Thursday, January 13, 2022



                                                  The news of the pandemic is relentlessly in our faces, as also are the contentious reports it is all a hoax.

What is obvious, without dispute, is the reality of a human family angry, divided, fearful, by and large untrusting of government. Under the cloak of the pandemic governments around the world, even those self-assured that they are democratic, are imposing increasingly autocratic and invasive laws and mandates which contradict the various constitutions of these same states.

Mostly these are countries led by leftist governments, though not all, some like China, Russia and several Eastern European countries are led by autocrats or outright dictators and while we usually are not surprised over violent protests against authoritarian governments increasingly we are seeing protests against the invasive actions of governments in democratic countries, which, as mentioned, themselves are becoming more authoritarian.

The ever deepening malaise and anger among populations, I suggest, is more dangerous to the human family than any virus. Indeed, anger is antithetical to Christianity. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, "You shall not kill," and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other cheek, to love their enemies. He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath. [1] Item 2302 from the Catechism bears quotation in full: By recalling the commandment, "You shall not kill," our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral. Anger is a desire for revenge. "To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit," but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution "to correct vices and maintain justice."

There are those Christians who appeal to Jesus’ righteous anger in cleansing the temple to justify their own anger. This is a specious argument as Jesus alone is righteous. We sinful humans are not and so our anger can never be pure.

The origins of the malaise and anger are deep rooted in human history and have metastasized throughout the human family since the 17th century. The roots are evolutionism, atheism, deism. The first leads to a denial of creation as being an ex nihilo gift from God, which we ourselves are, the second is a complete denial that God, who is Love, actually is, whereas deism, accepts that there may well be a supreme being, but one who does not interact with human beings thus eliminating the truth of Christ and redemption, of sin-evil and of goodness and charity.

 As for moral theology, Ratzinger says, the fundamental option of the deist world view means morality flattens out into an ethics without any reference to God. The modern man is left to his own devices, caught up in the evolutionary system of power, struggle, and survival. For, as a logical consequence, one would have to deny man himself – says Ratzinger – and “reduce him to a series of states….in which what is typically human and really moral would also disappear.” [3]

In this current era of history, with the pandemic and actions of states oppressing citizens, it is germane to seek some understanding of the state: Modern states are simply one way in which the three principles of denomination of kings is held by an entity called ‘the people’ [or ‘the nation’], that bureaucracies exist for the benefit of said ‘people’, and in which a variation on old, aristocratic contest and prizes has come to be re-labelled as ‘democracy’, most often in the form of national elections. If proof of that were required, we need only observe how much this particular arrangement is coming apart. As we noted there are now planetary bureaucracies [public and private ranging from the IMF and WTO to J. P. Morgan Chase and various credit-rating agencies] without anything that resembles a corresponding principle of global sovereignty or global field of competitive politics; and everything from cryptocurrencies to private security agencies, undermining the sovereignty of states. [4]

It should be noted the United Nations itself is part of the problem given certain countries have veto power and I would add the World Health Organization to the list of those undermining the sovereignty of states.

A not insignificant aspect of the contemporary and widespread crankiness, anger, fear, discouragement, stress, anxiety experienced globally today is the surfeit of so-called information overload as more and more people troll the internet to try and figure out what is happening and seeking information about same. Modern media, the internet in particular, is a tsunami of information whose provenance is suspect at best if not nigh impossible to unearth.

We can for our mental health, if we wish to tame raw emotions exacerbated by daily life in these contentious times make the effort to verify sources, in particular internet ones. This does not mean we have to agree with what we verify but it does mean we act and react based upon facts, not rumors or deliberate misinformation. Not only is our sanity and peace of heart at stake but the survival of our democratic institutions, maybe even of the nation itself demands misinformation not have us as a source of its spread.

A book I read many years ago is a salutary and cautionary tale applicable to our current situation as the human family: Was the problem with Germany in 1933 that it was not democratic enough or that it was too democratic? Did Nazism happen because of unchecked elite power or because the German masses were incapable of functioning as responsible citizens? Were the Nazis mired in the past, or were they dangerously modern? Was Nazim a specifically German problem or a manifestation of a wider crisis? [3]

All relevant questions we should ask of contemporary life in our own countries today.

Nazism was an extremist polity such as we find today on the extreme fringes of the left and right of much of contemporary politics, both sides using the pandemic as cover for their real goal to control everyone and everything. This approach to life in society is Marxist, which has penetrated the thinking and policies of so-called liberal democracies, headed in the US by the Democratic party and in Canada by the Liberal party.

In his latest book, Mark R. Levin outlines in vivid detail the cancerous spread of Marxist thought and ideology within the United States, titled AMERICAN MARXISM. It could/should also be titled CANADIAN MARXISM. Unfortunately, too many among us take false comfort in the belief that there could never be a Marxist based or oriented revolution in America, and what they are witnessing is just another in a cycle of liberal movements, which contribute to the evolution of American society and culture, and therefore, are worthy of approval and passive support. [4]

A tremendous source of hope and encouragement, for Christians in particular, accessible to anyone, Christian or not, is Sacred Scripture, the Bible, especially the Psalms, prayers of hope, drawn from the human condition and the Holy Gospels, place of encounter and communion with Christ and through Him becoming comprehensible to ourselves and growing in understanding of life as a member of the human family. For it is a salient truth unless we know Christ we remain incomprehensible to ourselves and will have immense difficulty understanding creation, other human beings and the unfolding of history.

In the great treasury of the Church, we can draw from the writings of the Fathers of the Church, the lives of the Saints, the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, each a gift of the Holy Spirit, in particular for our era in history the Second Vatican Council, also the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. As these treasures will inform, guide, comfort, give hope and peace.

We need to face, as part of the mystery of taking up our cross each day and following Christ, being with Him and following Him through the reality of history that the days in which we live are filled with scandal, confusion and division. Yet, we have reason for hope. God will never abandon us either. He knows what is going on in the Church and He wants to correct it. [5] Pope Francis in a catechetical series begun in 2021 gives us all hope and strength through the example of St. Joseph: Joseph’s silence is not mutism; it is a silence full of listening, an  industrious  silence, a silence that brings out his great interiority. “The Father spoke a word, and it was his Son”, comments Saint John of the Cross,  — “and it always speaks in eternal silence, and in silence it must be heard by the soul”.  Jesus was raised in this “school”, in the house of Nazareth, with the daily example of Mary and Joseph. And it is not surprising that he himself sought spaces of silence in his days (cf. Mt 14:23) and invited his disciples to have such an experience by example: “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while” (Mk 6:31). How good it would be if each one of us, following the example of Saint Joseph, were able to recover this  contemplative dimension of life, opened wide in silence. But we all know from experience that it is not easy: silence frightens us a little, because it asks us to delve into ourselves and to confront the part of us that is most true. And many people are afraid of silence, they have to speak, and speak, and speak, or listen to radio or television… but they cannot accept silence because they are afraid. The philosopher Pascal observed that “all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber”. [6]

There is ancient Christian wisdom which states: la volonté de Dieu ne nous emmène jamais là où la grâce de Dieu ne nous soutient pas. The will of God never takes us where the grace of God does not sustain  us. If we trust His love and grace and that we have breath of life at the time in history most conducive to our becoming saints then borrowing from St. Teresa od Avila, we will not allow anything to frighten nor disturb us, but like Bl. Julian of Norwich choose to live in trust that all will be well even today when there is a worldwide spiritual and moral famine on the earth. Souls are dying because of a lack of spiritual nourishment. Hearts are broken; marriages are ruined; lives are destroyed; children are murdered in the womb; and truth and common sense are in short supply. The spiritual and moral famine in the world is devastating every nation, laying waste to humanity. What are we to do? To whom can we go to find nourishment for our souls? [7]

The obvious answer is to Jesus with the first step being less time spent trolling the internet, giving into anger and repeating endlessly to one another how terrible things are, instead like a cool, refreshing swim in the ocean on a hot summer’s day, immersing ourselves in the Holy Gospels, the lives of the Saints and their writings and the teachings of the Church.

The eternal Father, by a free and hidden plan of His own wisdom and goodness, created the whole world. His plan was to raise men to a participation of the divine life. Fallen in Adam, God the Father did not leave men to themselves, but ceaselessly offered helps to salvation, in view of Christ, the Redeemer "who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature". All the elect, before time began, the Father "foreknew and pre- destined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that he should be the firstborn among many brethren". He planned to assemble in the holy Church all those who would believe in Christ. Already from the beginning of the world the foreshadowing of the Church took place. It was prepared in a remarkable way throughout the history of the people of Israel and by means of the Old Covenant.  In the present era of time the Church was constituted and, by the outpouring of the Spirit, was made manifest. At the end of time it will gloriously achieve completion, when, as is read in the Fathers, all the just, from Adam and "from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect," will be gathered together with the Father in the universal Church…………..At all times and in every race God has given welcome to whosoever fears Him and does what is right. God, however, does not make men holy and save them merely as individuals, without bond or link between one another. Rather has it pleased Him to bring men together as one people, a people which acknowledges Him in truth and serves Him in holiness. He therefore chose the race of Israel as a people unto Himself. With it He set up a covenant. Step by step He taught and prepared this people, making known in its history both Himself and the decree of His will and making it holy unto Himself. All these things, however, were done by way of preparation and as a figure of that new and perfect covenant, which was to be ratified in Christ, and of that fuller revelation which was to be given through the Word of God Himself made flesh. "Behold the days shall come saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel, and with the house of Judah . . . I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people . . . For all of them shall know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord. Christ instituted this new covenant, the new testament, that is to say, in His Blood, calling together a people made up of Jew and gentile, making them one, not according to the flesh but in the Spirit. This was to be the new People of God. For those who believe in Christ, who are reborn not from a perishable but from an imperishable seed through the word of the living God, not from the flesh but from water and the Holy Spirit, are finally established as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people . . . who in times past were not a people, but are now the people of God".[8]

The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts. For theirs is a community composed of men. United in Christ, they are led by the Holy Spirit in their journey to the Kingdom of their Father and they have welcomed the news of salvation which is meant for every man. That is why this community realizes that it is truly linked with mankind and its history by the deepest of bonds. [9]

Germaine very much in today’s political and social environments: Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. the teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good." [10]

That is the challenge, with peace of heart and without a lust for power, for all Christians if healing is to occur within the contemporary body politic. To present self or others as subsidiarity candidates.

Modern St. Thomas Mores, willing to lay down our lives for truth.. Modern St. Maxmilian Kolbes, willing to lay down our lives for others. With hearts meek and humble like Christ’s. Our template, as always is Jesus and His Gospel to love one another, as He loves us, doing good to those who hate us, praying for those who persecute us. A guide to implementing same in the market place is:  The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

In conclusion words of truth, hope and comfort from one of my favourite authors: Because the Lord is spirit [11Cor.3:17], He is also Love. The Spirit of God opens all things, permitting being to flow into being, life into life, me into you without violence or loss of individuality, freedom or dignity. The Spirit creates love, community of all that is good. He, Love, takes that which is Christ’s and gives it to us for our own [John 16:15]. He incorporates Christ Himself into out lives: ”For me to live is Christ and to die is gain [Phil.1:21]. Out of the depths of this love: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or danger, or the sword? Even as it is written, ‘For Thy sake we are put to death all day long. We are regarded as sheep for slaughter.’ For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Rom. 8:35-39] [11]










All Italics in quotations are mine.


[1]  Catechism # 2262 & 1866

‘wrath’ in the section is the same as anger

[2] JOSEPH RATZINGER, Life in the Church and Living Theology; Fundamentals of Ecclesiology with Reference to Lumen Gentium; complied by Maxmilian Heinrich Heim; p. 265; Ignatius Press, 2007

[3] THE DAWN OF EVERYTHING, a new History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow; p. 431; Penguin Random House Canada; 2021

[4] THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY, Hitler’s rise to power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic.; Benjamin Carter Hett; p. 9; Penguin Random House Canada, 20185

[5] AMERICAN MARXISM; Mark R. Levin; p. 11; Threshold Editions 2021

[6] CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH, Donald H. Calloway, MIC; pp. 756, 76; Marian Press 2020


[8] CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH, op. cit. p. 111

[9]  ch. I, para.1 & ch. II, para. 1

[10]  preface apar. 1

[11]  catechism # 1883

[12] THE LORD; Romano Guardini; p/450; Henry Regnery Company 1957

© 2022 Fr. Arthur Joseph