Father Booth’s Weekly Reflection

Game Over?

Given that the moral boundaries in many aspects of public life have been transgressed thoroughly or even utterly obliterated, it should not be a surprise that evil has been declared good and that good has been declared evil. As we potentially face more lockdowns of one degree or another, one thing that is almost entirely certain is that Planned Parenthood and similar mass-murder facilities will remain fully open and unhindered by pandemic restrictions but churches will likely face the tightest restrictions on public or even private worship. It is as if the First Amendment has been amended to read ‘Congress shall make no law restricting the establishment of abortion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech for some, or of the press; or the right of the people to assemble for the sake of looting and rioting, and to petition the Government for a redress of real or imagined liberal grievances.’

Given that the departure from decorum, decency, and morality is sanctioned and promoted by our government and the media at various levels, it can be discouraging to say the least. That honesty and justice are teetering more and more on verge of extinction continues to be a gut-punch to many people. That we have irreversibly gone down the road to cultural destruction and chaos at breakneck speed increasingly causes alarm to people of faith. The fact of the matter is that none of this – the departure from a good and moral society and what affect this has on our morale – is hardly an accident. The discouragement on our part is real and it is deliberate on their part. What the forces of evil in our society really want and that they truly need is for us to be discouraged. If we are disheartened and dispirited we will tend to stay on the sidelines and out of the fight.

Indeed, evil cannot triumph over the good because the good is more powerful. In the same way, the truth can readily vanquish falsehood. One might ask, therefore, why falsehood and evil seem to triumph so often and so thoroughly? If truth and goodness are that powerful, how could it be that more and more people embrace more and more lies and vile behavior?

If we understand that goodness and truth come to us from God Himself and that falsehood and evil stem from satan and his minions, we should be able to discern why goodness and truth are more powerful. If that is so, does the triumph of evil we see today suggest that God is not on our side or that He has forsaken us? Would the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit walk away from people that the Father adopted, the Son suffered and died for, and that the Holy Spirit came to dwell amongst? No, God has not forsaken us, but we have forsaken Him. We have forsaken Him in terms of those who serve and promote causes contrary to the Gospel – such as abortion, same-sex marriage, gender theory, etc. – some of whom profess to be Christians and in those who profess to be Christians but have failed to oppose the evil in our midst. It is as if evil has taken the playing field and those longing for the good have retreated to the sidelines. What team has even won by playing from the sidelines?

As Edmund Burke is credited as saying, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,’ we should realize that doing nothing or wallowing in discouragement does not serve the cause of truth and goodness and therefore lamenting from the sidelines does not serve God’s cause. How did we end up with the likes of John Geoghan, Paul Shanley, Marcial Maciel, Rudy Kos, Travis Clark, Michael Bransfield, Theodore McCarrick, and thousands of other demented clerics except that good men, probably many good men, chose to do little or nothing.

It may feel like we are in uncharted territory or in extraordinary times, but the truth remains the truth and good never loses its goodness. So, in light of what is happening today, are we apt to say ‘Game over!’ and retreat to the sidelines or are we going to rise to the occasion proclaiming ‘Game on?’ and take the field? By taking the field, we do not use the tools and weapons of the world – rocks, bricks, slander, violence, etc. – but we live as Christians and as lawful citizens. We might be tempted to surrender or to respond to evil in-kind, but instead we need to be as Christ-like as possible. In fact, the forces of evil would prefer that we surrender, and if not, that we would embrace violence and hatred.

—Fr Booth