I think it was The Muppet Movie where some character told Kermit he felt lost and Kermit asked, “Have you tried Hare Krishna?” Lots of people feel lost today and many more are lost but don’t realize it. Our world has rejected God causing anxiety and discomfort across all levels of society.
In a recent interview on Fox News, Cardinal Dolan noted that he, as well as many others, keep getting asked about the problems of our day, why all the violence, fighting, drugs, etc. He answered, “Let me attempt an answer, not starting with politics, the economy, or COVID, but starting with … God!” Vatican II foresaw what can happen when God is ignored. “When God is forgotten, however, the creature itself grows unintelligible.” (Gaudium et Spes, 36)
Today’s society wants to isolate religion. They ignore or deny the fact that belief in God was a major factor in the founding of our Nation. They achieved some success in isolating people and keeping them from worship by egregious lockdowns during the COVID pandemic by inciting fear and panic among the people, such that even most bishops and church leaders of all faiths fell in line with the tyrannical demands of government. This not only isolated the faithful from their neighbors but also from God. As any exorcist will tell you, isolation and fear are tools of the devil.
There are many who avoid religion at all costs. However, faith is a gift, and a gift not only has to be offered, but it has to be accepted. Many are afraid of this gift as they think it will tie them down or will obligate them to some set of rules that that that they don’t want to accept. As father Larry Richards puts it, “I did it my way” is the theme song of Hell! On top of that, we have the secular world pushing in on us from all sides. And, too often, it is easier to give in than to stand tall! So, while we are following the wide, easy path to destruction (Mt 7:13), along with the world at large, we still feel lost. We are pilgrims without a destination.
We are so tied up in ourselves and our egos that we cannot look beyond ourselves to see that God is the answer to our problems. We are miserable, without joy. “The way to perfect joy is perfectly simple. It is simply to put God first.” (Dr. Peter Kreeft, Making Sense Out of Suffering) “A soul that is bursting with its own ego can never be filled with God … The more empty the soul is of self, the greater the room in it for God.” (Fulton Sheen, The World’s First Love)
We deny the existence of God and so deny the existence of the devil. Many try to argue that if there were a good and merciful God he would not let evil exist. They don’t realize or they don’t want to accept that God first and foremost respects our free will, which is a gift from him. Without free will, we would just be animals or glorified automatons. Therefore, God allows us to accept or reject him as we desire. The consequence of rejecting God, however, is evil. Of course, denying that the devil exists suits him perfectly well. If we don’t think he exists, we will do nothing to combat him, except to wander aimlessly, wondering how the world got so disordered.
Those who reject God also reject the Bible. But the answer to so many of our problems can be found there. Firstly, God told us to worship him and not false idols. Yet, we continuously worship the idols of self, money, power, sex, drugs, etc., which can do nothing for us. We were once taught that it is better to give than receive, to look out for others, and the Golden Rule. Now we are told to look out for oneself first and not worry about others. We want everything for ourselves, even if it isn’t good for us. We don’t think or we deny that asking God might be what we really need. Jesus told us that the Father (God) knows what is good for us and all we have to do is ask. “Ask and you will receive; seek, and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Lk 11:9) But Jesus tells us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” and God will give you what you need. (Mt 6:33)
And there it is, the solution to the problems of today’s society. God. And the “rules” for seeking the kingdom of God are repeated throughout the Bible. But society is too proud, too wrapped up in itself. We count the hundreds and thousands of followers we have on social media, as well as the number of people and groups we follow. There is only one person we need to follow, Jesus Christ. We want more than we need and when we get it, we hang on to it tightly, refusing to even share it with those who might need it more than we. We love ourselves to excess, but have no love for our neighbors, even if that neighbor needing our love is a child in our womb. And God, who is love itself, does not even enter into our list of potential loves.
The Bible tells repeatedly what happens when people turn away from God. The Old Testament tells repeatedly of how the Israelites turned away from God and suffered, but by turning back to him, things got better. In Genesis we are told about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in whom not even ten righteous people could be found. There is a Jewish legend that says that, as long as there are at least 10 righteous people in the world, God will not destroy it. Look at yourself. Are you one of the ten or are you one of the multitude of others who are leading the world to destruction. Look to God and he will help you find yourself and where you stand.
The world is restless but refuses to recognize why. We were all born with a conscience, but as noted in the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes, paragraph 16, man’s conscience “by degrees grows practically sightless as a result of habitual sin.” This is glaringly evident by what we see going on in society and the Church today.
St. Augustine told us the answer for this restlessness, “you have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts can find no rest until we find our rest in you.” God is calling. God is knocking at our door. Will we open the door and let him in and so turn the world around?
Posted on The Patriot Post, 26 July 2022