Monday, December 31, 2012

Christ The King...Not Christ The "Kitten".

The following article was originally published by Dr. Peter Kreeft on Sept 12,2012.  It is long, but REALLY puts the facts out there for your edification.  As we are entering a New Year, I thought it would be a good idea to see what we face.
Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M

> "Whenever I speak of [spiritual warfare], they are stunned and
silent, as if they have suddenly entered another world. They have.
They have gone past the warm fuzzies, the fur coats of psychologydisguised-
as-religion, into a world where they meet Christ the King,
not Christ the Kitten."
> >
The Winning Strategy
>
> Dr. Peter Kreeft | September 1, 2012 | Boston College
>
> To win any war, the three most necessary things to know are: (1)
that you are at war, (2) who your enemy is, and (3) what weapons or
strategies can defeat him.
>
> You cannot win a war (1) if you simply sew peace banners on a
battlefield, (2) if you fight civil wars against your allies, or (3) if you
use the wrong weapons.
>
> Here is a three point checklist for the culture wars.
>
> 1. We Are at War
>
> If you dont know that our entire civilization is in crisis, I hope you
had a nice vacation on the moon.
>
> Many minds do seem moonstruck, however, blissfully unaware of
the crisis especially the intellectuals, who are supposed to be the
most on top of current events. I was dumbfounded to read a cover
article in Time devoted to the question: Why is everything getting
better? Why is life so good today? Why does everybody feel so
satisfied about the quality of life? Time never questioned the
assumption, it just wondered why the music on the Titanic sounded
so nice.
>
> It turned out, on reading the article, that every single aspect of life
that was mentioned, every single reason for life getting better, was
economic. People are richer. End of discussion. Perhaps Time is
just Playboy with clothes on. For one kind of playboy, the world is
one great big whorehouse. For another kind, its one great big piggy
bank. For both, things are getting better and better.
>
> There is a scientific refutation of the Pig Philosophy: the
statistical fact that suicide, the most in-your-face index of
unhappiness, is directly proportionate to wealth. The richer you are,
the richer your family is, and the richer your country is, the more
likely it is that you will find life so good that you will choose to blow
your brains apart.
>
> Suicide among pre-adults has increased 5000% since the happy
days of the 50s. If suicide, especially among the coming generation,
is not an index of crisis, nothing is.
>
> Night is falling. What Chuck Colson has labeled a new Dark Ages
is looming. And its Brave New World proved to be only a Cowardl
Old Dream. We can see this now, at the end of the century of
genocide that was christened the Christian century at its birth.
>
> Weve had prophets who warned us: Kierkegaard, 150 years ago, in
The Present Age; and Spengler, 100 years ago, in The Decline of the
West; and Aldous Huxley, seventy years ago, in Brave New
World;and C. S. Lewis, forty years ago, in The Abolition of Man; and
above all our popes: Leo XIII and Pius IX and Pius X and above all
John Paul the Great, the greatest man in the world, the greatest man
of the worst century. He had even more chutzpah than Ronald
Reagan, who dared to call Them the evil empire: He called Us the
culture of death. Thats our culture, and his, including Italy, with the
lowest birth rate in the world, and Poland, which now wants to
share in the rest of the Wests abortion holocaust.
>
> If the God of life does not respond to this culture of death with
judgment, God is not God. If God does not honor the blood of the
hundreds of millions of innocent victims then the God of the Bible,
the God of Israel, the God of orphans and widows, the Defender of
the defenseless, is a man-made myth, a fairy tale.
>
> But is not God forgiving? He is, but the unrepentant refuse
forgiveness. How can forgiveness be received by a moral relativist
who denies that there is anything to forgive except a lack of selfesteem,
nothing to judge but judgmentalism? How can a Pharisee
or a pop psychologist be saved?
>
> But is not God compassionate?
>
He is not compassionate to Moloch and Baal and Ashtaroth, and to
Caananites
who do their work, who cause their children to walk through the fire.
> Perhaps your God isthe God of your dreams, the God of your
religious preferencebut not the God revealed in the Bible. But is not
the God of the Bible revealed most fully and finally in the New
> Testament rather than the Old? In sweet and gentle Jesus rather
thanwrathful and warlike Jehovah?
>
> The opposition is heretical: the old Gnostic-Manichaean-
Marcionite heresy, as immortal as the demons who inspired it. For I
and the Father are one. The opposition between nice Jesus and
nasty Jehovah denies the very essence of Christianity: Christs
identity as the Son of God. Lets remember our theology and our
biology: like Father, like Son.
>
> But is not God a lover rather than a warrior?
>
> No, God is a lover who is a warrior. The question fails to
understand what love is, what the love that God is, is. Love is at war
with hate, betrayal, selfishness, and all loves enemies. Love fights.
Ask any parent. Yuppie-love, like puppy-love, may be merely
compassion (the fashionable word today), but father-love and
mother-love are war. In fact, every page of the Bible bristles with
spears, from Genesis 3 through Revelation 20. The road from
Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained is soaked in blood. At the very
center of the story is a cross, a symbol of conflict if there ever was
one. The theme of spiritual warfare is never absent in scripture, and
never absent in the life and writings of a singlesaint. But it is never
present in the religious education of any of my Catholic students at
Boston College. Whenever I speak of it, they are stunned and silent,
as if they have suddenly entered another world. They have. They
have gone past the warm fuzzies, the fur coats of psychologydisguised-
as-religion, into a world where they meet Christ the
> King, not Christ the Kitten.
>
> Welcome back from the moon, kids.
>
> Where is the culture of death coming from? Here. America is the
center of the culture of death. America is the worlds one and only
cultural superpower.
>
> If I havent shocked you yet, I will now. Do you know what Muslims
call us? They call us The Great Satan. And do you know what I call
them? I call them right.
>
> But America has the most just, and moral, and wise, and biblical
historical and constitutional foundation in all the world. America is
one of the most religious countries in the world. The Church is big
and rich and free in America.
>
> Yes. Just like ancient Israel. And if God still loves his Church in
America, he will soon make it small and poor and persecuted, as he
did to ancient Israel, so that he can keep it alive. If he loves us, he
will prune us, and we will bleed, and the blood of the martyrs will be
the seed of the Church again, and a second spring will comebut not
without blood. It never happens without blood, sacrifice, and
suffering. The continuation of Christs workif it is really Christs work
and not a comfortable counterfeit can never happen without the
Cross.
>
> I dont mean merely that Western civilization will die. Thats a piece
of trivia. I mean eternal souls will die. Billions of Ramons and
Vladamirs and Janes and Tiffanies will go to Hell. Thats whats at
stake in this war: not just whether America will become a banana
republic, or whether well forget Shakespeare, or even whether some
nuclear terrorist will incinerate half of humanity, but whether our
children and our childrens children will see God forever. Thats
whats at stake in Hollywood versus America. Thats why we must
wake up and smell the rotting souls. Knowing we are at war is the
first requirement for winning it.
>
> The next thing we must do to win a war is to know our enemy.
>
> 2. Our Enemy
>
> Who is our enemy?
>
> Not Protestants. For almost half a millennium, many of us thought
our enemies were Protestant heretics, and addressed that problem
by consigning their bodies to battlefields and their souls to Hell.
(Echoes of this strategy can still be heard in Northern Ireland.)
Gradually, the light dawned: Protestants are not our enemies, they
are our separated brethren.
> They will fight with us. Not Jews. For almost two millennia many
of us thought that, and did such Christless things to our fathers in
the faith that we made it almost impossible for the Jews to see their
God the true Godin us.
>
> Not Muslims, who are often more loyal to their half-Christ than we
are to our whole Christ, who often live more godly lives following
their fallible scriptures and their fallible prophet than we do
following our infallible scriptures and our infallible prophet.
>
> The same is true of the Mormons and the Jehovahs Witnesses
and the Quakers.
>
> Our enemies are not the liberals. For one thing, the term is almost
> meaninglessly flexible. For another, its a political term, not a
religious one. Whatever is good or bad about political liberalism, its
neither the cause nor the cure of our present spiritual decay.
Spiritual wars are not decided by whether welfare checks increase
or decrease.
>
> Our enemies are not anti-Catholic bigots who want to crucify us.
They are the ones were trying to save. They are our patients, not
our disease. Our word for them is Christs: Father, forgive them, for
they know not what they do. We say this of the Chinese communist
totalitarians who imprison and persecute Catholics, and to the
Sudanese Muslim terrorists who enslave and murder Catholics.
They are not our enemies, they are our patients. We are Christs
nurses. The patients think the nurses are their enemies, but
> the nurses know better.
>
> Our enemies are not even the media of the culture of death, not
even Ted Turner or Larry Flynt or Howard Stern or Disney or Time-
Warner. They too are victims, patients, though on a rampage
against the hospital, poisoning other patients. But the poisoners
are our patients too. So are homosexual activists, feminist witches,
and abortionists. We go into gutters and pick up the spiritually
dying and kiss those who spit at us, if we are cells in our Lords
Body. If we do not physically go into gutters, we go into spiritual
gutters, for we go where the need is.
>
> Our enemies are not heretics within the Church, cafeteria
Catholics, Kennedy Catholics, I Did It My Way Catholics. They are
also our patients, though they are Quislings. They are the victims of
our enemy, not our enemy.
>
> Our enemies are not theologians in so-called Catholic theology
departments who have sold their souls for thirty pieces of
scholarship and prefer the plaudits of their peers to the praise of
God. They are also our patients.
>
> Our enemy is not even the few really bad priests and bishops,
candidates for Christs Millstone of the Month Award, the modern
Pharisees. They too are victims, in need of healing.
>
> Who, then, is our enemy?
>
> There are two answers. All the saints and popes throughout the
Churchs history have given the same two answers, for these
answers come from the Word of God on paper in the New Testament
and the Word of God in flesh in Jesus Christ.
>
> Yet they are not well known. In fact, the first answer is almost
never mentioned today. Not once in my life have I ever heard a
homily on it, or a lecture by a Catholic theologian.
>
> Our enemies are demons. Fallen angels. Evil spirits.
>
> So says Jesus Christ: Do not fear those who can kill the body and
then has no more power over you. I will tell you whom to fear. Fear
him who has power to destroy both body and soul in Hell.
>
> So says St. Peter, the first pope: The Devil, like a roaring lion, is
going through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Resist him,
steadfast in the faith.
>
> So says St. Paul: We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
against principalities and powers of wickedness in high places.
>
> So said Pope Leo the XIII, who received a vision of the 20th
century that history has proved terrifyingly true. He saw Satan, at
the beginning of time, allowed one century in which to do his worst
work, and he chose the 20th. This pope with the name and heart of
a lion was so overcome by the terror of this vision that he fell into a
trance. When he awoke, he composed a prayer for the whole Church
to use to get it through the 20th century. The prayer was widely
known and prayed after every Mass until the 60s: exactly
when the Church was struck with that incomparably swift disaster
that we have not yet named (but which future historians will), the
disaster that has destroyed a third of our priests, two-thirds of our
nuns, and nine-tenths of our childrens theological knowledge; the
disaster that has turned the faith of our fathers into the doubts of
our dissenters, the wine of the Gospel into the water of
psychobabble.
>
> The restoration of the Church, and thus the world, might well
begin with the restoration of the Lions prayer and the Lions vision,
because this is the vision of all the popes and all the saints and our
Lord himself: the vision of a real Hell, a real Satan, and real spiritual
warfare.
>
> I said there were two enemies. The second is even more terrifying
than the first. There is one nightmare even more terrible than being
chased and caught and tortured by the Devil. That is the nightmare
of becoming a devil. The horror outside your soul is terrible
enough; how can you bear to face the horror inside your soul?
>
> What is the horror inside your soul? Sin. All sin is the Devils work,
> though he usually uses the flesh and the world as hisinstruments.
Sin means inviting the Devil in. And we do it. Thats the only reason
why he can do his awful work; God wont let him do it without our
free consent. And thats why the Church is weak and the world is
dying: because we are not saints.
>
> 3. The Weapon
>
> And thus we have our third Necessary Thing: the weapon that will
win the war and defeat our enemy.
>
> All it takes is saints. Can you imagine what twelve more Mother
Teresas would do for the world? Can you imagine what would
happen if just twelve readers of this article offere Christ 100% of
their hearts and held back nothing, absolutely nothing?
>
> No, you cant imagine it, any more than anyone could imagine how
twelve nice Jewish boys could conquer the Roman Empire. You
can’t imagine it, but you can do it. You can become a saint.
Absolutely no one and nothing can stop you. It is your free choice.
Here is one of the truest and most terrifying sentences I have ever
read (from William Laws Serious Call): If you will look into your own
heart in complete honesty, you must admit that there is one and
only one reason why you are not a saint: you do not wholly want to
be.
>
> That insight is terrifying because it is an indictment. But it is also
> thrillingly hopeful because it is an offer, an open door. Each of us
can become a saint. We really can.
>
> What holds us back? Fear of paying the price.
>
> What is the price? The answer is simple. T.S. Eliot defines the
Christian life as: A condition of complete simplicity/Costing not less
than/Everything. The price is everything: 100%. A worse martyrdom
than the quick noose or stake: the martyrdom of dying daily, dying
to all your desires and plans, including your plans about how to
become a saint. A blank check to God. Complete submission, islam,
fiat, Marys thing. Look what that simple Mary-thing did 2000 years
ago: It brought God down and saved the world.
>
> It was meant to continue.
>
> If we do that Mary-thing and only if we do that then all our
apostolates will work: our missioning and catechizing and fathering
and mothering and teaching and studying and nursing and
businessing and priesting and bishoping everything.
>
> A bishop asked one of the priests of his diocese for
recommendations on ways to increase vocations. The priest
replied: The best way to attract men in this diocese to the
priesthood, Your Excellency, would be your canonization.
>
> Why not yours?
>>