Canada falls to 14th place. Read the headlines.
It used to be that Canada was way up there in at least 5th place when we were a proud people. But “Canada has again slipped, this time to 14th place, on an international index of ethical governments because of a "marked increase" in the perceived level of corruption in the government.”
When you see headlines like this, what do you think?
Do you say to yourself, what’s Canada coming to with so much corruption?
It’s the fault of the politicians…they’re all alike…lies and greed.
What we need is a full slate of new politicians to completely clean house.
As true as these things might seem to be, it misses one crucial factor…the spiritual factor.
As I more or less said in my “political theory” posting some time ago, a nation or society achieves a certain degree of order and strength by virtue of its Christian population. Let’s call that it’s spiritual temperature. ‘White Hot’ would be a society entirely influenced and swayed by a Christian population living in near total obedience to God. This is as close as it gets to Jesus’ prayer, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The opposite extreme we might call ‘Ice Cold,’ and it would be a society practically void of Christians, or totally unaffected by the spiritual practice of its Christian population. For practical purposes we could consider such a Christian population (if present) as almost completely apostate.
The white hot society is incredibly powerful and well ordered. The ice cold society is fragile, unjust, superstitious and precipitously close to being vanquished and assimilated into a society of stronger individuals.
It should be obvious then that a strong society does not happen by chance, nor does it happen merely by the wit and strategy of man. It is indeed a question of power. Power is required to order and strengthen any society. Societies must “drink” or access their power from outside themselves, much like a person depends on a spring or a well for water and for life.
The Greeks, the Romans, and others had somewhat powerful societies because they drank from the well of truth in nature. The thinkers of these societies recognized certain “divine” principles which existed in nature for all to see, i.e. truth, justice, honour, etc. and more or less fashioned their societies around these truths. As they set about to lay and maintain such a foundation God allowed them a measure of generous drink. Yes, they became strong societies. True power is always linked to God.
Then came Jesus, God in the flesh. Ultimate power is God’s. But the Father gave it all to Jesus, the Son. Jesus said, “All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” The Son gave it to His Bride, the Church, through the person of Peter. “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven…” Matt. 16:19
Since the decree of Jesus the Church and the Church only, has the power of heaven and earth in its hands. Jesus gave it to no other agency or individual, including government or family. Societies throughout the world now have the privilege of drinking for power and strength from the spoons, ladles, buckets and barrels which the Church draws from the well of Christ. They can have as much of it as they like.
There’s only one condition and limitation: the Church must hold forth to the society the entire truth of God’s revelation to man, which is wholly contained in the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, the repository of the true Faith.
To the degree that the Pope and Bishops are faithful as apostles and successors of Peter, holding forth to society the buckets of truth and power entrusted to the Church, society can grow strong and well ordered. If the Church fails in this duty, society will weaken and falter, as does a man dying of thirst.
The power that is held by any group or organization derives directly or indirectly from its connection with the Church. The Protestant groups for example are direct beneficiaries of this power, having come forth out of the very bowels of its Mother, and brought with them the unique identity inherited from her. All power, truth and order which they possess and dispense has derived from their Mother, although the cost of separation over the centuries for many of these groups has been decline, division and apostasy.
The “glory” (in the truest sense) of our Western civilization has been the glory of Christ shining through a Christian populace by the daily dosage of power and authority meted out to willing souls by the Church. We won’t get theological here but ordinary folks might identify that power as “grace.” But our glory is rapidly departing.
Needless to say, our dosage and schedule has long since been disrupted. The responsibility for all such significant disruptions and failures rests with the Bishops who have failed to reach society with these necessary provisions. This problem is further exacerbated by the resultant growing population of mal-ordered and weakened individuals, whose continued scandalization lowers their expectations of Church and alienates them further.
Without address by the Bishops, the cycle continues and society deteriorates. What gave power and stability to yesterday’s society cannot sustain it into the future. It needs replenishing, just as the man needs a fresh drink of water each day.
Which more or less brings me back to the news story. Why is Canada continuing to slip backwards, now in 14th spot?
Don’t think of politicians or elections, nor even of corruption itself. True, these things all have their place in understanding what’s happening, but do not offer any hope for solutions.
Do not think of public education or even private school education, although these things if done well can change certain standards of a person’s life significantly.
Do not even think that a powerful evangelistic campaign or switching to regular attendance at a Latin Mass will resolve Canada’s problem, even though it might well be the thing that God is asking of an individual at the moment.
The condition is more entrenched and pervasive than that. Nothing but member as well as whole body repentance from the Christian populace will suffice, most especially from Bishops, if for no other reason than that large sections of society can be impacted very quickly by their repentance.
To keep proper perspective here though, I have to say I don’t think it’s any easier for a Bishop to repent than it is for you or I.
So what’s holding you back? Canada is waiting.
posted by islandcatholic on October 21, 2005