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r1364378_19200262Things are getting worse. There’s no doubt about it.

In the midst of the sodomy of Gomorrah, the very fabric of the family has been ripped to shreds and is being trod triumphantly underfoot by those who wear their own Pride with pride. This ascendant Pride is seeking to trample the humble under foot, rubbing the noses of Christians in the dirt. In some western countries, those who espouse the morality that people have always espoused throughout the whole of human history are now being sent to prison for the crime of calling a sin sinful. The very word “sin” has been banished from the vocabulary, as has “virtue,” making all discussion of morality impossible.

As secular fundamentalists in the West make a mockery of traditional morality, Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East are raping, pillaging and butchering with reckless abandon. Refugees, fleeing from the Islamic butchers, flood into a faltering and falling Europe.

No, there’s no doubt about it. Things are definitely getting worse.

And yet there really is nothing to worry about. No. Really. There isn’t.

getting worseAt this point, many will no doubt believe me to be a latter-day Nero, fiddling merrily and perhaps madly while Rome burns. My response would be that it is the world and not Rome that is burning. Rome remains, while the world around her burns. Rome, in the other-worldly sense in which she is rightly called the Eternal City, always points to the Heavenly Jerusalem that is forever beyond the reach of the flames of infernal worldliness. It was this sense that T. S. Eliot had in mind when he omitted Rome from the list of “falling towers” of worldly pomp which were ultimately “unreal”:

Falling towers

Jerusalem Athens Alexandria

Vienna London

Unreal

Rome, in this sense, and for the sake of avoiding an ecclesiological argument that does not serve our present purpose, refers to all of Christendom and may be seen as a symbol of the Church Militant, i.e. the Church at War, the Church on earth, which never surrenders its divine mission to the world and its whims. There can be no compromise, in our age or any age, between the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of the Age, between the Heilige Geist and the Zeitgeist. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the difference between these two spirits is the defining difference that separates the sheep from the goats.

The sheep, those who belong to the flock of Christ, do not concern themselves with the world and its self-destructive decline towards the abyss to which it owes its allegiance. Things are getting worse because the towers of pomp are falling. Why should such falling towers worry those who seek their home in Heaven? It shouldn’t. There is nothing to worry about!

Those who worry about the world are those who have invested too much of themselves in it. If we find ourselves becoming despondent because of the way things are going in the decomposing culture of death, it is because we have invested too much of our hope in the hopelessness of the situation. Hope is not to be found in hell, nor in those who owe their allegiance to it. In short, those who worry about the ways of the world are those who are too caught up in the world and its ways.

Let’s remind ourselves of the words of Christ that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. If we treasure the world, believing the Devil’s lie that we can make heaven on earth, we will lose our heart to the world and have our heart-broken on its broken promises. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and you will see that there’s nothing to worry about!

There is, however, one other distinction that we need to make. There is a difference between the world and its worldliness, which is the kingdom that Satan offered Christ as one of the temptations in the wilderness, and the beauty and majesty of God’s Creation, which is given to us as a candle in the darkness of the shadowlands of sin. The goodness, truth and beauty of the Trinity is to be seen in the goodness, truth and beauty of Creation. Look at the stars and see them as candles on the altar that the cosmos raises to its God. Look at a leaf and see it as the life that God breathes into all that He makes. Look at yourself in the Mirror of the Gospel and see yourself as a son of God and a brother of Christ.

image1What would Jesus do if he walked amongst men in our own deplorable age? He would do what He has already done. He would reject the chance to rule the world when Satan tempted him with it, resisting the temptation to stop things from getting worse and to make them better. He would remind the one who tempted Him that we should first seek the Kingdom of God and that His Kingdom is not of this world. He would remind those few, those happy few, the band of brothers who followed Him, that as the world had hated Him, it would hate them. He would tell them that He had nothing to offer those who follow Him, this side of death, except the carrying of the Cross, though He promised that he would help them bear the burden.

The enduring immutable truth is that the Majority, the Mob, always crucifies Christ, hating Him and hating those who love Him. The price of loving Christ is being hated by the world. It is not only a small price to pay but is the pearl of great price for which we are meant to sell everything the world has to offer.

Yes, things are getting worse. There is little doubt that the world is going to hell. This should come as no surprise because it has always been going to hell. Only a fool follows it there.

The good news is that Christ has conquered the world as He has conquered the death that is found there. Things are getting worse. The towers of death are falling. Deo gratias! There is indeed nothing to worry about!

Books by Joseph Pearce may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

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25 replies to this post
  1. A very good article Mr Pearce, thank you. And God expects us to fight on! As the Church Militant we are commissioned to reach out and save souls. Join the Legion of Mary, promote the faith, wear Christ on your sleeve: any or all of these might just save a soul from damnation, which otherwise was blissfully unaware of its impending liaison with eternal horror.

  2. All things work together for the good of those who love God. So your right we don’t have anything to worry about.

  3. Excellent – thank you for a reminder that if we are worrying, we’re showing a lack of faith. Actually we need a degree of concern about the persecution that is likely to follow – are we ready to lose what we have in faithfulness to our God? The ‘Hot Tub religion’ which is what passes for Christianity in many circles does nothing to prepare us, one of its many flaws.

    “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Rom 13

  4. So eloquently stated. A beautiful commentary of truth. This world is not our home unless we’ve been deceived into investing into it more than we should have. Maranatha!

  5. Good article. I would amend only one statement: “The price of loving Christ is being hated by the world.” In my small opinion, it would more accurately read thus: “The price of loving Christ is being hated by those who don’t love Him.”

  6. I worry about the world, yet I am not really a part of it. I worry about the world, yet it is obvious I have no real treasure here. I worry about the world only because I know that the Lord loves each person in it and I see so many whose souls may be lost. People I know and love. It isn’t all or nothing. Worry for lost souls is not a lack of faith, it is a sign of love.

    • I appreciate your points, Debra, but “worry” accomplishes nothing, as Padre Pio reminds us. On the other hand, prayer for souls accomplishes much! “With God, all things are possible”, so by all means, pray, and don’t worry!

  7. The Church throughout the ages has engaged with the culture around us, because Christ calls us to be in this world, but not of it. We should have an otherworldly outlook, so much so that we care for those around us as Christ did. Otherwise, we will become like the one in the fourth chapter of Genesis who said that he was not his brother’s keeper.

  8. Thank you for you encouraging words of hope. Faith in Jesus to do in us what we cannot do for ourselves is the only means to overcome despair. Even the church, through many of it’s leaders are infected with the insanity of the culture by promoting lies instead of the truth. The essence of the lie is that conscience trumps truth. It is promoted thought a false understanding of mercy.
    I feel the Church (The Body of Christ) is undergoing it’s passion and death towards it’s giving witness to the living presence of Jesus alive in the world as it has been doing these past 2000 years.

  9. At this very moment, entire nations are converting to Christ and entering the Church. When one says, “Things are getting worse”, one means, “Things are getting worse in my small part of the Church”. It is glorious to see God moving with so much power and bringing millions into His grace year after year.

  10. Like the others, thank you so much for the article. In a world where it is easy to fall into the trap of worry, worry, worry about the disheartening daily news around us, your article was most comforting.

  11. “What would Jesus Do?” As God, He is doing everything all at once, eternally. Therefore, As God, He is eternally honoring Joseph as the Head of the Family, He is eternally offering His suffering and death for all sinners and He is asking us to resolutely unite our prayers with His single, infinite, eternally always in the present tense prayer of His Name, “Jesus” and thereby receive the Holy Spirit (CCC 2741).

  12. Yet how are those who do sometimes worry about lesser concerns (and who doesn’t) supposed to find and turn off the “worry switch” on concerns of this magnitude? Even with prayer, it isn’t that simple.

    • I agree with you, James Mitchell: turning off the “worry switch” is not a simple thing. I lose sleep many nights because I can’t do so. Mr Pearce says there is nothing to worry about, which I (and you too, I think, since you’re commenting here) believe is the ultimate truth; but in the meantime, what I do when I can’t sleep – thinking about my sorry attempts to be a good disciple – is to repeat in my bed the Penitential Act, the Gloria, the Profession of Faith and Our Father…I rarely get to the end without falling asleep. Sometimes it takes me a couple of hours, because I keep dozing off part way through, only for my worries to wake me up again. But I do manage to eventually, and then I’m able to drag myself out of bed the next morning with hope in my heart.

      • Thanks for sharing your honest experience. Mine is somewhat similar.
        I am 75 and father to 3 adopted special needs children ages 17, 15 & 10 who my wife and I have raised from infancy.
        I have lived a happy and meaningful life, I am not afraid to die, however I do have concerns about the future for my children when I consider the values our present culture places on productivity for meaning.
        Even though my faith assures me “all things work together for good,” I still worry as I believe we cannot live in the present culture and remain indifferent to it.
        I think that is how Jesus thinks and that we just live one day at a time and suffer through our concerns offering our sufferings to Him through The Immaculate Heart of Our Mother Mary.

  13. Instead of ‘what would Jesus do?’ I like to focus on what he will do: That’s found in the Our Father prayer. We’re to pray for his kingdom to come on earth, as it is in heaven. That gives me the real hope of seeing paradisaical conditions restored. He did mean us to take the prayer seriously, didn’t he?

  14. Let me first say, that I found this column deeply uplifting, and thank you, Mr. Pearce, for such an affirming message. I’m a young woman and I’m trying to grow in my faith, while balancing worldly concerns. And yet, this worldly dissociation, in opposition with being flesh and blood, is a perennial tension and subject that I have yet to reconcile. I think it is an essential challenge of being Christian: to be in the world, but not of the world. But it is particularly difficult for young people who are being displaced in the West.

    Older people who have their lives, accomplishments and child rearing behind them, perhaps take more easily to focusing on eternity, than do young people, who are full of passion, and dreams for their lives. If I may be so bold, I must worry. Those who came before me did not worry enough, and now me and mine have inherited a predicament wherein we will be disinherited and dispossessed. Most of the men urging inaction will die before the First World becomes the Third, and brutality sets in (and it already has in earnest, in many invaded nations, such as Sweden). I understand in finality, the battle is spiritual. But are we not obligated to attempt to prevent suffering among our kin, though in suffering there is fruit for the believer?

    We shouldn’t fret the wicked, but does that mean we should not act to thwart his designs? Isn’t there a distinction?

  15. Mr. Blackwell, very well put sir. I have three grandchildren and I worry for them. They are inheriting the world that our generation created and have allowed to deteriorate. We will die soon and be with our Lord. They must do the suffering that we have created. The points in this article are well reasoned and well put, but like another commenter, I stay awake at night thinking about what is coming for my beloved family and praying with much sorrow for forgiveness for my part in it.

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