“You believe in the one God — that is creditable enough, but even the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear. Fool! Would you not know that faith without deeds is useless?” James 2:19-20
Christians are often mocked for being like sheep, gullible simpletons at best, deplorable, domestic terrorists and racists (think black sheep matters), at worst. They are followers with a herd mentality. Yet, are the wolves really that different? They too are followers with a pack mentality. They don’t usually live in gated communities, but are absolutely territorial about their borders. They each follow a leader that share the same name: Alpha. Some wolves even identify themselves as sheep!
One day, the Alpha wolf told the sheep they could be like shepherds, and offered them all the green pastures of the world. Wolf and sheep, side by side, opening the gates together, united in burning down the farm, free at last of the one cause of their mutual oppression, from the one with the rod and the rules. The Good Shepherd had to be sentenced to Good Friday once again.
With so much in common and with all this newfound freedom, one would think peace and harmony and love and order, all with a full cup of diversity and inclusion, would describe the relationship between the enlightened wolves and the liberated sheep, and yet, sheep kept on dying, increasingly so.
With the Shepherd gone, some sheep began to blame foreign dogs, while others blamed the climate (they didn’t agree on whether it’s the cooling or the warming, but both agreed the temperature changed because of the sheep), and others still, say the problem is too many sheep! Despite the increasing number of sheep identifying as wolves, being eaten by wolves, and being ruled by wolves, the sheep are certain that it’s those white wool sheep that are causing all the trouble. Why don’t they simply get the hormones? Why are they so unwelcoming to hyenas? Why do they refuse to send their young to Tinder-garden?
The above story is based on true events and took place in the People’s Republic of Canada. Both sheep and wolves were influenced by what Rod Dreher described in his book “Live not by lies”, as “the most potent force” in society today, namely, “consumerism and making money”. This was also true of the rich young man, who left Jesus in order to keep his possessions (Mat 19:16-26), even though this made him “sad”. Some pastures are greener than others.
In this place, the Shepherd is routinely ignored and His sheep mocked and hated, from both left and right. Back in 1929, G.K. Chesterton wrote an essay called “The Thing“, in which he proposed that all heresies, including Islam and communism, are really just over-emphasized single truths removed from its greater body of truths (like a chapter ripped from a book):
“First, he picks out some mystical idea from the Church’s balance of mystical ideas. Second, he uses that one mystical idea against all the other mystical ideas. Third, he seems generally to have no notion that his own favorite mystical idea is a mystical idea, as mysterious or dubious or dogmatic as any of the Church’s other mystical ideas that he rejects. Thus Calvinists are obsessed only with the Sovereignty of God, Lutherans with the Grace of God, Methodists with the sin of man, Baptists with the Bible, Quakers with simplicity. The list goes on, it even includes religious and political movements outside of Christianity. Muslims are obsessed with the Oneness of God, Communists with the equality of men, Feminists with the equality of men and women, Materialists with creation apart from the Creator, Spiritualists with the rejection of materialism, and so on. In every case, these sects have taken one of the Church’s mystical ideas and exalted it above the rest, even against the rest. They have lost all the moderating and balancing measures of the Thing, the Catholic Faith.”
A few examples:
- The Church hates women. Why are only men allowed to be priests and required to remain celibate?
- The Church loves Mary too much! Why are only women allowed to be nuns and required to remain celibate?
- The Church is too strict. Too many rules. Why doesn’t she get with the times?
- The Church is too loose. Too many changes. Why doesn’t she go back to the apostles’ times?
- The Church is too powerful. Do you want to take your orders from Rome?
- The Church is too weak. Why doesn’t Rome do something about it?
- The Church is racist. Funded European colonialism and supported slavery to enrich itself.
- The Church is too welcoming. Constantly advocating for immigrants and refugees in order to…. enrich itself.
- The Church hates sex. Love is love and the Church has no business in the bedrooms of the country.
- The Church is irresponsible with sex. Be fruitful and multiply? “They breed like rabbits.”
- The Church hates natives. Burn their churches.
- The Church loves natives. Help build more churches in remote areas. St Kateri pray for us
On almost every issue, whether political, economic, on health or education, on ethical or judicial matters, the Church is blamed for doing too little or too much, the clergy for being too sheepish and silent or too arrogant and outspoken. This is a trend seen all over the world, and this projection of every ill onto the Church (scapegoat), means we can safely predict more Christians suffering and dying. According to John L. Allen Jr in his book, “The Global War on Christians”, the number of Christian martyrs between 2003-2013 was over 1 million!!! Yet crickets…. no Christian Lives Matters. He writes, “While Islamic fundamentalism is indeed the world’s leading manufacturer of anti-Christian hatred (18 of the 25 countries listed as most hazardous to Christians are majority-Muslim nations), it is hardly the only threat facing the faith… In Latin America, where Christianity represents an overwhelming social majority, Christians nevertheless are being martyred for their stands in favour of social justice and human rights, often falling victim to narco-terrorists and paramilitary bands. In parts of Asia, Christians run afoul of other forms of religious fundamentalism, such as the rise of Hindu nationalist forces in India. In other places, such as China, North Korea, and Myanmar, Christians are seen as threats to the hold on power of various kinds of police states.”
This reminds me of Herman Melville’s short story “Billy Budd”. He was so kind, so honest, hardworking, and possessed an innocent joy despite his hardships and limitations, and yet, everyone hated him. With that said, although the issue is clearly global, our sphere of control is only local, so let us return to that.
The Wolf on Sussex Street has successfully managed in only a few years to convince the sheep to:
- Close their churches, especially during Christmas and Easter
- That burning churches is understandable, even on a hoax
- That the Eucharist is non-essential
- Giving mothers the choice to killing their children before they are born, as a prerequisite to be a party member
- China’s surveillance police system is to be admired and their donations should always be welcomed (just make it payable to Trudeau Foundation)
- Freezing bank accounts for donating $50, while giving millions to Omar Khadr is good for national security
- Wearing blackface and making monkey sounds is not racist if you are a young, trust-fund, rich white Liberal
- Forcing injections on the population against their will, and keeping children locked in isolation for almost 2 years is good for national health.
- Beat up peaceful protesters with batons and stomp on them with horses is a matter of emergency
- Kill the elderly, the mentally ill, and many more with euthanasia, castrate the young in the name of freedom, bring weed to every community, bribe the media to lie, and so on.
To survive as a sheep, one has to fully trust the Good Shepherd. Is your faith merely belief in an idea or proposition, or does it move your heart and mind to act differently, live differently? Every single institution in Canada, whether medical, academic, judicial, political, media, even majority of our paid clergy, abandoned the sheep at the first mention of a pandemic. This has given new light to Jesus’ words of warning to us: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and runs away, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; he runs away because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep.” John 10:11-13
Hector Berlioz was a French composer from 1800s that lost out on winning a prestigious award (and financial compensation that came with it), because he refused to compose a song in a manner that would appease the custom of his time. Here’s how he described it: ” Yes, that was it, soothing music was what the general public in Paris wanted, even in the most violent situations. Music that was not too dramatic, but lucid, rather colourless, safely predictable, innocent of unheard-of rhythms or harmonies or new procedures of any sort, modest in its demands on the intelligence and concentration of performer and listener alike; a French gentleman’s art, dressed in tights and top boots, never carried away, always correct, lively, urbane, chivalrous, pleasure-loving, Parisian.”
If we replaced the word music with faith, would it describe the faith that Christ would find in Canada? In Ontario? In Halton? In my address? If it does, let’s play a different tune beginning with “The Lord is my Shepherd…
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;” Psalm 23
St Joseph: Pray for us
If publishing article online please attribute source Band of Christian Brothers with link to original article.