To The Young Catholic Sickened By Secularized Society

To The Young Catholic Sickened By Secularized Society

Somewhere inside of you, your idea of utopia might be very much like Francoist Spain. If that is so, you need to snap out of it, now.


You go to daily Mass and regularly run to Confession. Your ideal gift is a paperback spiritual classic. You can't walk by a statue of the Virgin Mary without feeling the urge to kneel down and take out your ever-handy rosary, and, if God doesn't call you to religious life, you look forward to having a big, faithful Catholic family. You support (or tolerate) President Trump largely because the prospect of a pro-choice administration horrifies you. In fact, every time something reminds you that our culture is full of fornication, contraception, normalized atheism, and, yes, abortion, you are filled with disgust verging on the desire to vomit.

You might ask if there's anything wrong with this mindset. After all, the Church needs saints' countercultural zeal.

She certainly does. But fanaticism is not sanctity. And you might disavow fanaticism, but so do all but the most fanatical fanatics.

In 1936, a civil war pitted the anticlerical Second Spanish Republic against conservative Catholic rebels. Three years later, the rebels succeeded in their crusade, and they established a government built upon strong Catholic values. They did nothing less than save the Spanish Church from the forces that wished to erase it.

They also erected a fascist dictatorship that lasted for almost four decades. The Republicans were indeed supported by the Soviet Union. But the Catholic Nationalists were aided by Nazi Germany.

Now, I'm not pretending that 2019 isn't vastly distinct from 1936. I'm also not saying that Spanish Catholics back then were in a situation identical to that of today's Catholics in the U.S.

What I am saying is that the crusading mentality of Spanish Catholics 80 years ago is a perpetual temptation to Catholics everywhere upset by the world around them. The Catholic Nationalists may have viewed themselves as God's avenging angels. But the world views them as repugnant allies of tyranny. I do not intend to judge their actions. If I had lived in that time and place, I do not think I could, in good conscience, have supported the Second Republic. The moral stain of choosing fascism as an alternative to secular liberalism is not, however, an appropriate position of the Church of God. Fascism worships the nation-state; the Church worships Christ. The two allegiances are mutually exclusive. If the Church were to align herself with leftist politics, she would surely be "playing the harlot", as Spanish Catholics in 1936 were absolutely aware. But she also does so whenever she makes herself the vassal of any secular ideology, no matter how amenable to the Faith it might seem. There were many martyrs murdered by Republicans during Spain's civil war. But there were also martyrs of the Catholic nationalist dictatorship established in Argentina four decades later. The Church, Christ's spotless Bride, must dedicate herself solely to Christ; on the institutional level, this can be difficult in the fallen world we inhabit. If we do not allow Christ to purify our view of the world around us, we will end up believing, not in the Church, but in a revolting caricature of her, and we will harm others by foisting this caricature onto them.

Why am I bringing up the Spanish Civil War now? Catholic social teaching, after all, has been greatly enriched since then. We have grown in our idea of the Church's relationship with secular society. I don't think I'm exaggerating, though, when I say that today's worldwide situation is singularly stressful and ripe for desperate situations. I do not want my fellow young Catholics to slack in their zeal for sanctity; I do not want the Church to become a cheap imitation of Anglicanism, in which aesthetic splendor and an amenable atmosphere try to compensate for disunity and moral decline. There may come a time when we will have to make hard decisions to defend the Truth. But we need to tame bellicose instincts with the mildness of God's love or risk responding to evil with evil. We need to be the kind of people who can prevent Catholic tyrannies, not the people who make them possible.

Yes, the World is bound to reject the Church, but it is not without reason that the grandson of a Spanish Republican might avoid churches today because he sees priests as having blood on their hands; it is not without reason that many gay Catholics likely abstain from Mass because the congregants therein might look at them the way Jonathan Edwards's God looked at a spider. It is an abominable thing in God's sight to mistake hatred for our sins as hatred for Him.

For God's sweet sake, let us not become today's Francoists in our fight to oppose today's Soviets. Please.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

And how it can structure yours.


It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction.

I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured. But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left.

None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life.

Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

To successfully enact this measure, I try to never go into a day unaware of what I must accomplish, what tasks/work I have to attend to, and stocked with a full calendar and set of alarms that prevent me from missing deadlines. Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me.

Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation.

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