The Anchoress writes, "It is, finally, perhaps a time of dawning realization that the centers are not holding; old orders are in extremis; new orders are in capricious adolescence.
The troubles briefly enumerated in this sobering op-ed are only the most obvious issues. They are the pebble tossed into the pond, rippling outward in ever-widening circles — expanding to include a unique “time” of global crisis: governments failing at every level, everywhere; churches are divided, their freedoms challenged; citizens are distracted, dissatisfied and distrustful, their election mechanisms in doubt; schools are losing sight of the primary mission of education; families are deconstructed and the whole concept ripe for dissolution; respect for human dignity is doled out in qualified measures; there is a lack of privacy; a lack of time to think, to process and to incarnate; a lack of silence.
It sounds terribly, terribly depressing, yes. Who wants to read that? Who wants to think about that?
For those among us who are Apocalypically Inclined -- in the Hollywood blockbuster movie sense of the term -- Cohen's piece will likely excite and terrify in equal measure.
For Catholics, who take apocalypse in its original meaning -- a revelation, nothing Cohen writes is at all surprising. The Powers of This World are always clawing for more power, more prestige, more wealth, more death.
The challenge for Catholics is: what do we do in the meantime -- the time between Now and The End? The Anchoress rightly suggests prayer and fasting for peace. These ancient ascetic practices make for a good start on our response.
Insofar as prayer and fasting mark us out as witnesses to hope in Christ, prayer and fasting are necessary. I would add to the mix: preaching and teaching; that is, proclaiming the Good News and teaching all that Christ himself taught.
The world needs as many priests, prophets, and kings as it can get. We cannot leave the salvation of creation to politicians, actors, media talking-heads, soldiers, and academics.
Christ saves us all, and the world needs to hear this fundamental truth!____________________
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