Must be post-election trauma. I feel very strange, a little surreal, like I have awakened in a slightly altered reality. It is as though the supernatural world of angels, demons and saints has lost a little transparency, that they have become more like shadows moving on the periphery of ordinary life. Am I just a paranoid conservative Catholic, or is our nation polarizing, drawing deeper lines between good and evil? Are we preparing for battle?
No more sitting back on our laurels. Yes, yesterday I wrote that I was at peace, and in a sense I truly am: God is still with His people. But like a parent who may step out of sight around a corner to see how long it takes the toddler, engrossed with a toy, to notice her absence, God may be stepping back and waiting for us to get up and look for Him.
I can't help but feel that the key to overcoming evil in this country is not to try to goad others on to greater holiness. That may be important, but I don't feel that it is the key. It just seems to me that what we cannot change in others, we can change in ourselves. We need to do more to achieve our own personal holiness. Not that I believe this will change things quickly...it's not as though evil will open its eyes and say, "Wow, I've been wrong about everything! I'm converted!" Remember, evil will tolerate mediocrity, but it cannot stomach goodness. We will be in for a long period of persecution, and all we hold sacred will be mocked and scorned. Our own Blessed Mother has said as much. And we have been headed in this direction for a long time.
But this morning I woke up with the feeling, "Now it begins in earnest..."
It is scary and somehow exciting thinking that we are living in crucial times. Part of me, the fearful part, hopes that I'm just being paranoid and that I am wrong. But the part of me that longs for the deep conviction of the martyrs feels a sort of exhilaration. I'm not in the least athletic, but I imagine a climber about to scale a cliff-face may feel a bit like this. Maybe I ought to be petrified, as I know that I am not really up to the challenge, but I trust God. Maybe for the first time in my life, I trust Him.