Faith in the Wrong Institutions
Dear Rev Doctor Vincent,
Why can't the government fix corona, and hate?
Oh, what a mess. Would that we could just flip a switch and it would all be over. Racism, real institutional evil, the pandemic, and weak leadership constantly brings us down.
One disease runs through it all: faith in the wrong institutions.
We choose sides in political parties and have too much faith in the efficacy of government. We will always be disappointed.
Too many people choose the wrong institution to believe in, as any secular deity will never care enough about anything except its own perpetuation.
The root problem is a lack of faith in God, first, above all.
An earnest, fervent, and thoughtful belief in a greater power is the predicate for a moral life, a life of purpose driven with a goal of going to heaven after our weak corporal existence. Sure, we all know good people who don’t believe in God who live a moral life, yet…
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
With a real foundation in God everything becomes a moral question, right vs. wrong, good vs. evil.
God, and faith in His institutions, is under assault in the world from within and without, under the guise of public safety. It will take the courage of faith to get back to worship as it should be.
Let’s examine the Catholic Church. Its leadership (the bishopric is its own institution) failed the faithful and the innocent throughout the world by not exposing pedophilia and bad actors in a rational, legal, and timely manner. It will forever pay the price of a tarnished reputation, efforts at redemption notwithstanding.
Now it (the bishopric) lies down when states shut them down, even eating the nonsense that abortion clinics and liquor stores are essential but responsible worship is outlawed.
Yes, outlawed. Insane, appalling, wrong, and unconstitutional.
I heard two sermon/homilies last week. One, a priest castigated the church’s leadership for not pressing harder with creative ways to get people into pews. That took courage.
Another sermon was a lecture on civility and not being racist. Talk about preaching to the choir. A good talk, but if God was first, really first, the moral issue of hate cannot grow into the ugly snarly beast of racism.
If racism isn’t evil, then nothing is.
If God is first, and we all truly strive to get to heaven in through our deeds, evil can be overcome in the hearts and minds of men.
If you have more faith in politics than the Lord you will never overcome evil, as right and wrong will remain a matter of degree and debate. There really is no grey area.
Ring our false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Forgiveness and redemption do not start with political bantering and argument. They start in the heart, in the family, in loving one another as you would love yourself.
A last word on the Catholic Church, well, any church. The faithful are forgiving, to a degree, as long as there is righteous accountability.
But the people won’t countenance cowardice. Take heed. Man up, or collar up, if you will. Push back against the secular institutions that would prefer you and your flock would simply go away quietly.
Please keep the faith.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
from Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In Memorium"