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 Header-Child of the Sixties gives gun protesters food for thought

 

Dear young protester,

Watching your protests against gun violence helps me recall my own youth.

As a child of the Sixties, I was born of a generation that also had protests. I recall my desires to change the world and make it a better place by challenging everything. I remember my frustration in the face of a world in chaos.

Now I am of the older generation, and you are on the streets. However, matters are much worse. I hope these words might warn against the repetition of a tragic mistake.



A Well-Worn Path

It was my generation that helped unleash the violence that you find in your schools, culture and lives. My generation produced your generation. You are following in our footsteps. You are the later phase of a process my generation began. Don’t continue on this path.

It was my generation that redefined freedom as “doing your own thing.” We overturned society norms, morals and manners in an attempt to achieve this freedom. However, this quest only made us a self-centered “Me Generation,” demanding everything instantly regardless of the consequences. It filled us with resentments when the world failed to bend to our needs.

Today, many of the younger generations are taking our mistake to new extremes. Today, it is no longer “doing your own thing,” but “being your own thing” since you can identify as whatever you perceive yourself to be. Anything can be the cause of resentment, triggering instant snowflake meltdowns. Tragically “being your own thing” today can now include acting out fantasies…or killing others.

 

Smashing the Restraints of Violence

violent protestersIt was my generation that looked for a world of peace and “free” peace. To obtain this goal, we destroyed family structures, sexual morals and marriage. We tried to make love free, and it came at the high price of shattering families and destroying individual lives (including those not yet born).

Far from producing love and peace, this shattered world is engendering bitter fruits in a society that is coming apart with great violence. You can see this in the sexual harassment scandals. It is found in the political landscape that is polarized and fragmented. It finds tragic expression in the lives of lonely individuals who seek revenge upon society by killing other students.

We have violence in society because our culture is immersed in it. Once my generation adopted an anything-goes attitude toward culture, it unleashed the forces of violent films, pornography, frenetic substance abuse and video games that you now see and suffer. You are given false role models that glorify this violence and make it glamorous and popular.

Your generation feels threatened by violence because we have no defense against it. We have torn down the structures of family, community and faith that once protected us from it. We have smashed the rules that restrained violence and kept society safe. We have excluded God, the source of all good and order, from the popular culture.

 

Time for a Return to Order

No guns in our schoolsAnd so as youth nationwide gather to demand action against gun violence, I would ask you to consider the cause of this violence, not only its tragic consequences. Let’s both reject the premises that brought us here.

Now is not the time to repeat the Sixties, but to reject them. Let us join together to declare the Sixties over. They have brought us a catastrophe, full of violence and politically correct intolerance. People are tired of its old rhetoric and superficiality that has led us to our broken times. They yearn for order.

Now is the time for a return to order — but not the false materialistic order of the fifties.

It is time to find our roots and go back to what Russel Kirk called those “permanent things,” those calm norms of courage, duty, courtesy, justice, and charity that owe their existence and authority not to a self-centered “Me Generation,” but to a loving and transcendent God.

Just something to think about.

All the best,

A Baby Boomer Looking to the Future

P.S. Please excuse the long explanation. I had no time to reduce the above considerations into a single tweet.

 


 

John Horvat IIBy John Horvat II

As seen on The Stream

 

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 24, 2021

It is easy to infuse a most fervent devotion into others, ev...

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July 24

 

It is easy to infuse
a most fervent devotion into others, even in a short time;
but the great matter is
– to persevere.

St. Philip Neri


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Charbel Makhlouf

Multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was fi...

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St. Charbel Makhlouf

Youssef Antoun Makhlouf was born in the village of Bekka Kafra in Lebanon on May 8, 1828 and was one of five children born to Antoun Zarrour Makhlouf and Brigitta Chidiac. His father was a mule driver who died when Youssef was only three years old, leaving his widow to bring up their children alone.

Although Brigitta was left nearly destitute, she reserved a profoundly religious atmosphere in their home and instilled in her children a deep spirit of piety. Because of this fidelity, Youssef became unusually devoted and inclined to prayer and solitude at a very young age. He was greatly attracted to the life and spirituality of hermits; and as a young boy tending his family’s small flock, he would often go to a nearby grotto where he had erected a little shrine to the Holy Mother of God and would spend his whole day there in prayer.

When he was twenty-three years old, Youssef, feeling the call to the religious life, left his home and family to join the Lebanese Maronite Order at the Monastery of Our Lady in Marfouq. Here he began his formation as a monk before later being transferred to the Monastery of St. Maron near Beirut. There he received the religious habit of the Maronite monk and took the name Charbel. He made his final profession as a religious brother on November 1, 1853 – he was twenty-five years old.

Brother Charbel immediately began his studies for the priesthood under the instruction of Father Nimattullah Kassab, who was also later declared a saint by the Church. Charbel was ordained on July 23, 1859, following which he returned to the Monastery of St. Maron where he lived a life of great austerity. In 1875, he was granted permission by his superiors to live a solitary life in the Hermitage of Sts. Peter and Paul, which was under the jurisdiction of the monastery; and there he resided for the remaining twenty-three years of his life until his death on Christmas Eve, 1898.

St. Charbel is renowned for his many miracles both during his life and after his death. His most famous miracle – which was also his first – occurred when, multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was filled with water. He is also credited with many healing miracles.

After his death, he was interned at the Monastery of St. Maron, now a famous pilgrimage site. His tomb was often witnessed surrounded by a dazzling light, and to this day his remains are incorrupt and an unexplainable blood-like fluid flows from his body. He was canonized on December 9, 1977, by Pope Paul VI, who held him up as an example to help us understand “in a world, largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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