Hinge Moments in History

NOTE: Henry V & St. Crispin in SnapShots

Over the years I’ve read historians who surmise that our forebears rarely knew when they stood at the hinge of history–those key moments that made the turn for this or that direction for a people, a nation, an era.

I’m not so sure. In Shakespeare’s Henry V (see Snapshots) King Henry is portrayed as having known full well that he and his “band of brothers” stood athwart just such a moment in history.

The journals of Lewis and Clark indicate they understood that their efforts would have national and historic import.

In some lives of saints we glean that they too knew–even if for the moment hidden from view–that their sufferings and sacrifices tipped the world and history the right way…and we can surmise that where saints are lacking that events take an unholy turn.

We could list a dozen such moments and people…but what of us??

The prior post feature’s a comment about Europe and how Pope Benedict XVI sees this era in Church history. It is sobering. It seems to me he is calmly announcing that we are standing at a hinge moment.

We Americans are on a precipice. We are headed into an election cycle that could determine our history for a century to come.

Unless we muster saints-in-the making to actively combat the spectre of same-sex marriages, children raised and abused in polygamous camps, abortion, cloning , embryonic stem cell research–the whole horrific assault on the human family–we will have only ourselves to blame for the rapid plunge into gaping atheistic darkness.

We’ve had the fight bred out of us with mushy platitudes of political correctness, misquoted scripture and multicultural threats.

I appreciate the call to pray, and to pray more fervently. We must. But history is summoning us to active combat too.

When out children where in their early teens they had a Catholic version of THE WAY, a vernacular translation of the bible. For the most part this version is woefully insufficient. But For our purposes in this reflection let me quote from THE WAY ‘s translation of Exodus 14:

The Children of Israel have fled, Pharaoh is hot pursuit, and the people are wailing and moaning, crying out to God in despair. Moses yells out “Just stand where you are and watch…you won’t need to lift a finger!”

Then God corrects Moses, “Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward March!”

Get the people moving. That means YOU and ME, we must get people moving. It is much harder to regain ground you’ve lost (think abortion) than to hold the ground you have–ask any soldier. If we lose what is left of a Christian culture in this nation, the momentum of the slide becomes sucking vortex downward. It will be centuries before we can recover what we so callously refuse to defend now.

Speak out, speak up, speak everywhere. Wrote editors, call radio talk shows, email the TV talking heads, hold sessions at the water cooler…we must get moving.


3 Responses

  1. Okay, now you’ve Properly Scared me too. And what a pointed quote from Exodus.

  2. Forget being Property Scared. I am Truly Terrified! (At times like this, it’s good to call on Ask Sister Mary Martha over at her blog.)

  3. Hi CC and Beatrice–happy to be of service–(laughing ruefully).
    The question is WHAT are we doing to combat this??

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