We are experiencing the most vicious attacks on Christianity since the days of ancient Rome. Christmas, the feast of the Incarnation, when God descended to earth in human form, is a great occasion to rediscover the meaning of this world changing event. Fortuitously, this rediscovery provides ammunition needed not only to repulse the attacks of our enemies, but counterattack and rout it.
Saint John Paul II once predicted, as a result of a vision he had, that Islam was going to attack Europe like it had never been able to do before. Stopped at Poitiers, in France, in the 8th century, in Belgrade—then part of Hungary—in the 15th century, the Turks saw their naval power destroyed at Lepanto in the 16th century, putting a temporary halt to Islam’s dream of conquering Christendom. But pirates from North Africa continued to harass maritime commerce in the Mediterranean for another two centuries.
During the 19th century the power of the Ottoman Empire waned and the Middle East played no role on the world stage. During that time, partially to put an end to pirating, France occupied North Africa and then the Sahara. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom and a handful of other European countries colonized Africa.
The French administration in Algeria made it difficult for missionaries like Charles de Foucauld to try to convert the Muslim population. The opportunity was there, but it was not seized. Only in sub-Saharan Africa was an effort made to spread the faith. Now Europe is paying dearly for the poor judgment of their secular governments.
The anti-Christian governments in place in the majority of the countries forming the European Union actually facilitate mass immigration. Europe’s birthrate declined seriously after World War II due to birth control and widespread abortion. As a result the governments favor immigration. Muslim immigrants are a source of labor welcomed in Germany and the United Kingdom to satisfy the need for cheaper labor. Add to it a massive loss of faith from the part of Christians, and the stage is set for realization of the vision of Saint John Paul II.
This immigration is different from previous ones. Typical immigrants want to assimilate with the rest of the population. The Muslim immigration looks more like a conquest by arms; the immigrants want to change the laws and customs of the country to fit their preferences. This creates frictions, lawlessness, and crime, which the authorities handle with kid gloves instead of suppressing.
There seems to be a sort of resignation to those scenarios, strengthened by a media which brain washes the population about the necessity of immigration. More confusion comes from religious organizations defending mass immigration, saying it behooves Christians to help them for the sake of “openness” and “diversity”.
In the U.S., Muslim immigration was aided by the Obama administration, resulting in some states like Michigan and Minnesota having enclaves where sharia law is slowly replacing our Constitution. The same scenario of brainwashing by the media is beginning to have similar effects here. Get used to the new norm, right?
This past year we witnessed exciting cosmic events. In August, the solar eclipse created major news. On October 12, an asteroid came within 31,000 miles of earth. That’s about 1/8th the distance to the moon. Good thing it didn’t hit us! I call these cosmic events not because they happened in space but because they are ordered and harmonious (that’s what cosmos means). We can calculate the date of solar eclipses a century in advance because these celestial events are subject to fixed laws that order them in a harmonious way. The asteroid had come once before, in 2012, and passed the earth at a distance of 59,000 miles. Its orbit was calculated, and it came back, as predicted, even closer this time. Relax, it is not anticipated to come back any time soon.
Contrast this with the chaos that is gripping our planet. Events like the massacre in Las Vegas, and the daily nonsense in the swamp in D.C., reveal incredible disorder and discord. The temptation is to close our eyes to this chaos and take refuge in whatever cosmos we can find, even if we have to create it ourselves, artificially.
Yet the value of our life is going to be measured by what we have contributed to spread cosmos and dispel chaos. Cosmos is the Kingdom of God, and chaos is the world of sin created by man. We are encouraged to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and its justice, and all these [other] things shall be given to you.” (Matt 6, 33.) It is a sort of contract we are to sign. Saint Teresa of Avila, in her book The Interior Castle , puts it in her unique, practical way, saying that we are offered a deal to take care of God’s business and, in return, He will take care of ours. So we are asked to get involved in a cosmic business deal.
When I arrived in Chicago as a nineteen-year-old, I marveled at the dynamism and opportunity the city exuded. It was called The City that Works .
With all my belongings fitting in one suitcase, and speaking only a few sentences in English, I set out to restart a life that nearly ended in the country I fled. Four years later, I graduated with a degree in Math and was on my way to advanced studies and a good career. Sure, it took hard work, but I was helped by a system that was then rigged to help the common citizen succeed.
Today, Chicagoans agree that the system works mostly for the elite folks that spend their working hours within the confines of the Loop. As cities go, so goes the nation. Can the malaise felt throughout the country be cured by an election that would give new direction to the country? I doubt it. The general disquiet has deeper roots and requires a systemic overhaul. The relationships among citizens are disordered, causing disunity. The other party, the other group, or the other side is mocked and demonized. No nation can survive for long with two parties that hate each other. One transitions from disrespectful tweets and posts to criminal action very easily. We can see it at work already: the first victims are the police, but common folks like you and me will be next in the cross hairs.