Evil is for Real

4 Jun

32751-9-23-10

Shades and a remote — trying to ignore your fears and problems. But as Pope Leo XIII wrote in Rerum Novarum (1891): Nothing is more valuable than to look upon the world as it really is and to look elsewhere for the solace to its problems.

Abraham Lincoln was known for his moral strength. He once said, “Every effect must have its cause. The past is the cause of the present, and the present will be the cause of the future.”

No doubt about it. Good produces good and evil produces evil.

There are people who think nothing of killing and maiming others or corrupting the morals of young people. They make sex slaves out of helpless young people. They destroy families by pushing drugs – and holding out as good and normal sinful values and practices.

The erosion of traditional social standards is at once evidence of evil and one of the most dangerous allies of evil. We have come to expect (and perhaps accept) corporate corruption, unfairness in the workplace, sexism, oppression of the weak, sexual immorality, violence and racism.

People retreat into themselves, so overwhelmed with bad news that they think all will go away if they just ignore it. Or, in this disconnect with reality, they begin to think that all the troubles in their neighborhood and world seem ordinary, par for the course.

So psychologically disabled, these people are unable to work against the forces of evil.

Too few good people are willing to speak out for justice, decency, chastity, the stability of marriage and family, and honesty in all human relations – including the political arena.

Edmund Burke, an Irish political philosopher, Whig politician and statesman from the 18th century, once said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Burke also wrote in a 1791 letter:

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

Perhaps we’re in the blame game – it’s my neighbor’s fault that we don’t speak; it’s the government’s fault that we are in such a financial crisis; the entertainment industry is to blame for the decay of sexual morality and family life.

Indeed, they all play a role in the decadence that is spreading in our society. However, what might you have done to irritate your neighbor? How do you manage your own finances and the power of your vote? What movies and television programs do you watch – and what is the moral level of your favorite music? Do you use your buying power to send a message to corporations who promote unhealthy social trends?

As Pogo says, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

And here is a warning from our Lord:

I know your works. I know that you are neither cold nor hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. … Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. … Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit is saying (Rev 3:15-17, 20, 23).

And the Lord promises:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Mt 7:7).

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