it is an attack on being. In its transgender manifestation, the victims of this ideology come to hate who they really are, and masquerade as something that they are not. They may even mutilate their bodies in pursuit of a new way of being - that is, of course, wholly illusory and offers no hope of lasting happiness or well-being. But even more terribly, this perverted ideology that treats human sexuality as a game in which we can make up our own rules, results in the death of millions by abortion; and the spiritual death of millions more, by their complicity with abortion or all the other perversions that arise.

And as Catholics, where are we? We, above all others, should have the clarity of vision, and the courage of heart, to take a stand for Reality, for the Blessed Trinity, and for all those who suffer under this diabolic ideology.  Yet it is hard to see how to do so.

However, if, as I strongly believe, this is first and foremost a spiritual battle, waged by the Devil, then our first steps become much clearer.  As Our Lord says: Some devils can only be cast out through prayer and fasting.  So let us start there, in particular with the intercession of St Michael, who has already cast the Devil out of Heaven, and our Blessed Mother, who crushes the serpent's head. And let us pray that, beyond prayer and fasting, we may discern what other actions we should be taking, and have the courage to take them.

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