I recently finished the third season of a detective drama that, sadly, has been losing my interest as the seasons wore on. But I was already invested. So I gritted my teeth to finish.
In its concluding episode, there transpired a scene in a church. An older matron and a younger woman sat together in the stillness. The older woman, who was in torment over a family dilemma, sat quiescently with her eyes fixed in the distance, seemingly lost in prayer.
Beside her, the younger woman, who we earlier learned is a devotee of New Age paganism, leaned next to her and whispered, “Do you ever hear anything?” The older woman’s tersely replied: “Not a damn thing.”
Later, during the denouement, viewers saw the younger woman introducing the older woman to New Age pagan rites.
The Left, as the heirs of Rousseau, would deem the spiritual regression of the older matron from a revealed religion back to paganism as “redemptive;” and as one more bit of “progress” in the long slide back to a primitive state of nature, wherein all will be freed of the shackles of civilization’s corrupting influence. Thus, the matron’s “salvation” supposedly is in rejecting Christianity, which is depicted as the source of her torment. Yet, having viewed the matron’s amoral character develop over the course of the season, one discerns a different, more disturbing reason: She had long ago hardened her heart to God.
It evoked the warning of Psalm 95:8-11:
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,
as on the day of Massah in the desert.
There your ancestors tested me;
they tried me though they had seen my works.
Forty years I loathed that generation;
I said: “This people’s heart goes astray;
they do not know my ways.”
Therefore I swore in my anger:
“They shall never enter my rest.”
I thought of our country. We have enjoyed the bountiful blessings of God, yet we have become like the Israelites after deliverance from Pharoah’s slavery: with tears of gratitude quickly dried, our rapacious hands reach out for craven golden calves to worship; our hearts ever hardening to the voice of God.
Abortion of the most vulnerable among us up to the moment of birth; active euthanasia for mental illnesses; the systematic persecution of the faith by the state, including the infiltration of religious bodies by governmental agents; the interference and elimination of parental rights; the government-sanctioned and even heralded sexualization and mutilation of children at the hands of adults into whose care they have been entrusted—the list is expansive and increasing.
It is nothing less than the willful, deliberate, and premeditated destruction of innocence; and the blind, licentious pursuit of pleasure without consequences. But such things are beyond the reach of human hands. There will be consequences for a generation that, despite having been the beneficiaries of God’s blessed works, have let their hearts go astray and know not His ways; and, having tested and tried Him, shall never enter His rest.
Burdened with such worldly concerns, I attended my parish’s Easter vigil mass. During the service, in front of the assembled parishioners, an older woman stood and completed the introductory rites of the Catholic Faith. Later, she received communion. At the conclusion of the mass, the priest asked everyone to greet the newest member of our faith and parish community. She bashfully smiled as our resounding applause welcomed her to our community; and affirmed the eternal hope of God’s paschal promise.
In that blessed respite, one couldn’t find a hardened heart.