With the recent surges in Covid infections in the general area around southern Missouri where I live, people have been worried about another potential "lock-down". Of course, this comes after many people have noticed that the lock-downs were not as successful as the politicians claimed they would be. Yes, many are still saying that lock-downs work, but with all the lies, it is hard to trust anything they say anymore. In fact, I read recently that a number of places that did not have lock-downs did not have any noticeably higher rates of infections. What the lock-downs did accomplish, however, was to damage our already shaky economy (which is to be expected when our entire economic system in America is based on greed).
So now the debate ensues: are we concerned more about financial stability or our physical health? Quite a difficult choice to make, and I thank God that it is not my job to be a part of that discussion. However they choose to come down in that issue, I think that something is entirely being missed. Few of those in positions of authority outside the Church (and not too many inside the Church, it seems) are talking about the tension between financial/health issues on one side, and our spiritual stability on the other. They are not even talking about the "mental and emotional" state of our nation (which always has to do with spirituality). It is as though the spiritual realm does not even exist on their radar.
Yet, we all know it is there. Just look at the news as ask yourself what the spiritual state is of those who are rioting, burning down buildings, and destroying the symbols of our American heritage. That did not show up overnight. It was the result of years of indoctrination in the public school system and an overwhelming emphasis on self-esteem (or, as one of my parishioners said recently: "those people didn't get disciplined enough when they were young").
So then, our current state of strife and unrest is a result of what came before; and I am not necessarily referring to racism (though that may play a part in some situations and cannot be discounted). Much of our situation is the automatic consequence of the fear of global disease coupled together with forced lock-downs, and them compounded by decades of governmental moral failures. Add to that the fact that our colleges have been promoting socialism and immorality for generations (and most Catholics are still sending their children to them [please stop!]), and you have a perfect recipe for spiritual instability.
Numerous times I have heard Christian parents justify sending their children to "good schools" (by which they mean a school that can teach them how to make lots of money) so that they can "get an education and a good job". In these instances, the children's financial stability is being chosen over their spiritual stability because the education being given at these schools is often anti-Catholic and gravely immoral. It is possible to show a concern for both spiritual and financial issues by sending them to a genuinely devout Catholic school (as long as the priority of spirituality is maintained by all involved). Yet, clearly, many have not done this.
This spiritual instability is not just seen in the fact that Catholic children leave the faith, but when they do, they often head towards complete spiritual chaos. Furthermore, those Catholic children who do not leave the faith will often be so confused about what the faith is, that they are living like non-Catholics. Outside the Church, things are even worse as large numbers who call for change to our nation have no more clear idea of what that change should be other than "I want my stuff (and I do not want to have to work for it)".
So then, what do we do when the leadership of the nation is focused on economic and health issues and ignores spiritual issues? What do we do when the means to accomplish economic and physical security contradict with the requirements for spiritual security? Which will you choose? Which will you teach to your children? The decision is not a small one, and if you do not decide now and take a stand, the day may come when it is too late. Our leaders are going to make certain choices for our nation, but that does not mean that we have to follow them or agree with them. It does mean, however, that we still have the priorities God has given us, and we still must persevere in the faith.