December 15, 2019
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Will We Choose Holiness?

Will We Choose Holiness?

If it were up to you, as a patriotic American, would you choose for the United States to be the most militarily- powerful nation in the world, the wealthiest country, the most technologically-advanced nation, the most culturally-influential country, or the holiest and most God-fearing society on earth?

The correct answer should be obvious to any Catholic and Christian—but many of our fellow citizens (especially our national leaders and cultural elite) seem concerned only with the first four options, and assume these advantages are a given and even our “birthright.” Moreover, many Americans are certain that God “is on our side,” even though we as a nation are increasingly ignoring His commandments and scorning His values—particularly through the sins of abortion, sexual immorality, violence, greed, and now same-sex “marriage.”

Scripture instructs us that “Happy the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen for His own inheritance” (Ps. 33:12). These words, of course, were written about ancient Israel—but as Jonathan Cahn demonstrates quite clearly in his book The Harbinger, our Founding Fathers deliberately chose to establish our nation on the basis of a freely-chosen covenant, or sacred agreement, with God. Covenants always involve promises of great blessing if they’re faithfully observed, and warnings of powerful consequences or curses if they’re broken. For most of her history, the United States has indeed lived as “one nation under God,” and as a result, we have achieved historically-unprecedented levels of military power, economic prosperity, scientific and technological advances, and cultural influence.

Sadly, this is no longer true (and as The Harbinger explains, the tragic events of 9-11 were intended to be a warning, or wake-up call, that God’s “hedge of protection” had been withdrawn from our land). Despite the many millions of good, decent people in our country, and the still-potentially great influence of Christianity, we as a nation are increasingly turning away from God. Scripture warns, “Virtue exalts a nation, but sin is a people’s disgrace” (Prv. 14:34)—and if we no longer acknowledge God’s authority, we cannot expect His continued blessings and protection.

This unfortunate reality involves each of us personally, for as the great British historian Arnold Toynbee noted, “The course of human history consists of a series of encounters . . . in which each man or woman or child . . . is challenged by God to make the free choice between doing God’s will and refusing to do it.” Thus, we all play our part in determining the future of our country—particularly in light of the truth that every civilization that rejects divine authority and gives itself over to immorality is eventually conquered by its enemies, or collapses from within.

Alexis de Tocqueville, in Democracy in America (1835), wrote:

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers—and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce—and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.

As a result of “reading the signs of the times” (cf. Lk. 12:54-56), there are those who believe, myself among them, that America is in grave spiritual and moral danger. If God turns His face from us as a result of our sinful stubbornness and pride, nothing—not military might, wealth, technology, or anything else—will be able to save us from divine judgment.

However, repentance is always possible; the Lord promises that “if My people, upon whom My Name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek My presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from Heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land” (2 Chr. 7:14). This is one of the reasons for Masses of Reparation.

If we truly mean it when we say “God bless America,” let us offer our prayers and sacrifices for our country, that she may once again become worthy of the Lord’s blessings and favor.

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Written by
Fr Joseph Esper
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