Courage is Contagious

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.   (Deut. 31:6-8).

When Saint Paul wrote the book of Romans, he was at the end of his apostolic journey.  After being knocked off his donkey (he may have been on a horse as he was a Roman citizen) on the way to Damascus and blinded because of his zealous nature persecuting the new believers in Jesus Christ. Those looking to follow the teachings of Jesus as a way of life were fearful of what Saul was doing and didn’t want anything to do with him. 

However, after the Damascus road event, in his own home, Ananias said to the Lord, “Lord several people have told me about this man and all the harm he has been doing to your saints in Jerusalem. He has only come here because he holds a warrant from the chief priests to arrest everybody who invokes your name. The Lord replied, “you must go all the same, because this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before pagans and pagan kings and before the people of Israel.  I myself will show him how much he himself must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:13-16).

Few know that Saul of Tarsus, now Paul went through a discipleship period for three years in the desert of Arabia after his radical conversion. On today’s map that would be modern day Syria. Saint Paul had traveled throughout Asia Minor all the way to Rome to preach the gospel as it had been given to him directly by Jesus Christ. 

Paul gives a brief biography in chapter 1 of Galatians how he evolved into an apostle taught directly by the Holy Spirit and not the original apostles while in Arabia. Paul writes, “I want you to realize this, the Good news I preach is not a human message, that I was given by men.  It is something I learnt only through a revelation of Jesus Christ.  Then God, who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through His grace to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach the Good News about Him to the pagans.  I did not stop to discuss this with any human being, nor did I go to Jerusalem to see those who were already apostles before me, but I went to Arabia at once and later went straight back from there to Damascus. Even when after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days (Gal. 1: 11, 15-19).

Paul had a unique commission from God to preach the good news in the known world to pagan people not having any catechesis before he arrived.  Therefore, he had to be very clear and direct on this new truth of Jesus that he was teaching. The writings of Saint Paul show a man who never compromised  the truth.

There was no political correctness for a consensus to get along.  Paul spoke pure unadulterated raw truth no matter the circumstance(s).   It is why he had such a large and loyal following with those pure of heart. The human heart, soul, and mind seeks the truth, and Paul provided it everywhere he taught.  People may not agree with him, but his teachings are clear. Paul being taught directly by God, understood the letter of the law from his ancestral traditions he learned as an observant zealous Jew. Once Saul, now Paul, had been transformed to an understanding of a new law now written on men’s hearts. Paul had a unique charism understanding what Jesus was trying to convey to the world in the Redemptive Plan as the Kingdom of God had come to men in the person of Jesus. Saint Paul was a principal agent in the early church as God’s mouthpiece for a new emerging doctrine.   

America over the last several generations has become a pagan land. Albeit, we have technology the world could never could have imagined years ago.  In 1969 we sent three men to the moon and brought them home safely, we have broken the genetic code of man, and countless other technological feats.  We are pagans in our beliefs and practices, with great technology in our hands.  We have, devolved into a moral wasteland filled with pagan people. If one were to look at what the U.S.  government funds for our social policies, and what we practice and believe, we have become outright pagan, similar in practice and views to the people Paul visited on his mission journeys. 

Saint Paul’s writings are majestic truth in every sense of the word because of his uncompromising clarity.  There is never any ambiguity where Paul stands on any moral issue. In an age where 2 + 2 = 5, and the truth is hard to find, it is going to take more of the directness of Paul to make Christian doctrine clear. The insanity of gender shows just how far we have drifted spiritually. When a woman can be called a man because they will it due to dysfunctional thinking, and the government endorses it, that is not just confusion, that is moral depravity. Moral relativism has taken us to another dimension when we can’t make it clear there is a difference between something as simple as the differences between a man and a woman’s gender.  The U.S. is a modern-day pagan Rome whether we care to admit it or not, and speaking directly as Paul did to the Romans, is a partial remedy for the culture. 

Saint Paul described the Romans behavior and views in the first chapter in his letter to them. Paul is speaking as if he is on a street corner among friends. He is speaking in the vernacular and understandable. It is direct, clear, and brutally frank what he thinks these pagans in Rome really are, as he gives very emotive descriptions of their behavior. There is no confusion where he stands.  It is not sugar coated like we see people talking about the state of American degeneracy and what we have become as a nation.

Paul writes to the Romans what he thinks of their behavior, “Ever since God created the world His everlasting power and deity—however invisible—have been there for the mind to see in the things he has made.  That is why such people are without excuse: they knew God and yet refused to honor Him as God or to thank Him, instead thy made nonsense out of logic and their empty minds were darkened.  The more they called themselves philosophers, the more stupid they grew, until they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for a worthless imitation of a mortal man, of birds, quadrupeds, and reptiles.  That is why God left them to their filthy enjoyments, and the practices which they dishonor their own bodies since they have given up divine truth for a lie and have worshipped and served creatures instead of the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen!

 In other words, since they refused to see it was rational to acknowledge God, God has left them to their own irrational ideas and their monstrous behavior. And so they are steeped in all sorts of depravity, rottenness, greed and malice, slanderers, enemies of God, rude, arrogant, boastful, enterprising in sin, rebellious to parents, without brains, honor, love, or pity. They know what God’s verdict is: that those who behave like this deserve to die—and yet they do it; and what is worse; encourage others to do the same (Romans 1: 20-25, 28-32).

Paul is talking to people about the state of depravity in men’s souls due to the ravages of illicit conduct. Sin clouds the mind from grace to have clear thoughts, thus you produce monstrous behavior and all the descriptions St. Paul uses to describe people who are lost. Ultimately, one’s world view is based on a belief in God or not.  Atheism brings out the beast in man and this is what is prevailing today.  History has shown man is capable of horrific crimes when the divine is removed from the affairs of man. Sin prevents grace and light from entering the soul of people, thus the morally aberrant conduct that encourages others to do the same.   

Historian Will Durant in his book Lessons of History, writes how great nations do not perish at the hands of enemies from without, but they commit suicide. Over the last generation in particular, as we have lost our moral standing, we are following the path of other great civilizations to the ash heap of history. The insanity observing it, is hard to watch for people who grew up in 1940’s-70’s in the United States. 

The ignoring of Heaven’s Remedy

Our state of depravity is so complex to fix today, most have given up trying to find a remedy. The national past time is talking about the problems and disseminating e mails on the reprobate state of the country. Very few (yea verily) provide solutions. Believers have all the tools necessary to remedy the situation, but their silence is the problem. Jesus told Saint Faustina, “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.”  Edmund Burke’s famous quote is still appropriate, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  The left has a near monopoly on controlling the narrative, while most believers just respond to their nonsense.  It is time to do as Heaven has asked with the spiritual tools it has given us. First and foremost is speaking the truth. The Word of God is an offensive weapon. There are two thousand years of established doctrine and truth behind us. Philosophy, theology, natural law, and science back stop a believer yet they often cower when confronted for fear of appearing confrontational.  II Timothy states, “all Scripture is inspired by God for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, that we all may be made perfect (II Tim. 3;16).     

One place to start is in social settings is to be clear as Saint Paul is in what the culture has become when the subject comes up. Proverbs says “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a grievous word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1.  A response from the left does not have to be rooted in sarcasm, anger or ending in a brawl.  The truth if spoken by one is still the truth.  It can turn around a family, a parish, or even a community over time because it makes people think. It may also encourage another who shares your views to be more courageous expressing the truth rather than beaten down by progressives. Courage is contagious.  But hiding the light is a mistake and has brought us to this place of insane behavior we find ourselves today. We are in this spiritual malaise because good people ceased to speak up when lies were expressed. The day of being the turtle on a fence post must end if we are to save this generation.   

                                          JESUS I TRUST IN YOU

Signs & Wonders for Our Times