Christmas Reflections on the Apostolate
It has now been a little over 15 years that I have been involved in this work and I can surely say that it has remained a tonic for my spiritual life and a focus for spiritual practice; though the scandals of the Church during this period has, on one hand, shaken my connection to the visible Church, but on the other, it has strengthened it to the invisible.
It has also reaffirmed my belief that much of the work of our apostolate involves revealing the evil of Marx *(embracing secularism and Western politics) and the good of Mary (embracing holiness and Western theology.
One central element of Mary’s presence at Fatima in 1917 was the outgrowth of Marxism that created the revolution leading to Russian Communism (1917), and in calling for the consecration of Russia by the Pope and the bishops of the world—not yet done over one hundred years later, which still is incomprehensible to me—because the Holy Queen Mother knew the horrors Russian Communism was to unleash upon the world, which, because the Consecration was not done, did occur.
Marxism underlies Communism which spreads in modern times the ancient lie that reality is the measure of human work; while Mary serves as the founding stone of Catholicism and the ancient image of her feet crushing the head of the serpent reminds us that the battle between good and evil has already been won by the earthly ministry of her son who set forth the earthly movement that resulted in our universal Church that had for centuries been held in the capable—but private—hands of Israel as so well-articulated in the Old Testament.
The evil of Communism continues to reveal itself for the satanic vessel it is, as does the work of Satan within the Church creating monsters who scandalize our children and devastate the trust and warmth of the Church community driving so many away; yet we prevail, as was promised.
Working on the apostolate, whether it is the daily blog or other writings, such as this, keeps me working within the Church, digging deeper into her treasure house of knowledge and sanctity.
So much of this work is happenstance.
I watched Brideshead Revisited again recently and began exploring the author of the book from which the movie came, Evelyn Waugh, and came across his essay: Converted to Rome, Why it has Happened to Me, which led to obtaining the book of his essays which contained it, The Essays, Articles and Reviews of Evelyn Waugh; which also contained the marvelous essay he published in 1949: The American Epoch in the Catholic Church.
Here is an excerpt from the Converted to Rome essay, written in 1930:
“It seems to me that in the present phase of European history the essential issue is no longer between Catholicism, on one side, and Protestantism, on the other, but between Christianity and Chaos. It is much the same situation as existed in the early Middle Ages. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries conflicting social and political forces rendered irreconcilable the division between two great groups of Christian thought. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the choice before any educated European was between Christianity, in whatever form it was presented to him in the circumstances of his upbringing, and on the other side, a polite and highly attractive skepticism. So great, indeed, was the inherited subconscious power of Christianity that it was nearly two centuries before the real nature of this loss of faith became apparent.
“Today we can see it on all sides as the active negation of all that western culture has stood for. Civilization—and by this I do not mean talking cinemas and tinned food, nor even surgery and hygienic houses, but the whole moral and artistic organization of Europe—has not in itself the power of survival. It came into being through Christianity, and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance. The loss of faith in Christianity, and the consequential lack of confidence in moral and social standards have become embodied in the ideal of a materialistic, mechanized state, already existent in Russia and rapidly spreading south and west. It is no longer possible, as it was in the time of Gibbon, to accept the benefits of civilization and at the same time deny the supernatural basis upon which it rests. As the issues become clearer, the polite sceptic and with him that purely fictitious figure, the happy hedonist, will disappear.” (pp. 103-104) Converted to Rome: Why it has happened to me (pp. 103-105) The Essays, Articles and Reviews of Evelyn Waugh. (1983). Methuen London Ltd.: Great Britain.
And of course, history soon proved him so right as Nazism and Communism conquered and crushed the rudderless Europe, still struggling to find its way after years of occupation; though Mary warned about and provided the solution at Fatima.
Have a Wonderful Christmas Everyone and a Very Happy New Year.
David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation
Post Office Box 254794 Sacramento, CA 95865-4794
With Peter to Christ through Mary