Shane didn't have all the details of my day yesterday, when half way through it he called and told me if I put away the laundry he'd give me a backrub after dinner. At least I could have understood it that way. What he really meant was if I unearthed the massage table from the mountain of clean laundry sitting on it, we could utilize it for it's intended purpose. Which, I found out, is not as a clean laundry hamper. Though it is pretty functional that way too.
For the rest of the day I'd catch myself getting grumpy and then I'd remember the promised treat. And sometimes I'd remember the clean laundry. But things were so busy all evening I didn't get to it until a few minutes before he walked in the door. The kids had already eaten so I gave the baby to them to play with and Shane and I sat down to eat and recount our respective days. Mine was mostly whining about how draining- physically and emotionally-my day was. Shane, after listening to the news on the way home, about how morally drained our society and country are and it doesn't appear there are going to be any major improvements for a few generations.
In thinking it over, the brazenness of the evil in society is astounding. And its not that so much that it is just tolerated, but is promoted, and taught to be 'normal'. Anything different is laughed at, at best, persecuted, at worst. Though its not fiery stakes or lions or any of the other forms of torture used in the first 300 years of the Church, and some places still today, it is persecution nonetheless. And its everywhere .Seriously, if you value your employment, you can't wish your co-workers a Merry CHRISTMAS. You can't talk about how you are against killing children out 'offending' someone. Marriage? That's so outdated and exclusionary.
And then he go to the scary part. Yes, things have been slowly, initially, and now rampantly been getting worse. But to continue, evil needs the next generation. Meaning my kids. And your kids. And their kids. And it will try to slowly wear them down. To desensitize them to evil and it's fruit and eventually convince them it does net exist. Its just a bogeyman you think is under your bed. But look. There's nothing there. See? Everything is fine. Now go to sleep.
A bishop, somewhere, said recently of the rapid decay of society and its effort to eradicate Truth,
"I am going to die in my bed. My successor will die in prison. And his successor will be martyred in the public square."
For speaking the Truth.
Maybe his successor will be my son. And his successor my grandson. And They Can't Have Them!!!
I am sure every thinking generation thinks they are the most corrupt and can't imagine things getting worse. But that just means they have no imagination. Things can and will get worse. More babies will be killed, more lies put forth as the truth, more good people will be persecuted.
Shane posited a situation where homeschooling was outlawed and the state comes to take your kids. What would you do? As a Christian, what can our response be? Like Peter, do we cut off their ear? ( I'd probably start with something else, personally) Or do we turn the other cheek? And what does that look like when it comes to our children?
It seems so overwhelming and hopeless at times. Which is exactly what Satan would like.
I've been reading a book my brother-in-law recommended called Everywhere Present by Stephen Freeman. I've only gotten a little way through, but am really enjoying it and wished I'd started it at the beginning of lent, instead of Holy Thursday. I won't try to summarize the book as I am sure I'd do it poorly and that would not be fair. However, it did help me to think about what Everywhere Present might mean. And how we accept and live with the fact that God is EVERYWHERE PRESENT. Not just in saints and tabernacles. God is Life. And Life is Everywhere. Where life is celebrated and welcomed, so is God. Where it is not, well God is still there. We are just choosing to ignore or deny Him. And what does that mean for how we live? Not just for ourselves, but for the whole world. I think of all the monks and nuns praying unceasingly for themselves and all of creation. That we might see and accept God's presence and strive to make our life here an abundance of His Life. To share that with everyone we encounter. To be able to see in everyone the Divine Spark that makes us icons of the Creator and bring more light to the world. Because who would want less God in the world?
It is so apparent to me when I see little Malachi. He truly is an abundance of Goodness. But the same is true of the guy who cut me off, the dis-obedient child, and the grumpy worn out mother. He's there. And I don't think Satan can stand it and stupidly thinks he can win by trying to put out the lights or blind us to the reality that God is here. But we all know God wins. And there we can find our comfort. That and chubby thighs. Even if he is fussy.