I suppose it is some evidence of the subject of my post that I began to write it on April 28th, eleven days ago. And that beginning came after a 16 day void since my last substantive post. [Here is where you say, “You’ve had a substantive post? This decade?”].
Anyhow, I hope you all had an Easter Solemnity full of joy and the thankful, confident hope in the power of Our Lord’s victory over death. Each year, it is more and more obvious to me that everything in our lives is dependent on the fact that Christ is risen– as God, as Man. He died. Our debt is paid. He rose. Our inheritance is Heaven. It’s so beautiful and so comprehensive, that it is sometimes easy to miss it. This year, I followed some spiritual advice and every time I meditated upon the crucifixion I pictured the inscription nailed above Our Savior’s head as being instead inscribed with my sentence to eternal death for my sins. And He took it, and accepted the responsibility for it, and suffered and died for it. He obliterated it. His merits, coming from God, are infinite and simply too much for my sins to ever deplete. His Incarnation makes those merits apply to men. And thus, I am pardoned. It is overwhelming to ponder, let alone to comprehend.
So, the point of this post? Just a snapshot of my take on the current situation. Though it’s the Easter season, like every other year, I just have the gut feeling that we are in a different place entirely. I mean in the supernatural sense. Like we are beyond the allotted time. To illustrate the point, and I apologize for this, I will use an analogy from soccer.*
If you have ever
been forced to watch watched soccer, you may recognize this sort of activity:
Well, as you can imagine, the common, ludicrous, time-consuming, and wussified acting involved in faking injuries wastes a lot of time. So what, you say? Baseball has stepping-out-of-the-box, giving
and stealing signs, and a myriad of other time wasters. And football has committee meetings built in to the equation. Well be that as it may, soccer uses a clock that never stops. Yep, you play, the clock rolls. You kick the ball out of bounds, the clock rolls. You fake a gunshot wound and roll around on the ground like an idiot because someone came within five yards of you, the clock rolls. You have an actual cardiac event on the field because you took a mandatory, safe and effective experimental gene serum of no discernable reason, the clock rolls.
Hey Timman, what would stop a team with a lead from faking injury after injury to run out the last ten minutes of a match, you say? Well, that is because of a concept they have in soccer called “stoppage time”. It used to be known as injury time, but the new euphemism acknowledges that players are hardly ever injured when the pull the lame acting jobs highlighted above. You see, the clock finally hits zero, but the game goes on. Yes, I know, it is hard to believe there are millions of people who take this game seriously. But to the point. How long does the game continue? Well, the referee
makes up a number out of thin air consults with his record of how much time was wasted by the wannabe Johnny Depps during play and adds that amount of additional time. This, friends, is called stoppage time.
In the not too distant past, the referee simply added on time as he saw fit without telling anybody how much time was left. Yep, everyone but the referee was in the dark. As you can imagine, this could lead someone to think that this system was easily corruptible and would enable some shady outcomes. Like if a referee was in the pay of local gamblers, or was gambling himself. Or if he were a fan of one of the teams. Or if some player irritated him during the game by complaining that so-and-so was clearly faking an injury. And so on. It is similar to stopping the counting of votes in the middle of a presidential election and allowing thousands of illegal ballots to be added while no one was watching (“They did dumps. They called them dumps. Big, massive dumps.”– DJT). The problems with that system eventually led to this: even an organization as corrupt as FIFA changed the system so that the referee has to give an actual number that is known to all of how many minutes he added. Even still, this doesn’t completely address the corruption risk, because the number is still an estimate. The referee still has roughly half a minute either way to pull a fast one. And of course, finally, gloriously– PLAYERS STILL CAN AND DO FAKE INJURIES DURING STOPPAGE TIME. On and on it goes, friends.
But what does this have to do with Catholics being in stoppage time?
We all have that feeling that the game is up. That our enemies and their agenda are no longer masked. That are friends are few. That the world simply can’t go on like this. That the anti-civilization that has largely overthrown civilization does not account for God, let alone worship Him. That it must come down. It is obvious that the clock on that feel-good fake world of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is at zero. This feeling is a natural human intuition on our part, informed by our faith and by Divine revelation.
This feels different. It is bonus time. Stoppage time, if you will.
In our situation, God is the Referee, though obviously He is NOT corrupt– 100% the opposite of corrupt, in fact. But He is the only one who knows how much time there is left to us. To us personally, and to the enterprise of time generally. In that sense, ever since the Resurrection, we have all been on stoppage time. But it is surely more imminent now. Since time is finite, it necessarily closer to the end of the game. But more than that, the full clock sure seems to have run out, and we now play on, trying to earn the victory while anxiously looking for the Referee to raise that whistle to his lips and end all play.
I think it was two or three years ago that I wrote about a “bonus Lent” and “bonus Advent”. And I am prone to hyperbole, as you know already. But the boy who cried wolf did eventually spot the wolf. Just saying.
It is hard to play a focused game in stoppage time. But that is our task. We must not be discouraged or distracted, whether we play from ahead or behind. Stay close to the Sacraments and remain firmly in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. May Our Lady as ever be our Star during this time. She is our guide and our hope of victory.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
*Anyone who instinctively said to themselves when reading this sentence, “It’s actually called football, moron,” should probably read another blog written by a younger, woker blogger.