I was on my way home from Adult Faith Formation class last night, and had been listening to the news on Catholic Community Radio.
In the study, we had covered the origins of Islam and its effects on previously Christian lands. We also covered the coercive policies that existed in the lands they conquered. We talked briefly about the burdensome taxes, the unreasonable laws that were enacted to "convince" people that it was not possible to remain Christian where they were. We talked about how in Islam, there was from the very beginning a "House of Believers"(Islam) and a "House of War" (Everyone Else).
I thought about the culture battles that it has become necessary to fight in the west, all of which I read about in the National Catholic Register, and other mainstream news sources. There are plenty of other culture battles that I could link to, given the time to look up an appropriate article.
As I was driving, there was an article on the radio about the recent suicide attacks in Pakistan that killed 15 and injured several dozen more.
I hate that these ISIS militants are getting the kind of platform that they are and that it seems like nobody is doing anything about it, and like I can't help. I almost turned the radio off.
I felt convicted for my (relative) apathy, but it isn't that I don't care. It's that there are so many things we need to care about that we get exhausted trying to do it all.
A few years ago, when the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed, and then when all of the same sex "marriage" debates were hot among my acquaintances, and then when Chick-fil-A was under fire for the CEO's traditional views, Facebook got so political, for a while, that I got incredibly depressed. People got nasty - with people they labeled as their "friends." I left - for months at a time, before I felt equal to returning again. At times, I couldn't even convince myself to pay attention to the news.It's exhausting to fight all of the culture battles. How are we to know when it is okay to take a break?
I know I can't always be fighting the culture wars here at home. Sometimes I'll wade into a debate, but usually it's just far enough to realize that it was a mistake and that I'm going to be depressed for weeks about the result. As far as apologists go, I'm not much.
I'm in one of my long stints in absentia right now, letting people say say what they will about me, about the culture, about the church - I'm just so exhausted of fighting that I can't fight all of the legitimately important battles that are in front of me. This time, though, I think I may be staying away from Facebook just out because I've come to the conclusion that it is bad for me - and truly, I think it's bad for everyone.
I don't know when I'll go back, but I probably will sometime.Instead of turning off the radio I started to pray instead. I asked God what to do about what's going on in the Middle East. I can't go and actually fight ISIS, because I lack the training - leave military exercises to the military.
A still, small voice answered me. Pray the Rosary.
That I can do, and I'd also like to invite you to join me in praying the Rosary as often as you can for Peace in the Middle East. In Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Monfort talks about how great is the power of the Holy Rosary in the conversion of sinners. He says, "Let me but place my rosary around a sinner's neck, and he will not escape me."
Please join me. Pray the Rosary for peace in the Middle East.