But the most important thing is to get one’s spiritual life in order. Go to confession. Love your neighbors. Make war on your habitual sins. Increase your devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist. Increase your devotion to Our Blessed Lady. Do penance, for yourself and for others. The world may seem hopeless, but there is one thing that can turn it all around: a harvest of saints.
And then from the comment boxes of same post:
What’s the unifier for all of these great empires? A sense of purpose outside of one’s self. What was the downfall? Personal decadence.
Through all of those empires, what has lasted? The Catholic Church. It’s “out of fashion”, “not with the times”, “inconvenient”, and a host of other names not PG-rated. But really, does it matter? If we are God’s personal Eternal Church, did we really expect that we’ll ever be “trendy or contemporary?” The longer I live, the more I think that we won’t be.
I guess the tricky part is how much suffering will God call on us to be witness to or experience. I guess we can pray that that particular cup can pass us by, but until then I really think that we should be preparing ourselves and our loved ones for being “Extremely Unfashionable.” Whatever that might entail.
In good times or bad, the program is the same-prayer, personal holiness, etc. , because Christ is the same (yesterday, today and forever.)
Thomas More is said to have advised is children (from Roper's life):
"It is now no mastery for you children to go to heaven. For everybody giveth you good counsel, everybody giveth you good example. You see virtue rewarded, and vice punished, so that you are carried up to heaven even by the chins. But if you live in the time, that no man will give you good counsel, nor no man will give you good example, when you shall see virtue punished, and vice rewarded, if you will then stand fast, and firmly stick to God upon pain of life, if you be but half good, God will allow you for whole good."
Thus if these latter times spoken of by St. Thomas are here, as they seem to be, then just maybe I have a chance.... It seems to me I grew up in the former times (even if the world was crazy in the 60's and 70's, my familial and immediate community were virtuous.)
PS: A friend and his wife are traveling to Russia this weekend on the first trip in an adoption process-please drop a prayer for them and their family.
Oremus pro invicem!