In praying the Divine Mercy chaplet I began to realize the depth of the Lord’s mercy, but I also came to understand at a deep level three other, more disturbing truths.
First, I saw our country–the United States of America–the leader of the free world–just as it really is. That is to say, I saw the deep depravity and wickedness of our nation. This was revealed to me by a reminder of the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. For those who do not remember what they are–these three sins cut right across the categories of mortal or venial sin and allow for no excuses to be made. Most sins may be mortal or venial depending on the circumstances or the intention. However, the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance are always intentional sins. They are always crimes of violence against the helpless and vulnerable. They are always a grave offense against nature and against the human person and against God–and America is knee deep in them. No. America is chest deep in them. America is bathed in them.
This was the first truth I saw–that we are wallowing in the sins that cry out to heaven. They are 1. Sodomy 2. Murder 3. Injustice to the widows and orphans 3. Depriving the laborer his just wage. Think about these sins for a moment, and think of the destruction, perversion and horrors they produce. The first is sodomy. Remember, sodomy is not just anal intercourse between men. Anal intercourse between two men is simply the ultimate form and symbol of the wider definition of sodomy. Sodomy includes every form of sexual perversion and violence. It includes pedophilia, rape, pornography, bestiality and incest. It is every sexual sin that is violent and abusive either to the self, to another person or to the natural order. It is the ultimate and intentional distortion of the process of human procreation and human love.
We immediately think of the homosexualist movement which celebrates sodomy and wants to force this distortion of love on everyone else. However, lest we think ourselves so much better than anybody else, think of all who have led promiscuous lives enabled by artificial contraception. Think of all those who have excused these sins, turned a blind eye or made excuses for them. Think of all those who campaign for ‘sexual freedom’ and therefore encourage and celebrate sodomy of all kinds. Think of all who, in the name of ‘freedom’ have abused others, sexualized and abandoned them and substituted genital pleasure for human love.
I saw the first of these sins and realized that America is awash with it–and I’m not just talking about the bath houses of San Francisco and the orgiastic and violent “Gay Pride” exhibits–but the widespread acceptance, defense and celebration not just of homosexualism, but of sexual license and decadence of all kinds. Not only are we awash with it, but we celebrate it. We flaunt it.
Then my mind turned to the second sin that cries to heaven: Murder. Immediately we think of abortion and the thousands of unborn children being slaughtered in the womb. We celebrate this organized murder and do everything we can to export it to other countries. My mind also turned to the violence and bloodshed in our land. How is it that the country that has 5% of the world’s population has 25% of the world’s prison population? Because we are a bloodthirsty and ruthless people. That’s why. Furthermore, why does America as a country feel it must be constantly waging war? We speak of the terrorists who threaten our land, but when in the last fifty years have we not been at war somewhere in the world? Why do we have such an immense military machine except to control the rest of the world through the threat and action of violence? Do you know the entire British air force could fit on one American aircraft carrier, and we have over a dozen aircraft carriers with more in the pipeline. We are a bloodthirsty and militaristic and aggressive country and we should face it.
The third sin that cries to heaven is the abuse of widows and the fatherless. The obvious cause of this great sin is our own selfishness and sin. We simply don’t care for the vulnerable and helpless in the world. But it is worse than the neglect of our own elderly and our own children. The widows and fatherless are a symbol for the broken family–the broken home. They are the homeless and the ones without family–and what a scourge on our land has been the breakdown of the family through promiscuity, a dependency culture, no fault divorce, abortion and contraception. The family is broken. Not only do we neglect the fatherless and widows, but we are creating more and more fatherless, widows and widowers–more and more broken and lonely and neglected people through these social sourges. The huge numbers of single mothers with their fatherless children, the single parents through divorce and adultery and pride, the forgotten children of selfish parents–all this cries to heaven for vengeance because in the end it is the vulnerable and weak–most especially the children, who suffer.
The fourth sin is depriving the labor of his fair wage. Why is it that Americans so often take such pride in paying workers the least amount possible? Is it fair that employers hire only part time workers so they don’t have to pay health insurance and benefits? Is it fair that working class couples have to work two or three or four part time jobs to try to make ends meet, and they still don’t have health insurance? Is it fair to simply say, “Gee, this is the land of opportunity! They just need to work harder!” Then when we consider the relationship between some of the large multi national companies who pay their overseas labor force a pittance to produce consumer goods for all of us to grab and gobble in the USA is that fair? No. It is a sin that cries out to heaven, yet we celebrate this as “free enterprise” we defend those who are obscenely rich and want to be like them–never questioning how they made their money and who really paid the price.
The second truth I saw after recognizing our guilt in the sins that cry out to heaven is that Americans, for the most part, are completely oblivious of their wickedness. The society is a cesspit but we’re covering it over with fakery. Fake tans, fake boobs, fake smiles, fake restaurants, fake amusement parks, fake education, fake money, fake houses, fake kids, fake marriages. It’s all covered over with a Las Vegas style strip–all glamor on the outside and sick perversity underneath. This is the real America, but it’s glossed over with a glitzy artificial goodness–and we believe the lie. We believe the artificial surface image. We soak it up and “good Catholics” are just as guilty as anybody else. We believe our country is the best and most glorious and we’re the finest people who have ever lived. We think we’re just wonderful and can’t see the decay.
The third truth is that I realized that there is very little we can do about it. We’re chest deep in the stuff and there is no way–apart from an outpouring of the Holy Spirit–that we can turn it around. Therefore the only thing we can do–the only answer is the Divine Mercy. When wickedness is so profound and discussion and reasoned argument so impossible the only answer is a spiritual answer–an answer that is supernatural. That is all that we can hope for.
My message today sounds grim. I know that I have dealt in generalizations. I also know that there are many, many faithful and good Christians who love God and love America. I know some of the issues are complex and are worthy of discussion. However, my point stands. Nevertheless, I have more hope than despair. I have more optimism than doubt.
This is why: the call to the Divine Mercy is spreading and growing. More and more Catholics are realizing that the Divine Mercy message is the message for our times. St Faustina knew it. Pope John Paul II knew it. Our present Holy Father knows it.
So let us do what we can do, pray for God’s Divine Mercy and then live that message of mercy in our lives.