Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Silent Bell and the Fate of the Frog

The Silent Bell and the Fate of the Frog

By Oscar Méndez Casanueva

A french philosopher, when looking back at his childhood, remembered that there used to be in his town a small convent, which by the daily ringing of a small bell made itself present. Over the years, the bell stopped ringing. One day he found out, to his surprise, that the bell had never stopped chiming, what really happened was that the town had grown and was swallowed by “modernity” and noise.

Certainly, something very similar happens in man’s heart. The voice of God and his grace, which we could hear and live so clearly during our childhood, are buried progressively under all the bustle and difficulties we encounter in our adult lives, especially in a world so rationalistic and petulant.

This process begins during adolescence, and gain its strength during our youth. Behind it there is an alienating machinery which contributes to the formation of homogeneous mentalities that distance man from God under the pretext of a non-religious formation – which, is really an atheist formation – and a “scientifistic” tendency. Never has it been truer that a little science takes one away from God; much and real science get the creature closer to its Creator.

Schools and universities spread knowledge and techniques, but they forget about the spirit and the axiological formation of man. They do not have a scale of values, and not only that, but what is even worse: they ridicule and mock the highest moral values and label all religious beliefs as superstitious.

And the media is not better. The great majority use the old tactic of two steps forward and one step backward, with the aim of eliminating Catholicism permanently.

Film and television, with their great influence on the creation of criteria and mentalities, have formed entire generations of hedonists without an intellectual judgment. Sex, violence, comfort and corruption, in all their different forms, bombard their passive receptors.

And that without mentioning the videos, magazines and “stories” – especially aimed at the most popular sectors – where vulgarity has reached, over the past few years, unlimited proportions. And, also, the every cruder and despicable pornography, which can be found in an overwhelming number of households – within reach of children and adults – via Internet.

This whole program of “decatholicization” that strikes ever more rapidly the entire population, creates a society without values, drifted away from God and unconcerned with counteracting against this offensive that currently takes up the banner of “gender ideology”. What is amazing is that this same society, which complains so much about the corruption and uncontrollable crime it suffers, not only does not act, but cannot even begin to guess the real root of all its evils. Indeed, society is suffering the same fate of the frog: it is said that if this animal is put in a pot with very hot water, it will immediately jump out trying to escape. Instead, if it is put in a pot with cold water and the water gets hot little by little, over low heat, the frog will stay there calmly, until it is boiled to death.

Exaclty the same has happened with the decatholicization of our society, which is living the fate of the frog.

Such an alienating social process that takes man away from the transcendental truth, and causes him to forget, if not even ignore, his ultimate goal, can only be explained by a sum of manipulated and broken wills, but which nevertheless are guilty because of their acts of rejection of God. Because while it is true that it is a great gift of God to believe in Him in the first place, to persevere in faith above all the difficulties present in the world we live in today, is also an immense gift.

While faith and faithfulness to God and His Church are a gift of God, they also come from a personal determination. He who does not want to believe cannot believe. He who wants to believe, will only be able to do so if he receives this grace from Above. God never denies this gift to those who ask for it and wish it truthfully, but He refuses to give it to those who, in the depths of their reality, do not seek it really. The grace of faith can happen in an instant, like a spark, but the grace of perseverance must be earned through daily prayer and effort. Otherwise, when the soul shuts down – to some extent – to God, faith may be lost, even if it is by denying one single article of the Creed. God is zealous: all or nothing, because He does not compromise.

It is the tragedy of all tragedies that of the unfaithful man who loses God and the sense of the supernatural. His is an internal world that, on the one hand, he tries to disguise as sufficiency before everyone else, and on the other hand, tries to fill it with things that mitigate that desolation and emptiness. And he seeks to silence this tragedy using thousands of means: money, honors, power, knowledge, art, etc.

Finally, mature faith is an internal and supernatural perception of the reality believed. It means to live the truths that once were “only believed”. It is deep, vital and impossible to be confused with merely intellectual convictions. It is the faith that makes the martyrs give their lives for Christ, or the missionaries work until exhaustion, forgetting about themselves in order to evangelize others.

It is therefore necessary to reflect on all this: How many of us have stopped hearing that clear voice of God that we could hear in our childhood, just as happened with the bell of the convent in that small town? Those experiences, the love of God, the unique experience of our First Communion - so intimate and real - the study of our religion… what happened to that? Did we forget to continue our instruction as adults, and now feel that the teachings we received in our childhood are not enough? Did we get swallowed by doubts, noise, endeavors, skepticism, “modernity”, and stopped hearing the voice of God, forgetting that the grace of perseverance is gained through our daily effort and prayer? Finally: Are we meekly waiting for the water to heat slowly until we are boiled to death like the frog? This is, indeed, a sad fate, and yet it is not even close to that last and transcendental fate that those who reject God suffer!