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Christ the King Monument, Swiebodzin,

January 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Throughout human history, man has on many occasions scorned the sweet yoke of Christ and sought to live according to his own feeble ideas. 

Atheistic communism, the sexual revolution of the 1960s, and today’s atomistic liberalism are just some of the most recent manifestations of depraved man’s attempts to order society around his instead of his creator’s ways.

Some will argue that in order to effectively combat the evils of our age, Catholics must convey their theologically-rooted arguments in a “reasonable” way so even the most hardened non-believer can entertain what they are saying. In other words, Catholics are to de-divinize the claims of the one true faith and speak only of a generalized “natural law.” If they don’t do this, they are told, they won’t be taken seriously by non-Christians. What’s worse is they will be accused of wanting to impose a theocracy.

While the natural law and the Catholic faith go hand in hand, the way in which this lowest-common-denominator approach has been implemented over the past half-century has not prevented the growth of what the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus referred to as “the naked public square.” 

Reading the signs of the times

Despite the efforts of many seemingly well-intentioned, God-fearing people, the Western world’s ever-downward spiral has not slowed down. The four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance are rampant in most “first world” nations, even though more Catholics are engaged in politics today than in all Church history. Moreover, while President Trump is providing a momentary respite from leftist assaults on conservatives, progressives will return to the halls of power in the not so distant future and, if past is prologue, attempt to make them violate their consciences. 

This assessment of the situation at hand, uncomfortable perhaps for some, is not a call for despair or to intentionally sound like one of Vatican II’s purported “prophets of doom,” whose warnings about liberalism, it must be admitted, couldn’t have been more correct! It is, simply put, the reality in which we live.

Indeed, the spiritual effects of original and actual sin, coupled with a hedonistic culture and the unraveling of modernity’s core tenets, seem to have taken such a toll on mankind that the West has little chance of ever recovering from the dense fog it has plunged itself into. One sometimes wonders whether the effects of liberalism, as well as technology, have so disfigured man’s nature that grace has nothing left to build on. Those who claim we are living in a time not unlike Noah’s are surely more correct than many give them credit for.

What are Catholics to do?

It is clear Catholics are now faced with a dilemma unlike many they have confronted before. One option they have is to continue doing what they have for decades – building ecumenical coalitions, issuing public statements, holding protests, voting for political parties that claim to stand for traditional values. No doubt there will be victories along the way if this path is chosen. But, the Culture of Death will likely remain.

Another option is to get serious about the situation at hand and, after reflecting on the real purpose of the Catholic faith, realize a different, more supernatural, course of action is needed, one that is in alignment with how the Church previously approached times of woe.

In his book The Liberal Illusion, 19th century French polemicist Louis Veuillot relays an insightful parable that should clarify to Catholics just what their path forward should look like. His words:

Imagine a King deposed from his throne, the last, best hope of his conquered fatherland, who was suddenly to declare that he considered himself justly deposed and that he only aspired to enjoy his personal possessions according to the laws governing all citizens, beneath the protection of the very men who were plundering his subjects…

The King, we would imagine, would disgrace himself in vain. No one would believe him. Those to whom he offered to sell his rights and his honor would tell him: “Are you mad, you are King!”

What Veuillot is saying here is that coexistence with the liberal, modern world and its anti-Christian usurpers is not what Catholics should strive for. The Social Kingship of Christ extends to all corners of the earth. All nations owe him obedience. A “free Church in a free State” is not enough. Caesar himself must give homage to his creator.

A liberal, pluralistic society – even one that respects the natural law – does not, objectively speaking, fulfill its debt to God. Subsequently, it cannot be said to be pleasing to Him. If natural law truths are something Catholics want enshrined into law, such truths should be desired insofar as they are stepping stones to the eventual public recognition of the divine law, as in, for example, the case of Poland, where businesses are closed on Sundays and where Christ was recognized as “King and Lord” in 2016. 

No one should be denied the Word of God

In the years ahead, it will become clear to all that supporters of same-sex “marriage,” transgenderism, abortion, and the like are, whether they themselves know it or not, engaged in a diabolical winner-take-all game.

At root of their warped ideology is an attitude that despises Christian morality and does not want it to influence society or to be passed on to the next generation. The fact that such persons do not want to share power with Christ over the social sphere is undeniable. Praying and doing penance for them, on top of seeking to convert them to the true faith, is where our efforts should primarily lie. As Pius XI wrote in his 1925 encyclical Quas Primas, “When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.”

Penn Jillette, a well-known magician and atheist, remarked in 2009 that he doesn’t respect persons who don’t proselytize. His words, presented below, should motivate Catholics to once again teach their faith, and not just the natural law, to all nations.

If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell…and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

Jesus is the Prince of Peace

Peace can only be brought about by the union of hearts, wills, and minds of men united in the same doctrines in the Church Christ established. You cannot have a truly moral society without Jesus Christ at its center and you cannot truly have Jesus Christ without the Catholic faith. 

The solution to the errors of our time is not convincing persons of the natural law alone. Sure, the intellect is capable of grasping the truths of the natural law, but, as taught by St. Pope Pius X in Acerbo Nimis in 1905 and affirmed by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis in 1950, without the divine law guiding man’s thinking, his reason will inevitably falter and his understanding of truth will gradually subside.

The solution to the errors of our time is, as it always has been, to convert the world to Catholicism. As Pope Leo XIII taught in 1899, the “abundance of evils which have now for a long time settled upon the world…pressingly call upon us to seek for help from Him by whose strength alone they can be driven away.”

Original sin is too strong and the modern world too enticing for man to create any sort of lasting society without the grace that flows through the sacraments. The 21st century – like all centuries before it – requires a supernatural solution to the problems it faces. Novenas, First Friday and First Saturday devotions, observing Ember Days, calling for the consecration of Russia, fasting, preaching to Jews, invoking the most Holy Name of Jesus in public, and, most importantly, proclaiming the Catholic faith in its entirety in season and out will have immense salutary effects in the effort to rid the world of abortion and the rest of the rotten policies conjured up by the deceivers of our age. 

Catholics serious about promoting a Culture of Life in 2019 must make more widely known these aspects of their faith.

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Stephen Kokx is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching, politics, and spirituality. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. His essays have appeared in a variety of outlets, including Catholic Family News and He is the author of St. Alphonsus for the 21st Century: A Handbook for Holiness.