The video at the bottom of this post is a humorous commercial that depicts how things, when unaddressed, can pile up and get out of hand. The commercial depicts a man who becomes angry, and how this anger eventually leads him to wake up in a roadside ditch. The commercial of course presents an intentionally absurd, and therefore funny, chain of action.

But in a real and far less funny way, bad things unaddressed do tend to pile up in our life and lead to ever deeper “ditches” for both individuals, and our culture. St. Augustine famously wrote:

Because my will was perverse, lust came forth, and lust yielded to habit, and habit not resisted, became necessity.” (Confessions Book 8.5)

Biblically we are admonished: They sow in the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind! (Hosea 8:7)

Yes, terrible addictions, bad habits, and serious consequences can result from long chains of decisions, wherein one bad choice or premise, leads to others, and ultimately to a real mess. Things tend to pile up. The commercial below admonishes us: “Don’t wake up in a roadside ditch.” Of course their solution for us is to buy DIRECTV.

But Perhaps too there is a lesson for our culture here. For, to a large extent, we have woken up in a roadside ditch. We have sown in the wind, and now we reap the whirlwind. Many of us who are a bit older remember a world that was quite different, and wonder how we got into this roadside ditch.

To some extent, while admitting the danger of oversimplifying, we can see our current malaise has often resulted from certain basic premises that have now reached “full flower.”

Consider two “thought chains” similar to the commercial below, as our culture “thinks out-loud” It may help you to watch the video first so you can see what I’m trying to imitate and can hear the voice.

Scenario one: The roadside ditch of sexual confusion

  1. When you’re lustful you say, Sex is just for fun. It really has no relationship to the procreation and rearing of children at all, unless the couple wants it to have that meaning. So sex is just for fun.
  2. And when sex is just for fun you say, “So what’s wrong with contraception? Bring it on!”
  3. And when you bring on contraception you think you can have free sex without consequences.
  4. And when you think there are not consequences you start to discover sexually transmitted diseases, exploding promiscuity, teenage pregnancies, skyrocketing single motherhood rates, higher divorce rates, plummeting marriage rates, terrible abortion rates, broken and incomplete families.
  5. And when you have these things, you don’t connect them to contraception because lust has darkened your intellect.
  6. And when your intellect is darkened you loose your ability to see even the physically obvious facts about human sexuality and start to say that there is nothing wrong at all with homosexual acts.
  7. And when your darkness is light, how deep will the darkness be!
  8. Don’t wake up in a deep darkness. Buy a Catholic Catechism and the Holy Bible. Get them today.

Scenario two: The roadside ditch of Marital destruction

  1. When you are a baby boomer you say, “The purpose of marriage is the happiness of the couple….Children are merely a way of accessorising the marriage and are not essential.
  2. And when you think this way, you contracept and have few children.
  3. And when you have few children, they are less of a priority in terms of money and decisions.
  4. And when you run into difficulties, as most marriages do, you don’t say “Let’s work it out for the sake of the kids.” After all there’s only one or two of them, and the purpose of marriage is the happiness of adults. Kids are just an accessory and can be raised well in any circumstance.
  5. And when you think this way you get lots of divorces.
  6. And when you get lots of divorces, marriage starts to look like a flimsy social fiction that exists only for adults, rather than a sacred trust oriented toward the raising of children.
  7. And when marriage looks like a flimsy social fiction, the homosexual community comes to you and says, “You mean that the purpose of marriage is just for two adults to be happy and is not linked to the procreation of children? Then Why can’t Gays be married?”
  8. And when they ask this you have nothing to say.
  9. Don’t wake up with nothing to say. Get a biblical and Catholic understanding of marriage that links it to the mutual support of the spouses AND the procreation of children. Do it today.

Just something to consider, based on a creative commerical. The critical among you, will cry “simplistic.” But I already admit that, so chill. These chains I have constructed are influenced by a lot of other things too. But it’s fun to follow some of our often unquestioned premises through to their end in a roadside ditch.

Don’t wake up in a roadside ditch. Examine your premises now.

7 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    Excellent post!

  2. Greg V. says:

    Father,

    I have seen and enjoyed this commercial. I also enjoy very much the larger lessons you are drawing out as a result of it.

  3. Monarchist of God says:

    Msgr Charles is awesome!

  4. Kevin says:

    Spot on!

  5. Taylor says:

    Thank you. These are inspirations which teach well the unreasonableness of immorality.

  6. dianne says:

    I am 71, and have seen it happen exactly as you describe. The tragedy is that the younger generation doesn’t see it. By the way, in regard to number 7 in the sexual confusion list, what Jesus said was “If the light in you is darkness, how great will that darkness be.”

  7. Jim Mazzarelli says:

    Ha! Or maybe I should be saying “aha”! This is very clever, Monsignor, and very true. Nice post. Can you do one on stewardship? Imagine what our world would be like if Catholics tithed the way Mormons do?

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