Right Order vs Demonic Anarchy
Part 2 - Atheism/Paganism
It seems preposterous that today, in the two-thousand and twelfth year of Our Lord, that we must speak of the existence of God. Our world has truly regressed to the point of foolishness. We read in Psalm 13: "The fool says in his heart: There is no God. They are corrupt, and are become abominable in their ways: there is none that doth good, no not one. The Lord hath looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there be any that understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good: no not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they acted deceitfully: the poison of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and unhappiness is in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes. Shall not all they know that work iniquity, who devour my people as they eat bread? They have not called upon the Lord: there have they trembled for fear, where there was no fear. For the Lord is in the just generation: you have confounded the counsel of the poor man; but the Lord is his hope. Who shall give out of Sion the salvation of Israel? When the Lord shall have turned away the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. "
Filled with a foolish pride and vanity, many in the name of science or reason deny the existence of God. The entire creation speaks to us of a Creator. The similarity of DNA among creatures does not speak of chance or evolution but rather of a single Creator; just as the similarity of strokes, colors, tone, style and mood in artwork speaks to us of the same artist who made it. Those who study such things in the art world can readily discern one artist from another by his artwork. While the discerning of an artist from his work requires labor and study, the discerning of God from His creation is open to all; from the uneducated to the wisest of philosophers.
It was once said that wherever one goes he will find that people always have a god. We would sooner have found a city without walls than find a people without a god. The ancient Pagan philosophers even came to the conclusion that there must be a god; there must be only one; He must be perfect, etc. And they know this not from Revelation, but through natural observation and reason. Today's "philosophers " and "scientists " have gone to the opposite extreme declaring that there is no god. The devils are certainly to be found having a hand in all this.
In the primitive life of man — when he was not far removed from walking with God in the Garden of Paradise — the knowledge of God was solid and firm. The devils out of hatred for God and man began to present themselves in the place of God, and as man grew farther from God they began to embrace these devils as gods. (We therefore see the need of the first Commandment given to Moses: "Thou shall not have strange gods before Me. ") As there are many devils, so paganism adopted many gods. This tactic of the devils was suited for the time and the people of that age who understood and knew that there is and must be a god. Through time the devils have been perfecting their attacks against God and man. Today the temptation is to deny the existence of God and all the false ancient Pagan gods too. One might object that this requires a denial of the devils themselves. Why would the devils want this? It is very simple: If we deny the existence of the devils we cease fighting against them or resisting their evil suggestions. Their ultimate goal is our damnation, and today they can accomplish this best by getting us to deny all spirituality and live lives of mechanical materialism. We in essence are led by devils that we deny exist, and make ourselves our own gods and thus imitate and follow the devils who sought to make themselves God.
In order to move forward in the spiritual realm it is often necessary that we look back and learn what modern materialistic man has long forgotten. The natural world all around us speaks loudly of a Creator if we will only open our hearts and minds to listen. Literature is replete with the beautiful observations of men who sought to instill these same observations and ideas into the hearts of their fellow men. A poem by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) readily comes to mind: "I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest, Against the earth's sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear, A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree. "
We see that all the creatures from the inanimate rock, plants, animals and even man have a purpose or goal; they have a design that they have not given themselves. Contained in the tiny oak seed is the germ and potential for the mighty oak tree. That little seed is without a doubt designed to not only germinate, but to grow and increase in size and strength from season to season and in time to bear fruit like itself season after season. In philosophy we have a principle that basically says that we first think of the end, or the completed thing, but this completed thing occurs last in time even though it was first in thought. For example when one decides to build a house, he first thinks of a finished house and then he works back to where he must begin to accomplish this goal of building a house. He does not first think of digging a hole and laying a foundation and then decide that he wants to build a house. His first thought is of the house, his last thought was of hole and foundation even though, the hole and foundation are the first to be materially actualized. We see this same principle in the design of a simple acorn. This acorn is not the first idea, but it is the first step in the material actualization of an oak tree. Everyone knows that if we want to start an oak tree we have first to get our hands on an acorn. This is the way of nature. And we know that if we plant an acorn and it successfully germinates we will obtain an oak tree. It will not be a maple, or any other tree, nor will it be an animal, it will only be an oak tree. This is the design of the acorn and this design was not made by us. This design did not happen by chance, but by intelligent foresight and forethought; just as the building of a house does not happen by chance, but by intelligent foresight and forethought. We might call this idea a principle of intelligent design. We see this design in everything. All the plants, animals, and people have always started out in a seed or germ state, moving through the process of fertilization, embryonic growth and development to reach ultimately the goal of maturity. There is an intelligent design in this process that is not placed there by any creature, nor could it have happened by chance. If we step outside and look at our homes, no matter how simple they may be, we will see that these homes did not make themselves nor were they created just by chance, but are the work of some intelligent designer.
There is a branch of philosophy known as Theodicy. It is a science that studies God as knowable by unaided human reason. In this science we examine from many directions how we know that God exists. This science is distinct from Theology which is the science of God as revealed to us through Revelation. Theodicy is therefore limited in what can be discovered, but it does discover enough so that based upon natural reason and observation alone every intelligent being must know that there is a God. Hence, we conclude with the Psalmist as above that: "Only the fool says in his heart there is no God. " One of the arguments of Theodicy may be outlined like this:
"If the world exhibits a most wonderful and constant order and design, and is directed, in itself and in its parts, to an end, it has an intelligent designer and governor, and, ultimately, a First Designer and First Governor who can be no other than the First Necessary Being or God.
Now, the world does exhibit a most wonderful and constant order and design, and is directed, in itself and in its parts, to an end. Therefore, the world has an intelligent designer and governor, and, ultimately, a First Designer and First Governor who can be no other than the First Necessary Being or God. Therefore God exists. " (Theodicy, Paul J. Glenn, Ph.D., S.T.D. 1939)
There also appears to be something very integral in man that demands that he worship something. Even when man irrationally decides to deny the existence of God, he invariably bows down before some false god of his or another's creation. The devils are always eager to step in and fill this profound need deep within the souls of men. We see in our own times the making of sports or recreation into a religion or a god. Sunday, the Lord's day has been diverted into a sports day. (Not a day of exercise and recreation for the body, but rather a day of idleness and indulgence.) The sports fan (fanatic) sacrifices the time, attention and devotion that even natural reason says belongs to God, so that he might dedicate it all to watching other people compete against one another. His "team " that he "supports " enraptures him in a useless pursuit of some fleeting "honor. " Completely unable to aid his team in the contest he is reduced to cheering and recounting the plays with himself or his friends. This enthusiasm is very appealing to the materialistic person. He has a god that he can see and hear and follow without any concern of changing or improving himself. Added to this we have a continual round of sports for every season. As one sport draws its season to a close another has already begun its season, leaving the fanatic chasing one sports religion after another and never leaving any room for the true God. They have basically proven the point that there must be a god even if they have to create one.
If you will listen to them talk and just change the sport terms for religious ones, I think it will be clear enough that this is a religion. They argue over whose god (team) is better, they argue over which god (sport) is better. When their player or their team god fails or suffers it is felt as a personal attack upon them. They readily condemn and criticize judges and referees, etc when calls are made against their "gods. " We often hear the very term "idol " and "hero " used in sports. How many people today will be able to tell us the specific details of many different players' statistics, but will not know the most basic things of true religion? Many, who even call themselves "Catholic, " will be able to tell us the details of last Sunday's game, but cannot tell us the what the Ten Commandments are, or the Seven Sacraments, and perhaps even worse, will not even be able to say what the sermon was about that they sat through earlier in the day.
It is not just sports, but many parts of our materialistic world that the devils have used to create false gods for us and lead us away from the One, True, God. We have also shopping, traveling, eating, drinking and gambling, etc. Each, in its own way easily become false gods or idols for us, if we allow ourselves to slip into these temptations and snares laid out for us by the fallen angels.
It may be easy for today's world to dismiss the foolishness and nonsense the Greek and Roman Pagan gods of antiquity, but if we are honest we will just as readily dismiss the modern materialistic gods our society has given us, even though they do not come right out and call them "gods. " The tragedy is that in dismissing the Pagan gods of old or new, the demonic temptation is to dismiss the One True God along with all the false ones. This appears to be where our modern materialistic/mechanistic "scientists " are being led by devils who are filling their vain heads with such self flattering demonic pride. In denying all gods they attempt to make themselves into gods. They seek the praise, adulation, and even the worship of their fellow men. The devils do not care. It does not matter if they drag us into Hell this way or that way — worshiping devils, our selves, or some other creature — as long as we do not worship the One True God the devils win.
The gods of "sports " and the gods of "science " are truly no different than the mythologies of Pagan Greece or Rome. They promise us ultimate happiness, but are never able to deliver it. What they offer is always nothing but a fleeting temporal amusement. It is a distraction and therefore an obstacle to the true worship that we owe to God.
The temptations to turn away from God are always near at hand. We must, therefore, be ever vigilant that while avoiding and rejecting one we do not fall into another. Our security is in focusing our attention solely upon God in and through His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Outside of this True Church and True God there is no salvation, there is no real peace, and there is no real happiness. There may be fleeting temporal amusement as we stated above, but this is never to be considered true peace or true happiness. Our souls and our very nature seek and demand an unending peace and happiness. The devils want us to look for this anywhere and everywhere except in the only place we can find it — in God.
We must protect ourselves from the defilement of worshipping any false gods, because this is an abomination and a lie that is most repulsive to God who is all Truth. Ecumenical worship at the altars of false religions and to false gods is something that every Catholic should understand is a terrible sin that may promise peace and happiness, but will ultimately only bring pain, suffering, and misery. Every day belongs to God, but one day is special that He set aside for us to fulfill our religious obligations. We must never lightly set aside these obligations in the pursuit of some worldly material temporal pleasure. God must come first every day but, especially on this day, we must place Him first. Our Sunday obligations are not just attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the morning, but the whole day must be made holy. It is not too much to begin the preparations the day before. If we were going on a vacation for worldly pleasure we would not wait until the morning before it was time to leave to get everything prepared; likewise, we should not wait until just before Mass to prepare ourselves. Our preparation entails not only being properly groomed and attired but also time must be given to our souls (hearts and minds) to quietly reflect and prepare ourselves for where we are going and what we are doing. We should be in the Church well before it is time for Mass to begin so that we have ample time to quietly prepare ourselves for participation in this Holy Sacrifice and for receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. We must avoid the temptation to rush out as soon as the priest leaves the altar. Rather, we should seek to cultivate in our hearts a longing desire to remain there in Church (God's house) in the presence of God, and always leave rather reluctantly as we are departing from one who loves us so much. This is just the beginning. We must strive to keep the presence of God with us long after we leave the Church. Forgetting God and rushing home to watch the game or to sleep the day away is not a profitable way to honor God or keep the day holy; it is rather a way to participate in the worship of a false god; and may appear okay and very "ecumenical " in the eyes of the rest of the world, but it is offensive to God. It is also a scandal to all. This day is a wonderful day to read and study the Catholic Faith so that we might grow in our knowledge of God and therefore in our love of Him. May we strive to only please God and enjoy moderate recreation that would never distract from the love and worship that we owe to God on this day.