Station Myself on the Ramparts

The Amish are great people.  Growing up close enough to a large community of Old Order Amish was a blessing, and among my most treasured purchases – a comfort at a time of great sorrow – was a small and simple… let us call it a treasure chest… crafted by the strong and subtle hands of an Amish man.  They live in the world, but are not of the world, and though their ways are different from mine, I can respect them, and it is a source of great pride to live in a nation that freely stands strong and protects them from the physical threats of this world.

They are good people, but their way of life depends upon the stalwart defense provided by their host nations.  As good people, they – at least the ones that I have encountered – do not take for granted the protective umbrella shed by their host nation.  Unlike some other cultures that I won’t mention, whose citizens not only take that physical shield for granted, but never let go to waste the chance to despise those who provide it.  Many of those cultures live within America right now, and work hard to undermine the very shield that shelters their attempts to ruin America.  I won’t name them, in part because I don’t have to, and in part because their efforts have been successful enough that pointing out how they are sawing off the limb on which they sit would land me in hot water.  Someday, when the Pax Americana ends, they may come to regret their sneering condescension.

Let us turn our eyes from the natural world to the spiritual world.

We live in a supernatural world. One beset by demons almost from the very first. They are cunning and experienced, and are experts at sowing discord and confusion among the faithful. Against their wiles, mankind would be helpless save that we owe our lives and our immortal souls to all of the help that we have in this fight from Our Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.  In His infinite wisdom, He has given mankind the key to salvation and even designated a fortress built upon a rock that we might find a path from the darkness to the light.

For two thousand years, the fortress of the Catholic Church has struggled to stand athwart the wickedness and the snares of the devil and declare, “You shall not pass!”  To be fair, the Church’s effectiveness has varied.  There have been times when it swept aside vast swathes of demonic influence, including those that held sway over an entire continent.  There have also been times when the great wash of evil was stemmed by the valiant leadership of the Church.  Jerusalem.  Acre.  Tyre.  Vienna.  Malta.  Lepanto.  The Reconquista.  It’s a long list.  To be even more fair, she has faced not just the savage barbarism of enemies without, but also the decaying rot of enemies within.

And she has not fallen.

Even when her leadership has been weak, or influenced by devilish forces, the Church has sent men and women out into the world to do battle with the demons who hunger for souls.  As the most visible sign of resistance to Satan and all his works, she has long been the fulcrum of his strategy for bringing about the doom of mankind.  Behind the walls of her sacraments, and defended by the prayers of the faithful and all the choirs of the angels and saints, all mankind has enjoyed the fruits of a world mercifully free of the demonic.

Not entirely free, mind you – there will always be those willing to open the postern doors and let slip the shadows that intend the world harm – but relatively so.  With all the fury of the devil’s armies arrayed against the citadel founded by Christ, mankind has enjoyed the luxury of a supernaturally peaceful world.

I think you see where I’m going with this.

Don’t be this guy.

Be the Amish.

If you aren’t going to help, at the very least, don’t sneer at the men fighting the battle on the spiritual wall.  Even if their leadership leaves much to be desired, remember that you owe your peace to the Church.  Someday we will all be confronted by the terrible reality of knowing in no uncertain times whether we chose to find for God or against him.  And if you can’t join in your allies in the fight, at least stop shooting them in the back from the streets.  Particularly at a time when that leadership has chosen to stop delivering bread and drink and medical care to the prayer warriors.  They are beset on all sides – in the here and now, don’t join with the enemies of the Church founded by Christ, or you may wind up joining them eternally in the ever after.