Are We an Evil Empire?

Is the United States of America an evil empire? My opinion is that it may well be one at this moment. However, there have certainly been many evil empires in the almost twenty centuries following the life, teaching, crucifixion, and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior.

Only God knows when Jesus, having ascended into Heaven, will return to judge the living and the dead. Ultimately, rather than squandering our spiritual energies on end-of-the-world scenarios, we need to be focusing on our own salvation, that of our family members and the many people we interact with day by day who do not share our Catholic faith or have lapsed from it.

Most of the readers of The Catholic Thing are probably aware of the great writings of Robert Hugh Benson, the son of the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury. Among these, perhaps the most famous and the one recommended by recent popes, including the current Holy Father, is The Lord of the World.

Benson, a convert to Catholicism who became a great apologist for the faith, wrote many other books, including historical novels such as Come Rack! Come Rope! But The Lord of the World and The Dawn of All are unusual for imagining separate future (at the time of their writing, in the early 1900s) scenarios for the Church.

The first, The Lord of the World, tells the fictional story of the coming of the Antichrist, who brings on the end of the world, with the climax occurring in the Holy Land. The other, The Dawn of All, offers a more optimistic reading of a future where Catholicism is once again recognized throughout the world as the one true Church.

Although such works can remind us of the eternal stakes of world events in drawing nations and the individuals that make them up nearer or farther from an eternity in Heaven, they should not incite us to panic. It bears repeating in a troubling time like ours that, since the beginning of Christianity, there have been many evil empires. And such may be the case for many millennia into the future.

Nonetheless, our duty is always iron faithfulness and trust that God knows what he is about. If we remain in his grace, no matter what happens the Lord has a place in Heaven for us, because we will have been faithful to the teachings of his Church, and the gates of Hell cannot prevail against it.

"Deeds of the Antichrist" by Luca Signorelli, c. 1501 [Orvieto Cathedral]
“Deeds of the Antichrist” by Luca Signorelli, c. 1501 [Orvieto Cathedral]

A powerful source of grace and a support in the difficult times in which we live is Eucharistic prayer, not only for our own needs but for the many of our countrymen and women who have fallen into Satan’s hands. In addition to prayer and the sacraments, however, each of us should share the faith with our family, friends, and co-workers – and with joy.

Indeed, the first generations of Christians did just this in times not so very unlike our own. The anonymous second-century Christian who wrote the Letter to Diognetus gives us insight into how through our behavior we may ultimately crush the evil Empire that is present in our country today. As he put it, it’s not in the usual ways that Christians are different:

Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs.  They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. . . .With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

The true markers that separate a Christian from a non-Christian are extraordinary, but not in the way the world judges such things: “They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.”

Of course, the world does not appreciate this effort to live virtuously and at peace: “Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. . . .For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. . .”

And yet for all that, the early Christians did not withdraw from life or shrink from the consequences of their beliefs, thereby providing us with a still relevant lesson:

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body as all its members despite the body’s hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, well awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.

Fr. C. John McCloskey III

Fr. C. John McCloskey III

Fr. C. John McCloskey is a Church historian and Non-Resident Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute.

  • kathleen

    …Eucharistic prayer in these times – very powerful now. For ourselves, our loved ones and friends, for our nation, and everyone the Lord puts in our path. And the sharing of the Good News and the truths of our Holy Catholic Church. Thank you, Father McCloskey, for the beautiful article and reminders.

  • Michael Dowd

    Very good Fr. McCloskey. A good practice to live in the world and not be part of it is to practice the presence of God. A helpful little book in this regard is ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’ by Brother Lawrence. I read a little bit of it every day and it helps a lot. The idea is remarkably simple. Everyone can do it, but it takes practice.

  • John Willson

    Thank you, Fr. McCloskey. With our monstrous power and unresponsive bureaucracies and fascination with technology, we need the reminder that the only true “exceptionalism” is in the City of God.

  • Sheila

    Thank you Father McCloskey, I needed this spiritual reminder today. We are all in this journey together. People are people are people, no matter what the date is. People feel, think, eat, sleep, exist, love, etc. in our bodies differently, yet it all works the same. In today’s society we think we’re so enlightened and above those in the past, as well everyone in today’s world. But we aren’t. We all function in like manner. We all experience fear of some sort, as well as joy in our lives. We are all drawn into life in Christ, whether we exist(ed) in the past, present or future, and which makes us one and the same in Christ. The results of our lives vary depending on the choices we make. We all dress ourselves each day. We are reminded to put on the mind of Christ which is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. Our spiritual clothes. Let us clothe ourselves with righteousness and good works while it is still light. Then we can see clearly in today’s world to help oneanother to a better life or to even figure out the best candidate to vote for.

  • Dave

    Fr. McCloskey is right that there have been many evil empires since the First Advent — and there were plenty of them before that time, too. There does seem to be something unique about the times in which we are living, though: a sort of “universal republic” that prescinds not just from Christianity but from all religion seems to be emerging. We hear a lot of people saying they are “spiritual, but not religious.” There are lots of claims that we should heed “ancient wisdom,” save that of Christianity, and a new paganism seems to be abounding — though this new paganism has been gaining grown since the Renaissance — which was the Renaissance of what? Thank you. At the same time, we are challenged by Islam as never before.

    A lot of things seem to be converging worldwide that never happened before; and indeed, Cardinal Wotiłya told the Philadelphia Eucharistic Congress in 1976 that the “final conflict” between the Church and the anti-Church was gearing up. All that said, Father is absolutely right that the way forward is the way that has always been forward: frequenting the sacraments, living the life of prayer, and performing the works of mercy in ordinary and mundane circumstances of life. If we live in extraordinary times, then the graces we are given to be faithful –and apostolic — are also extraordinary. As for myself, I think it’s a great time to review and study The Soul of the Apostolate, as only a strong interior life will give us what we need and equip others to receive wha they need. Thank you, Fr. McCloskey.

  • Alicia

    Thank you father. We needed this beautiful sermon. I would love to read your comment every day on the daily TCT articles. How about it ?

  • Christophe

    Thank you, Father, for reminding us that the”Benedict Option” is for monks, not lay people.

  • Michael B Rooke

    Msgr Robert Hugh Benson died at the age of 43. There is a detailed account of his death in The Tablet dated 24th October 1914.

    Could any medical person comment as to the likely cause of his death and as to whether it was natural?

  • Joyfully

    “Ein Herberg hier fur kurze Zeit: Die Heimat ist in Ewigkeit.”

  • Mary C-J

    Wonderful sermon. Are we living in an Evil Empire? It seems overwhelming at times, yes, but no less so than at other times. What we have failed to do is to my viewpoint very simple. Somewhere, somehow we accepted the concept of coexisting with evil, as opposed to exposing it for what it is and battling IT.
    We are still capable of being the shining city on the hill, I do not for 1 minute believe that God is done with us. Much yet needs to be sacrificed to bring us closer to what HE has intended. Silence has been the cancer among us, too willing to live our self contained Christian lives and turning a blinds eye toward the incremental evils gently nudging us as a society away from God. This is the time to stand tall, and not succumb to the winds of insanity. Protect our churches and clergy, for they will be coming after all of us – and no longer in “minor” ways.

    • RaymondNicholas

      Mary, I’m confused. How are these times (more so?) (or less so?) overwhelming than other times? What times do you mean? Since we were warned of the evils of modern times by the popes for the last hundred years we have witnessed the progress of evil with the torture and death of over a hundred million worldwide in wars, and much more than that with the advent of worldwide baby-killing. Christianity has been turned upside down and twisted, and we live in an age of heresy and the subjugation of the Faith to the State. Some prelates say we are living in one of the four greatest heretical times since Christ gave us the Church. And you say there are simple solutions? (PS the first three being the Arian heresy, the split of the Orthodox Church, and the Reformation.)

  • RaymondNicholas

    If we are an evil empire I like to think there is no such thing as collective salvation or damnation, just the individual sort, and that I play no part in our nation’s ruin. Then again, I wonder if I am ignoring my contributions. Do my taxes and votes pay for evil? Do my Church donations and looking the other way pay for evil?

    This is what I think is evil. Our drug addicted culture, which aids and abets the heinous drug gangs south of the border. These gangs have inflicted untold torture and death on innocents in central and south America, on our police, and ultimately the end users in our country, but we care not a
    bit as long as we get our drugs. Our porn/sex addicted/internet culture, which aids and abets the trafficking of young women and boys and destroys their bodies with untreatable STDs, but we care not as long as we get our moment’s pleasure. Our baby-killing culture, which treats the preborn like chattel, slaves of old, to kill or not kill on a whim, and to treat their body parts like bits of gruesome nazi experiments; all of which is necessary so that we do not have to give of ourselves to others and waste precious time. Our public educational culture, which treats blacks and Hispanics like inventory to support the powers that be in their employment and retirement funds. Doesn’t matter that they graduate at rates of 50% to two-thirds of whites, and we keep their bodies satiated and their minds rotted with entitlements afterwards, so that they do not raise a fuss and upset the apple cart.

    And where do I see the Church speaking out on these things? Nowhere to be seen, no collective voice, satisfied in their own superficial claims of “Francis-Love,” and mired in the mud like pigs promoting same-sex attractions, sodomy, adultery, divorce, no more Hell, no more sin, and claiming
    their right to primacy of conscience and giving lip-service to poverty, chastity, and obedience. Where are the true shepherds of Christ, the Alter Christus, as they like to say, or is it
    just pretend?

    And what do I do, like most Catholics—go along and get along, listening each week to the monotonous, stupefying sermons I’ve heard a hundred times over that challenge neither the spirit nor the intellect, or the culture to which we blindly submit.

    This is the bind I’m in: the Church is doing squat as to the real evil that is on-going in this country and I cannot do a thing about it Nor can I leave.

    • Kathy

      Raymond – you are stating exactly what I have said and felt for a very long time. We wonder why 50% of Catholics chose a pro death president. We wonder why so many of them believe in a woman’s right to “choose” We wonder why evil is simmering on the burner and we do nothing to extinguish the flame. And we wonder why we are losing religious liberty – right in front our noses – but we seem unconscious to it. It’s exactly as you said – we do not hear about evil from the pulpit. We do not hear anything except for a rehash of the Mass readings. And while that is worthwhile in teacfing us to understand the Word, can’t some creative person figure out a way to weave the corruption of our world into the sermon? Are we fearful that we will lose people? Jesus Himself said that the tree needs to be pruned to bear good fruit. Yes, Fr. McCloskey, we ARE living in an evil empire. Hitler’s Germany is right in front of us in ever abortion clinic. God help us all!

      • Sheila

        Since you know what is happening in the world, what are you doing about it? Are you fully engaged and involved in the pro life movement in the church and out? How about with the voting process right now? I sure hope so, because if you are not, you have no right to point a finger at anyone. Complaining does not help. Why don’t you ask the priest if there is something you can do to spread the word about all these evils. Maybe you can donate some $$ to the church to buy some catholic voting guides and hand them out. Even talking about the mess we are in over at the parish hall after Mass. We all have electronic equipment and phones and know what is going on. Why don’t you start a Rosary Crusade in your parish? Do you pray the rosary? Ask the priest if you can get a group together before Mass to pray the rosary, if you aren’t doing that already. Most parishes I know do. Get actively involved and change other’s conversations into positive talks about Jesus and how we can help the condition of our country is in.

    • lwhite

      History is replete with “evil empires” and our age is no different than any other where people have forgotten God or rejected Him and placed man as the sole arbitrator of his own life.

      It should be obvious to Catholics by now that the those in what the world believes is the Catholic Church are Judases, false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and have sold their souls to the lies of Satan. They will answer to God as we all will, but in the meantime, they will lead more souls into eternal damnation because people willingly allow them to do so.

      The first thing anyone who wishes to remain in the Truth of Christ and receive the grace and blessings of our Lord in order to “fight the good fight” unto death must do is stop supporting the counterfeit church and find a true Catholic Church where the Lord still reigns and where He is really present in a true, Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and where the soul is nourished only with Truth. These true Catholic Church’s are growing in number as the counterfeit church keeps exposing itself as a tool of Satan.

      Then pray and fast. All of the saints have written that praying and fasting are necessary for holiness and a path to sainthood. The Rosary is the greatest tool we have to keep grounded in the true faith and persevere through our own necessary trials. But fasting is also a great tool for our own edifice and as a way of reparation for the sins of the whole world.

      Most importantly, we must live our own lives as a reflection of Christ. Everything we do must correspond to the will of God and to know His will, we must be open to His voice. Spending time in silence or in contemplation of what we have learned as revealed Truths is absolutely necessary to shut out the noise and blabber of the fallen world and avoid the temptations of Satan which are ever present.

      • RaymondNicholas

        You make excellent points, but as I responded to Mary, it is time to take back the Church from the heretics–anywhere they may be found. I do not believe in the notion of subsidiarity because it is ineffective against those outside the Church who wish to castrate it. Scandal in one part of the country, for example, Boston or Philadelphia, is used by the secular establishment to point a finger at the whole Church across the entire US. Then the Church’s response is to let the locals handle it. This weakens the entire Church. We must not allow those in authority who abuse their positions to humble the laity into doing nothing as a collective.

        • lwhite

          My point is that the church so-called, the one everyone believes to be the Catholic Church, is a counterfeit church. The people in it are not going to leave unless and until they recognize the truth.

          The true Catholic Church has not disappeared. It is led by holy bishops and priests who are validly ordained and serve in parishes throughout the world but are not recognized by those within the counterfeit church or the world as Catholic.

          Find one of these true Catholic Churches and support it. If all Catholics left the counterfeit church and entered a true, Catholic Church, what do you think would happen? There would be no more counterfeit church!

    • Mary C-J

      Yes you can. We must take personal responsibility to show the path that God wants us to be on. Confronting evil is not a bad thing. Shining His light on evil is not futile. There is much more the individual can do. Do not worry about others – they are simply afraid. We need to have no fear. If we but take those first steps, and they are the hardest, I know that He will be there.
      Academia and media are closely aligned and they make their socialist pronouncements installing fear and despair amongst us. Marx set his sights on destroying the Church. Every socialist, communist, fascist and progressive is on board with that – just look at what they have wrought. They are weaker than you think.
      This is NOT the time to loose Faith. Sorry this is the time for Each of us to find the strength to act. You will know what to do. Just ask Him.

      • RaymondNicholas

        Too many responses in internet comment boxes say the same thing when this theme arises: pray, fast, and look around for a better parish or school. While I do not disagree with any of these things, they miss the point I was making. We are in a collective morass in the US wherein Catholic leaders and laity have played a major role in forming. The points I raised–drug addiction, porn/free sex, baby-killing, second-class citizenship of minorities, promotion of active homosexuality, sinless sins, etc., get no arguments from more than half the CINOs in this country. They prove it time and again by voting for the party of death. It is not just a time for personal responsibility IMO; it’s a time for collective action to restore traditional Catholic teachings in all Catholic spheres. I’ve said it in response to other essays–throw the bums out if we have to, but do it gently.

    • John II

      “This is the bind I’m in: the Church is doing squat as to the real evil
      that is on-going in this country and I cannot do a thing about it.”

      Actually, you just did something by raising your voice against it. I am personally acquainted with dozens of serious Catholics who do something about it every day. They resist the culture of death through their personal example as well as their public arguments and political and legal maneuvers. They rear their children to live and promote by example a life of joy-in-Truth (Augustine’s definition of happiness). They decline to send their children to any of the majority of historically Catholic colleges and universities that have betrayed the Faith and gone secular (a seriously Catholic acquaintance of mine who teaches at such an institution sacrificed his perk of free tuition by sending his own kids to a seriously Catholic college–of which sort, by the way, there are still about 80 out of some 240 historically Catholic colleges in North America, a reservoir of witness and sacrifice amid a desert of Catholic-lite postering).

      In effect, they are gearing up for what Pope Benedict XVI has predicted to be a lengthy future with a much smaller Church in the West, scorned and persecuted by a maliciously witless neopagan culture and all the stronger because of her faithful who “did something about it” when the precipitate decline became obvious.

      • RaymondNicholas

        There’s no denying that we should do all the personal things we need to in order to remain faithful. My point was that if we live in an evil empire and that there are many willing accomplices within the Church and laity, then it is time to stand together and take back the Church. Protest the heretics and get them thrown out. Boycott the “bad guys” financially. Raise holy heck with the bishops. Forget subsidiarity; support the efforts of persons and groups in other parishes far away. Write your CINO politicians and kiss them off. Start a blog. Name names. But do it all very gently.

        • Sheila

          What are you on a one man bomber mission? I dont see humility anywhere…. just frustration. Get down on your knees so you can hear God telling you what He really wants you to do. Then when you think you know, breathe in and out …then count to ten. If your thoughts aren’t humble then that’s not coming from God. And check it out with someone else you trust and pray about it. God will show you. He’s a good God and so full of love. After all, he made you and you love Him. God’s best blessings to you and your family.

          • RaymondNicholas

            It’s not a question of being humble. Humility is not the answer when confronting heretical priests in your parish. They are destroying the Faith and need to be removed. It’s not a question of frustration. The laity need to stand up and defend the truths of our Faith. And don’t think that when I’m in Church trying to pray before Mass and a group is talking out loud in back and laughing like it’s a picnic for all to hear that I’m going to sit there and be humble. Don’t think that on the Feast of the Assumption the priest advocates women’s priesthood during the homily I will sit there humble. Don’t think that when he advocates homosexual equality during other homilies that I’m going to be humble. I don’t mind being a sheep, but I am not so sheepish that I will turn stupid and humble myself to a priest who professes his non-belief in my sins and blames the Church for making us feel guilty for the past five hundred years for simply following our natural inclinations. Maybe you have never experienced these kinds of things in your Church, or if you did you just shrugged them off, or felt you could not confront the priest, that it would be wrong. That is not me. I will not be passive when the smoke of the devil invades God’s House.

          • Sheila

            One more note. Humility is not passivity. You insult Christ’s humility. And you do not understand what humility means.

          • RaymondNicholas

            Christ told those who enable sin in others that their sin is great, and warned against the wolves in sheep’s clothing who lead others down the wrong path. I believe you have a serious misunderstanding of my views, from my original post to the last. Since you haven’t been able to respond directly to the points I’ve made which gave rise to my reasoning, exactly why do you think it’s wrong to stand against the bishops, priests, and nuns who preach heresy in the Church? Upon what theological basis do you presume my errors of faith? Do you know that St. Thomas Aquinas wrote at length on this topic, that the faithful may rise up against false teaching?

          • Sheila

            You have no idea about my life and faith experiences. Let me share with you. If homosexuality was preached as ok in my parish, I would walk out and so would most of the parishioners. Our diocese teaches truth and encourages all catholics to know their faith and practice it. I would not say a word, my action would be enough. And I would look until I found a church and priest who followed the teachings. They are out there and very strong.

            I was once at a conference of singles who speaker was a priest. He acted odd for a priest (I thought) and that got my attention. So I watched him and sat in one of his talks. It was sad what he said and I was very uncomfortable. I bided my time and waited for discussion time. My hand went up first and I asked him challenging questions on what he had said verses what the Church officially teaches on same sex marriage, re-marriage without annulments and couples living together because there were also non catholics in attendance. I exposed him for skirting around the Church’s true teachings. He sluffed me off and exposed his own practice and lack of Church beliefs for all to see. The priest avoided me the whole weekend and would not look me in the eye. And I would straight at him. But I did bring it up the rest of the weekend with others. I did what I felt I needed to do and tried to be respectful of the office of priesthood. I asked for God’s help to act in His name (not mine) to undo some of the damage done by the priest. When he assisted with Mass, he wore shorts and a T-shirt. I was offended. I decided to never go to their conferences again, but resolved to pray for this priest. I’m positively sure that I said some things wrong, but I sure tried not to slander the Church or a priest.
            God wants to increase in me so I can decrease. All of our thoughts and actions have to be worked through, planned through (WWJD), prayed through and submitted to God. I want God to use me to His advantage, even if it means my own physical death. Practicing “death to self” cannot be done alone; we need Him for that. It takes great humility and courage to lay down one’s life for God. I have been working on actively submitting to Jesus for 33 years. I was 33 when I started. I know that as I go forward, I will mess up. And compared to God, I’m very small. But…”When I am weak, then He is strong”. Do you understand what I am trying to say to you?

          • RaymondNicholas

            You still haven’t found a way to answer my questions, so I suggest that we end this discussion.

          • Ann Smith

            I am so sad for you and your parish. I have been lulled into a false sense of security because all three Catholic parishes in my town are run by traditional priests. I just don’t know what I would do if I were in your situation except write a letter to your bishop (on paper and mail it with a real postage stamp.) Pope John Paul II spoke infallibly when he said that the church has no authority to ordain women. In my church our priest reminded us of this just recently (from the pulpit). I will pray for your and your pastor.

    • Sheila

      But you can do a lot. Our diocese in Tyler, Texas is not like that. Our Bishop is strong against the attack on this country and against the Church. And so are the individual priests and parishes. Read my posts above with my name. You sound angry and don’t know what to do. I’ve been there. Go to adoration and pour your heart out to God. Find a good and patient confessor and sit down with him (face-to-face) and just be honest. Pour out your frustration. The devil wants you angry and sinning. God says… “Be angry and sin not”. God wants you praying and doing. Watch the shows on EWTN on TV or internet. They have great teachings on all these things. Pray the rosary with Mary your Mother, every day. You are not alone in all this. Find a favorite saint to talk to. Volunteer to help teach the youth. I do. How else are they to know the Truth. We dont want the next generation to be as stupid as we have been. You are not alone in this journey. And you are not alone in seeing evil. Its all about what you do with it. God gave you eyes to see it. Now sincerely ask Him to show you how to make a difference. Pray, pray and wait for your answer. God bless you on your journey and keep you in His safety net so you don’t venture out alone and get hurt.

  • Parish Padre

    “For every tree is known by its fruit.” Luke 6:44 I think the answer is clear.
    One of the pastoral challenges of our day is helping the faithful to see the soft idolatry of patriotism
    (At least as it is commonly embraced.) and how this blinds us to the extent of the current evil.

    • Jan89

      The soft idolatry of patriotism blinds us to the current evil? What are you talking about?

      If that is a pastoral challenge, I hope it’s near the bottom of the list of pastoral challenges of our time.

  • Poor Sinner

    Thank you for your sound and beautiful reflection, Father! I’ll have to explore the Letter to Diognetus in greater depth.

  • Caldwellgal

    Thank you, Fr. McCloskey for your beautiful and timely article. No one –as far as I can see in the comment section– has mentioned the powerful weapon we have already in the recitation of the daily Rosary. Under the guise of very simple prayers, it’s power can overwhelm great evils as shown at Lepanto and other places in Europe in times of persecution and wars. It’s a starting point, it seems to me. Let’s be diligent about it.
    God bless!

    • Sheila

      I discussed Rosary Crusades indepth in response to past articles. The Battle at Lepanto was explained, as well as an explanation of how to start one’s own prayer crusade. I started one in our diocese on behalf of the Tyler Diocisean Council of Catholic Women a couple of years ago and have a hundred or so who signed up to join with me to pray the rosary on a Marian feast day each month. I also invite non-catholics to join with us and to use their own prayer if they do not know the rosary. I also encourage to “pass it on”. I state prayer intentions, as well and encourage own personal intentions. I make an attractive and colorful flyer and always include pictures of Mary on that particular Marian feast day, a colorful rosary and roses. I also include a calendar for the coming year. I send this out each month a few days before the feast day. There are other Rosary Crusades that pop up from Priests for Life and other Catholic websites.

  • GrahamUSA

    Back in the 1960s a Chicago police chief said of working class and working poor Southern whites that they were “foreigners in their own country.” That is my heritage as well although, obviously, now a Roman Catholic. This column tracks my own thoughts in recent months. But especially after the double blow of ACA and same-sex marriage as now the Law of the Land as we so grandly put it. I wasn’t really surprised. I have a law degree and saw this coming. I’m sorry to say that I no longer go to July Fourth Mass or celebrate the Federal holidays in any way. I did recently drive to Louisville, KY to visit my father’s grave — a WWII Navy veteran now buried at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery. At the very least he helped liberate the death camps as part of the Normandy invasion. But looking around it is difficult to see what else was accomplished by the sacrifice of his teenage years. It is even more hard to take since he died days after his 30th birthday and lived less than a decade in the post-war “golden years.”
    America had so much promise and some good was done, some great things accomplished. But I am, bluntly, heartbroken by this country now. After every Mass in my parish we say a rosary for the state of the nation but it is more of a consolation for us than a hopeful gesture for America.
    But if I am a foreigner in my country, the permanent political class and the institutional and corporate elites are tourists in theirs. Travel my broaden, but it does not deepen.

    • Sheila

      The country needs to see that we Catholics really love Jesus and the church and we must shine as lights on the hill. We MUST know our faith and scripture so we can be full of it. FULL of Christ Jesus so we can live it and to be able to answer why it is we love Him so much and are willing to die for Him. We must know Jesus and be full of Him to live like Him. And like St. Francis, we can speak if we have to. Don’t be preachy and/or high minded. When we are “prayed up” with Mary and her rossry, and “confessed up” (go to confession), then get out of the pews. Shine. Forgive everyone, everything in meekness and compassion. Love your family and your enemy. Practice this!! And pass it on to the next generation. How are they to know except that we tell them and especially show them how to do it. That will do more to bring back our country to its beginnings and its reason for existance. We all caused our country to fall – one way or another. We have many freedoms that we have not personally died or suffered for, but someone else did. Their lives are worth celebrating!!! That’s why I celebrate the 4th of July and I’m grateful for their sacrifices. When our country is strong and following God and even when it is not, we help many people all around the world. It would be good if we continue to do that. We can continue to “fight the good fight” and march on Christian soldiers.

  • texasknight

    Our government perpetrates numerous intrinsic evils on our society and exports these evils to the 3rd world countries with money attached. So, YES! Our country is an evil empire run by evil doers. The vast majority of our politicians and our society are on the highway to hell due to their support of: removing God from our republic, contraception, abortion, pornography, “no-fault” divorce laws, same-sex “marriage”, IVF, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, co-habitation, abstinence plus sex education, and or theft by wealth redistribution. It only takes one of these. Our only hope is in God. We must turn to Him, repent and live according to His plan. Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep My commandments.”

  • kathleen

    Yes, and an evil Emperor. Pray, pray for our country. Holy Mass and the Rosary.

  • Redbird25

    I continue to be in utter amazement that 53 percent of American Catholics TWICE fell for the lies of the biggest (and most corrupt) fraud in the history of the nation, Barack Obama. The man has proven to be a deceiver and enemy of Catholics.

    • Dave

      That is because most Catholics aren’t Catholic (or even Christian) in any meaningful sense beyond having received Sacraments.

    • Ryan

      Yep, catholics are liberal and they pretty much shot themselves in the foot for supporting liberal ideology. You can’t have it both ways. Liberalism is evil. The catholics will be the demise of this country for believing in such bs.dumb dumb dumb. You fell for a huge lie and what’s crazy is that I STILL see catholics support that big gov. clown. Bush was no better either but man people better wake up. Your pope is evil to. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  • Biff Spiff

    For those who enjoy novels, especially those with a science fiction or apocalyptic bent, I heartily recommend Lord of the World. A couple of Protestant ministers wrote a series of novels a few years ago called “Left Behind” about the coming of the Antichrist. The writing was almost as atrocious as the theology. (As a Protestant deacon at the time, I felt compelled to read them). Father Benson mastered both. His writing is such that I stayed up way too late reading him and his description of the end times is such that popes have recommended him. I want to thank Father McCloskey for this great post, and for mentioning one of my favorite writers. (P.S. I’m a member of the Tiber Swim Team now!)

    • Jill

      I am rereading this, too, at the prompting of Pope Francis, and because it seems closer to reality now than it did the first time I read it. Fr. Benson is able to capture the feelings one would experience under the conditions of the apocalypse. This is a mental and emotional preparation for what may come and it is that sort of preparation that is just as important as the physical, maybe more so.

  • Fatima Sadness

    Fr. John,

    I have a problem with you:
    (1) Scripture says Mystery Babylon will be destroyed utterly in one hour;
    (2)Fatima notes the annihilation of nations;
    (3)Benedict XVI says this annihilation “is announced in Scripture” and in his homily at Fatima on 13 May, 2010 mentions “7 years”;
    (4) the USA has just legalized sodomy marriage.

    Now put all these together.

  • Bridget

    If you look to education, there will be millions of school children across the nation

    returning to their Public schools in about a month. The Constitutional legalization

    of gay marriage will profoundly impact these kids who will be sitting ducks for the LGBT

    agenda. Daddy, Daddy books and Mommy/Mommy books have already been used in

    states like Massachusetts where gay marriage has been legal for years. The

    whole homosexual agenda is going to be indoctrinated into these kids’ minds

    through the government school systems. These innocent kids will be the victims

    of the “wisdom” of SCOTUS. If you have a moment, take a look at the revealing

    video of what happened to kids in Massachusetts once gay marriage was

    legalized there. You may be shocked. The video is on youtube and is called

    What ‘gay marriage’ did to Massachusetts -…

    Link above may work or Google title and it will come up.

    We need to WARN Catholic parents what is going to happen to their kids in Public

    Schools because of the Constitutional protection of the gay vision of how life

    should be. These parents may want to consider good Catholic Schools or

    affordable Catholic Homeschooling.

    Get the word out. Protect these kids. What have we done to them?


  • John Fisher

    Yes America is the evil Empire! The world does not want to be American or ape its norms but we are bombarded by propaganda that says we all have to copy the USA. Few Americans have any idea how polluting the US is in the world. Through Mass media such as Hollywood and M TV America has destroyed life long marriage brought contraception and homosexuality around the world. When was the last time dating and marrying without casual sex was portrayed as a norm! America forces stable countries with integrated societies to adopt American ideas on emigration. Induced immigration and importation of disparate ideologies religions languages all in the name of tolerance. The stealing of the skilled workers from other developing nations so to to fuel the capitalist machine and keep developing nations poor. Obama is a antichrist who totally ignores Islam and the dangers of the false prophet while distorting Christianity as well! Either he is culturally ignorant or lives in a secular bubble. American lobbies use millions to manipulate political systems in other countries!

  • Phillip

    Having lived in Europe, they were doing a very good job corrupting themselves. Not that Hollywood, etc, are not helping. Just think saying America is an evil empire because of evil in the world is foolish.

  • Yankeegator

    Abortion and Sodomy are constitutional. Relativism is rampant in our culture.. . Alas, I think the answer is yes

  • Apostle by the Sea

    It’s a tragedy for those (most of us) who are truly grateful to God for the US, which for so many years stood for good, despite its flaws that accompany any human enterprise. But America has radically changed over the past several decades, in large part due to our indifference or outright contempt for the Ten Commandments and basic virtue; our culture celebrates vice. The evidence is overwhelming that most Americans are amoral, having voted for Obama twice despite his objectively immoral and often evil platform. The US government and culture are now advocating worldwide for homosexuality, abortion, population control, pornography, euthanasia, assisted suicide, human cloning. It adds insult to injury that many church leaders continue to support even greater government control/regulation/taxation over our lives, despite the transparent fact that our government is evil, and will use its power to persecute Christians and others of good will.

  • Ben

    “The other, The Dawn of All, offers a more optimistic reading of a future where Catholicism is once again recognized throughout the world as the one true Church.”

    You would be hard-pressed to even find a modern cleric within the Catholic Church who believes that. Indifferentism is a dominant spirituality within our Church.

  • Ryan

    Hey. I was once a Catholic to. When I got out things were just fine. You people need to stop voting and supporting demoncrats. Stop listening to your leaders in the church because they are promoting sinfulness. Liberalism and Christianity does not go together.