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Direction of a Just Nation

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Liberty and freedom in a disordered world are often misunderstood. The American experiment has been one of great accomplishments and great dichotomies. The underlying foundation of our national identity has been self-determination. Detractors will argue that the words in the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal” falls short when we acknowledge that slavery was allowed in several states. The practice, in fact, pre-dated the 1776 Revolution and much blood was shed correcting this injustice.  A truly just nation corrects itself.

As Catholics, we became great participants in the national debate, although not fully welcomed by the establishment in the early days. Parochial affections and generational biases aside, our nation grew strong, not by exploiting our diversity but by building on our commonality. The Judeo-Christian ethic of work and order allowed this. Despite the common belief today, order was established and we accepted that differences would always be a part of the dialogue. The diversity of religious beliefs requires those of differing ethos to hold the common requirements of a civil society.  Many in our nation seem to want to ignore this reality today and rebuild a culture on the shifting sands of moral relativism and without reference to the Creator. Natural law is not set on a sliding scale, nor is it to be redefined as individual groups wish to observe it. Our national identity is in jeopardy today as we further depart from the belief that we can differ on such grave issues.

As Americans we are angered when we see our institutions and the rule of law abused. We should be, but we need to understand that it is the actions or lack of action on the part of most of us that has allowed this to happen.

Our Catholic Faith and the general Christian ethical foundation of the United States is what we must reclaim, not to prove that we are right and all others are wrong, but to return to sanity in our common daily life and our political discourse. There is an attack on objective truth. A sliding scale of morality leads not only to a disrupted society but to confusion that blocks our vision of truth.

How do you vote in the upcoming elections? Will the installation of certain candidates truly right the course of the ship of state? Certainly, this is a step in the right direction, but only by working to instill in the hearts of people the need to make the foundational issues paramount in their minds and intentions will our electoral choices bear fruit. Elections are only a first step in regaining order in a world that finds this abhorrent.

Laws do not guarantee proper order in society. Citizens abiding by those laws does. No law can be instituted and expected to be followed just because it is on the books. A just mind brings us to compliance with just laws. On the contrary, unjust laws or norms cannot be complied with if they force individuals to violate their religious beliefs or conscience. Throughout Christian history and prior to that, oppressive governments have demanded compliance with unjust laws. Many have forfeited their livelihoods and even their very lives by defying godless edicts. At Fatima, Our Lady warned us that great persecutions were on the horizon if her requests were not heeded. The history of the past century speaks for itself.

During the Fatima apparitions, Portugal was ruled by a secular anti-clerical government, which persecuted the Church and attempted to suppress the mission of the seers. Despite this, the apparitions of Our Lady continued and have outlasted that era in political history. The actions of the government of that time, arresting and holding the children captive so that they could not be present at the August apparition, did not stop the message from being disseminated. In fact, it raised the ire of the devoted populace that saw through the evil intentions of the officials and became more determined in their beliefs.  Human institutions come and go, but Divine action endures.

Throughout Judeo-Christian history, those who held to the Truth were in conflict with the established powers. In all cases the Faith triumphed and the oppressive regimes became footnotes in history. Take heart knowing that perseverance in upholding our beliefs against the headwinds of secularism will lead us to victory.

Politics in this country has become more an emotional response than a realistic thought process. This is the byproduct of radical activism rather than a focus on the common good, which is essential to the function of civil society. Evil will always attempt to overturn justice, but a just and diligent electorate can mitigate the damage caused.   

A civil response to incivility is necessary if we are to properly counter the onslaught of attacks against order. An eye for an eye response only leads to both parties being blinded. On the contrary, we must overcome their hatred with love so strong that it penetrates the darkness of sin and intolerance. We most certainly must fight to take back our institutions but are committed to the wellbeing of all. Hate cannot be countered with hate. 

Our apostolate is actively involved in the Eucharistic Revival by which the Church is bringing back belief in the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. We believe that this is a giant step towards bringing right thinking back into the political dialog. The Fatima message finds its foundation in this belief. Fulfilling the requests made at Fatima, even at this late date, is the answer.

God bless you and Mary keep you in her Immaculate Heart.

David Carollo 4952 2 square

David M. Carollo is the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA/National Blue Army Shrine. He wrote this for his Voice of Fatima column.

If you would like to comment on this post, please contact him at [email protected].

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