The present crisis in America compels me to present a consideration about surviving in our world of chaos. It has three words: “Have no illusions.” Look at the battlefield and have no illusions about the world that surrounds us.
That means never adopt an overly optimistic (or pessimistic) vision of what you see. See society for what it is—and it is not a pretty picture.
Someone might say that this is an easy thing to do since our modern society is very brutal and cruel to those who want to practice the faith. No one here has any illusions about our secular society that denies God.
In theory, this is true, but in practice, it does not always work that way. We can have illusions.
The Revolution, as defined by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in his book, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, often advances by creating illusions and gradually putting us to sleep so we won’t react to outrages and thus we accept its agenda. Or sometimes, the Revolution creates illusions to get you to accept the next small step in the process.
I would like to propose three types of illusion that we should reject.
The first illusion involves material prosperity. It is very tempting. It says there is nothing wrong with society because everything works fine. We have a very efficient and highly organized society. We have the largest economy in the world. We are now enjoying economic prosperity. We have every modern convenience. Except in California, you turn the lights on, and they come on.
The message is: Just enjoy life, don’t worry about moral problems. Think only about material comfort. There is no battlefield. On the battlefield, you don’t normally find comfortable chairs, air conditioning and other amenities. And so there is no crisis. Everything is going to be all right. Life can be so comfortable that we don’t need to wait for Our Lady’s triumph.
A second kind of illusion is that of normality. It says that we can fit in and be normal in the face of an agenda that undermines our Catholic Faith.
This illusion of normality consists of thinking that everything is normal and without problems. Again, the Revolution encourages us to think in these terms so that the most abnormal things can advance.
Think Drag Queen Story Hours. There are those who say: No problem—it is a normal expression of our First Amendment rights. Accept it! It’s not a horrific corruption of youth.
The message is: “Just be normal. Don’t worry about moral problems. If you have moral problems, just put on a show that everything is normal, act like you are enjoying life. The logic behind Facebook and other social media is this. Everyone posts normal pictures of themselves enjoying life. The Revolution creates the illusion of universal happiness. Can’t you see? Everybody is enjoying life. If you are not happy, I think you are the problem, not society.”
We expect and are expected to be happy.
However, deep down, everyone knows it is not true. We only need to look at the incredible suicide and opioid statistics to know that something is seriously not normal in society today. Everyone has major problems that need to be addressed and for which only the Church has remedies.
A final type of illusion is what might be called the jump-start illusion. It consists in believing there is something is seriously wrong with society.
The message is: “OK. There is a problem, but it isn’t that bad. All we need to do is tweak the system, and we will get it back up and running like it used to run.”
The big problem with this illusion is that the Revolution has so undermined basic structures like the family, community and the Church. It is almost impossible to go back to the way it was before without some kind of major intervention.
Thus, we must reject all three of these illusions. If we do this, we will see the need for Our Lady’s intervention, foreseen at Fatima. We can then endure the wait for Our Lady’s triumph.
One practical thing you might do is to keep a list of illusion breakers to help when the temptation of illusions occurs. Keep and even write down a list of those things that you see, read or hear, that will help you break illusions.
What will be on the list? Think about those things that are so horrible, that it leads you to say that we’re not going to fix this without Our Lady’s help.
Items on the list can be something national or international. It can be an article, a picture, a video that impacted you.
It can be a personal experience or a small flash of grace, in which God directed you to see clearly something you did not see before.
Keep all these things guarded in your heart to use against the illusion of comfort and normality. Use them when you are told that things are not that bad. These things will help you remain sane in a crazy world.
Thus, I will present you with my list of ten illusion breakers
- Think of those things related to Holy Mother Church. I can never forget the devastating quote: “Who am I to judge?”
- The scene of wild applause and cheering in the New York State Legislature as the State’s Catholic governor signed the nation’s most radical abortion law last January. That is seared in my memory.
- Elizabeth Warren being received by Planned Parenthood personnel singing to her on her birthday.
- Or when I saw her recently tell a 9-year-old transgendered boy, who is really a girl, Congratulations!
- The governor of Virginia, a medical doctor, told a radio audience the process by which doctors put children to death when born alive after an abortion.
- Pictures of Drag Queen Story Hours
- The national debt—and the fact that no one cares anymore that were are over $23 trillion.
- A relative that adopted a completely immoral lifestyle that shocked me.
- How about an old one that has stayed on my list for a long time: When the Democratic Party denied God three times in a vote on one of its platform items?
- How about my most recent addition: a pagan ceremony in the Vatican at the Amazon Synod.
These are all items that help break illusions.
I would add a word of caution, however. These items should be illusion breakers, not soul crushers. I am not asking you to enter into a spiral of depression and anxiety by contemplating the horrors around us.
If you just do this alone, it can cause anxiety and crush souls. That is not my objective. You will also need to adopt other more positive measures that I will later develop to give yourself balance.
A second word of caution is that this fighting without illusions also means avoiding negative illusions. We cannot take an unrealistically pessimistic attitude that the whole system is so completely rotten, that it is better to throw in the towel and give up.
Having no illusions means seeing things as they are, head-on. Having such an attitude brings clarity to the fight. This realistic way of looking at the fight only highlights the fact that the real solution lies in Our Lady’s intervention.
Remember: everyone has a major problem in our society. Otherwise, they would not be there. There are no exceptions. They are all in some way engaged in the Culture War. To be effective in our actions, we must adopt this realistic attitude.
The text above is part of the talk, “Battling for God’s Glory While Waiting for Our Lady’s Intervention,” that was presented by John Horvat II at the American TFP’s National Conference held in Pennsylvania on October 26-27, 2019.