While praying today, the thought entered my head that most we are fed from the news and from politicians is illusion. It occurred to me that if one assumes that our political theater is a highly correographed kabuki dance, it all makes so much more sense. The wars in Iraq and Afgh are winding down just in time to let us wind up for war in Iran. The flip-flop in power from democrat to republican to democrat and now back to republican again never changes anything but keeps people excited, thinking that their involvement is changing something. Was the financial crisis a carefully orchestrated power grab? Is the tea party movement just another vehicle to let people vent their frustrations without risking real revolution? Is all of this theater just designed to set the stage for the evil one to consolidate power and create that one-world government necessary to set the stage for antichrist? He numbs the people with fast food, birth control, pornography, drugs and alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, television and movies, video games, and the internet. In that numbness they forget about God and become pliable clay for the antiChrist to mold. What is real, what is manipulated, and what is pure illusion? So hard to discern. People of power will never again put themselves in the position of the French royalty at the end of the 18th century. There will be no more revolutions, and no more guillotine for the deposed aristocrats. The unruly peasants are given the needle and told to anesthetize themselves, and they willingly obey. Our royalty is too smart to just let us starve. They fatten us on poisons and feed our lusts so that we are sated pigs drowning in our own muck.
The only answer, the only way out, is to listen to those difficult words of God. To realize that the kingdom of heaven is in the breast of the righteous follower of Christ. To take up our cross with joy and teach others to take theirs. We have to turn off the television, break our addictions, and ignore the lies and temptations of the corporate and political class. We have to turn our minds and hearts to Christ. Let His Blessed Mother guide us to Him.
And how do we know that our faith, too, isn’t just another illusion? How do we know that the Church isn’t an active player in this grand “conspiracy”? We have to continually ask ourselves the question, “cui bono?” Who benefits?
When we dutifully feed the stock markets through our 401ks, who benefits? Wall street elites. When we treat politics like a professional sport and root root root for our team, who benefits? Career politicians and the invisible puppet masters who are always there no matter which new faces are front and center of our television screen or which names are in front of the (R) or (D) on the ballot. When we throw away most of our income on food that makes us obese, liquor that addicts us, toys and games that steal our intellect, entertainment that inflames us to sin, and activities that keep us docile and dumb, who benefits? The elites who gladly take up that money and tell us what to buy next. When we take out mortgages on houses we cannot afford and then default and go into foreclosure, who benefits? The banks who got all that money in the first place and then get the property, too, so that they can turn around and sell it again to the next chump.
But who benefits when we devote ourselves to God? When we follow the church’s teachings? When we treat marriage as sacred? When we refuse to abort or contracept? When we reach out to the poor and marginalized?
Who benefits? WE DO. Only when God-focused do we decide NOT to hand over our freedom to our betters. Only when God-focused do we gain wisdom rather than dull our senses. Only when God-focused do we gain happiness that is not dependent on getting our next fix of addictive filth. The Church is the antithesis of this secular pusher of lies, this Dr. Feelgood who claims he is just giving us what we want, who claims he is bringing us the blessings of self-esteem, self-satisfaction, self-determination, self-love.
It is not an easy choice, to walk away from the glitz and the saturating lust, to put down the needle (or the glass or the money or the porn or the game or the toy) that promises to let us escape from ourselves, to forget for awhile that we are dust and to dust we shall return.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if Bush and Obama are the same or different. It doesn’t matter which conspiracy theories are true or just the fevered imaginations of over eager brains. One conspiracy is true. The conspiracy of the Father of Lies, who wishes to deceive us, to seduce us, to draw us from God. That is the conspiracy we must fight, even if it costs us our lives. And it will.
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