It Happened on Our Watch – As Seen in a Commercial

052915-bWhen I saw the commercial below, I was struck with a twinge of guilt. The words of a poem by William Butler Yeats came to mind:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed,
and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Yes, something struck me. In this commercial, anarchy, destruction, injustice, violence, and pure chaos are shown. And yet all the while our superhero, with his “bat phone” screeching in the background, is wholly distracted, flipping through the channels unaware that the world around him is descending right into Hell. He is turned inward, wholly focused on his own little world.

Is this what we’re doing? Are we the superhero slouching on the couch as the world and Western culture descend into a maelstrom? Innocence lost, the blood-dimmed tide of the 20th century with perhaps more than 100 million put to death in war and for ideological purposes, moral anarchy swept in on the four horsemen of the apocalypse: relativism, secularism, individualism, and the sexual revolution.

And while the wicked have been marching with passionate intensity, the good have largely been asleep, lacking any intensity for the battle. All around us are divorce, abortion, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, broken families, increasing lack of self-control and discipline, declining school test scores and graduation rates, the inability to live within our means, climbing poverty rates for children, drug and alcohol addiction, plummeting Church attendance … the list could go on and on.

And where have we been as a Church—as Christians—in a world gone mad? Where, for example was the Church in 1969, when “no-fault” divorce laws began to be passed? It would seem that we were inwardly focused: moving furniture around in our sanctuaries; tuning our guitars; and having debates about liturgy, Church authority, and why women can’t be ordained. These are not unimportant issues, but in being so focused on them we lost the culture.

Yes, it happened on our watch. I am now past fifty, and I cannot say that it is all the fault of the previous generation. Even in my relatively short span on this earth, the world as I knew it has largely been swept away, especially in terms of family life. And now it is up to me to try to make a difference.

How about you? It will take courage and an increasing conviction to live the Catholic faith openly. No more of this “undercover Catholic” stuff; no more trying to fit in and be liked. It is long past midnight for our culture, our families, and our children.

There is something very wrong with the scenario in the commercial: the superhero ignores the calls for help. It’s time for our superhero to get off the couch, pick up the phone, re-engage, and get to work. It is interesting to note that the movie he is watching shows a wolf being set loose. Jesus says, Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves (Matt 7:15). Indeed, many wolves preaching (false) tolerance and spouting other pleasantries have badly misled people and spread error, calling what is sin, “good,” and misrepresenting biblical tradition.

Well, fellow superheroes, the last time I checked, we are supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. It’s time—long past time—to bring Christ’s power back to this world. It’s time for us to get off the couch, pick up the phone, re-engage, and get to work.

Don’t just watch culture, direct it.

3 Replies to “It Happened on Our Watch – As Seen in a Commercial”

  1. It would appear that the breakdown in the Church’s long-held practices and beliefs impacted the society in which we lived. Lex orandi, lex credendi. When the Church accommodated itself to the culture of the 1960s, in order to be more accessible, it lost its unique identity. We went along to get along in order to win over souls. When the Church is not strong, neither can society or civilization be strong.

  2. I could not complete reading the poem before I began to weep.
    “…The blood-dimmed tide is loosed,
    and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned…”
    There are 50 million surgical abortions annually, and somewhere between three to five times that number in chemical or IUD induced abortions. So, between 200 and 300 million abortions every year since the 1980’s.
    What can I say? If this tide of death in the womb was sweeping across the planet for any other reason than our desire to sin without consequence, there would be such a hew and cry demanding its end that every human agency would be driven to solve the problem.
    I stand guilty! I have done nothing.

    We are drowning in a sea of blood. We struggle to go forward through the gore of the abattoir.
    May God have mercy on us all.

    1. Amen. I was too busy minding my own business. Or actively contributing to it. When I think of my upbringing, I understand why I was such a moral midget, my parents took me to mass until I was in high school. By middle school we stopped saying grace. I never saw my parent s read he bible, say he rosary. We never talked about faith.

      I think about my grandparents. Again, they went to church, but not a word about the faith. I remember my parents, thinking they were passing on sage advice, said that their parents had taught them that religion and politics were not discussed in polite company.

      That’s disdain for God. I forgive them. You can bet I’m raising my kids different, if I’m blessed with a family.

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