Remember the television show, That Was the Week That Was? If you do, you’ve dated yourself!
More seriously, we can say: “This is the week and the time that is” — for certain. What a time it is. The Roaring Twenties have conjoined with the Civil War.
First, the Church, where the abuse crisis, which just weeks ago had seemed to explode apocalyptically, is now just a simmer, the scorching headlines all but yesterday’s fog. While there will be future paroxysms, the Church may — may — have weathered the worst of it (pray God).
But major problems persist; unexpected explosions will occur (a dozen states are probing the Church); and the crisis of homosexuality came to mind last Saturday while reading prayers to the Archangel Michael, one of which nails it when, reciting evils, it says (“St. Michael Novena and Prayers”):
“[The] wicked serpent, like an unclean torrent, pours into men of depraved minds and corrupt hearts the poison of his malice, the spirit of lying, godlessness, and blasphemy, and the deadly breath of impurity and every form of vice and inequity. These craft enemies of mankind have filled to overflowing with gall and wormwood the Church, which is the Bride of the Lamb without spot; they have laid profane hands upon her most sacred treasures.”
Yet again is one reminded of the Virgin of LaSalette and her warning that “sinners will be introduced” into religious life. And so it is — the week and month and year that is and has been. And the future is…?
On the societal front, one notes the frenetic economy and how we now clearly seem to be replicating the Roaring Twenties — entering precisely that ambience and milieu for the first time in a full century.
It is only a year away — the start of the “Roaring 2020s” — but the sounds already bellow in wassail. Let the good times roll! All hail the Dow! And 401k!
Could the times be more worldly — more filled with consumerism, with entertainments?
And do we care at all, any longer — even practicing Christians — about what Scripture so repeatedly and loudly warns about materialism?
The answer is all around us: restaurants full to overflowing, high-end shopping as if the week before Christmas. The stock market is at a record high every week — now clearly resembling, does the investment ecology, what occurred in the 1920s (before that downturn in… the 1930s). Never in our lifetimes has there been such wanton spending and waste (more than a third of food is now thrown out in this country). God’s Creation: increasingly laid waste. Oh, Saint Francis — forgotten. Beware the Midas touch.
Remember the “narrow gate”? Or Lazarus, with the wealthy fellow who suddenly was the beggar? And what Jesus said to the rich man who wanted to follow Him?
Or is Scripture somehow dated?
Keep in mind that while the stock market is at new heights and unemployment at new lows, the national debt in the United States is now more than $21 trillion ($65,000 for every man and woman). This is not sustainable. It is called borrowed money and also borrowed time. One must remember that the stock market reached an all-time high a week before the 1929 crash.
Not since the Roaring Twenties has the nation been so consumed with consumerism and not since the Civil War has it been so divided. In politics, there is now virtually no more inter-party dialogue, and in the populace, a verbal war is already engaged.
Yet, the “good times” roll.
“And so one day, while his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother,” was a reading at Mass Monday (Job 1:6-22) for us to consider, “a messenger came to Job and said, ‘The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them, and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid. They put the herdsmen to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you”
Vanity of vanities, saith Ecclesiastes (1:2).
A good thing to read, the Bible, before the stock report.
Perhaps Psalms 37: 10-32 too. Here you will find what you need to know about current times (and what to prepare for).
Or doesn’t that matter anymore — in the wanderlust of this gilded age that may find the gilded coating was fool’s gold and that the metal beneath rusts quickly?
[resources: Saint Michael Novena and Prayers]