You know the drill. When some new gadget does not work, you just hit the reset button. Even if the gadget does not have a reset button, there is some way to accomplish the same task. When my Blackberry gets stuck, I just open up the back cover, take out the battery and then I put it back in within a few seconds. It takes a few minutes for my handheld device to reboot, but it does.
When I look at all of the daily and intense chaos that is going on here in our own country and around the world, it seems to me that God is hitting the reset button. The entire world is going through a dramatic transformation.
The Jesus is coming bandwagon has a lot of takers these days. However, we need to always keep in mind the words that Jesus himself spoke about his own return: “But as for that day and hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, no one but the Father only” (Matthew 24: 36).
We should pay more attention to what Jesus’ representative here on earth said last December. Not too many people paid attention to his prophetic words, and those who did, seem to have very short memories. Here is what Pope Benedict XVI said in Rome last December 20th: “For all its new hopes and possibilities, our world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently the forces mobilized for the defense of such structures seem doomed to failure.”
Countries are in turmoil. The economies of the world are in turmoil. For the most part, morality has disappeared. Certainly, we are engulfed in an historical moment of collapse. But, this is certainly not the end, but only the beginning of something new that will emerge from the ash heap of false ideologies where man has turned away from God and from each other. The narcissistic fantasy world is coming to a sudden end.
Like the tired machines that collapse in the final part of Spielberg’s The War of the Worlds, the lies and corruption of our modern times are coming to an end. However, they must not be replaced with new political and economic systems that enslave man in different ways.
Last December, in the same speech, Pope Benedict told us what to do: “Let us ask him, then, to wake us from the sleep of a faith grown tired, and to restore to that faith the power to move mountains – that is, to order justly the affairs of the world.”
To order justly the affairs of the world!
Yes, and we need to look to the Church because in the Catholic Church we find an unknown treasure called the social teaching of the Catholic Church. It is here, in the social teachings of the Catholic Church that we will find the way to order justly the affairs of the world.
“The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with communism or socialism. She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of capitalism, individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market. Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2425).
Catholic social teaching is not republican, democrat, conservative, liberal, libertarian or European socialism. Catholic social teaching is Catholic.
The answer to the upheavals around us is for a new generation of thinking men and women to imbue themselves with the social teaching of the Catholic Church and to put it into practice.