We live in more than extraordinary times. We live in Apocalyptic times, not in the sense of Armageddon, or in endless attempts to understand the Apocalypse, but in times that are revealing. According to Scott Hahn, the great Biblical scholar, the word used for Apocalypse in the Greek is the same word that is used when the husband unveils his wife on their wedding night. The revelation that follows is, or should be, wonderful. So too much of the revelations that have occurred in the past year have had an aspect of unveiling. The Wikki leaks, regardless of the flawed qualities of a Julian Assange, a Bradley Manning, or an Edward Snowden, show men of courage who wish to tell the truth, whatever the consequences. Powerless individuals stand up and unwittingly throw down the guantlet before the Devil's disciples, be they the ever elusive Illuminati, the ubiquitous masons, or simply the immensely rich businessmen whose lives are so prosaic as to be positively depressing, especially when exemplified by the cold philanthropy of a Bill Gates. Then we have the depressing leit motif of the great banking family the Rothschilds, whose ghastly theme tune of colossal power and unimaginable wealth, might find its musical equivalent in the music of Delius at his most dreamy and most dreadful. That is not to say Delius did not write some lovely music, nor does it mean that the Rothschilds have not done some good things, but good things apart from God will invariably wither, when offered to that worst of demons; money. After all Scripture tells us that "The love of money is the root of all evils".
What does Obama worship, what does Assad worship, what does Cameron worship? Is King Abdullah truly a servant of Allah or a worshipper of money? Do the Israelis really want to follow God, or are they too taken up with money? What does the Queen of England mean by signing blatantly anti Christian legislation, Has she not succumbed to one of the temptations that Christ suffered in the Wilderness, but which one/ As the head of the Church of England does she not realize that she must be like any of the disciples who followed Christ, or has she been scandalized by the sublimity of the Gospel; who knows? It is an age of colossal confusion, where even the Papacy looks as if it is being hoodwinked by the World. Dear Blessed John XXIII must have been suffering from a spiritual Midsummer madness when he thought that one could be open to the World. What of the many times that Princess Beatrix, when Queen of the Netherlands, went to the Bilderberg meetings, which despite their supposedly beneficial goals, once again display that obsession with control, money, and population? How tedious and dull. It would be much better if the Queen of England (She is in reality the Queen of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland), Queen Margarethe of Denmark, and Princess Beatrix convened a symposium on the importance of Thomas Aquinas when considering kingship. I fear nothing so imaginative would occur the Princess, or the English Queen, but perhaps it might interest the Danish Queen, a considerable amateur theologian.
Politics is all about power, control, land, minerals and money, and of course when countries feel they are being deprived of these things they explode into war. America is worried by China's expansionist policies beyond the South China seas. Japan, becoming progressively more and more irradiated by Fukushims must wonder if there is anywhere to evacuate their population to? Perhaps Australia, and New Zealand, and of course China needs Lebensraum. So President Obama is in danger of being impeached, and President Hollande is actually giving scandal to the modern frenchman and frenchwoman, whose secualrism can only stomach so much. Perhaps France will get fed up with her stylish sexual immorality and good taste, and embrace the earthiness of the Gospel, and become yet again the eldest daughter of the Church?
Meanwhile Pope Francis, heroically and with great charity feels that he may be able to charm "The World". He perhaps does not yet understand how cynical, and hard Europe has become. Abortion, contraception, gay marriage, and the destruction of the family has turned this great continent into something representing a spiritual charnel house that is the Devil's domain, and his tool. We see a continent at war with itself. There is resentment with regard to the EU, and terrible levels of unemployment. Everyone must pay for their greed. If there is not suffering and want, there will be no humility and ultimately no salvation. The West will have to do terrible penance. It will be thrust on her peoples by the immense mercy of God, who realizes that he will have to bring her to the gates of Hell, if she is to be saved.
So let us prepare ourselves to follow Our Lord and King, Jesus Christ, who became obedient unto death? Is not his company, and his presence more than our very lives? Be courageous and pray for the gift of martyrdom, be it the white of suffering with Christ in our ordinary lives, or that of the red, by giving our lives for him. Above all let us pray for the gift of the peace of the Holy Spirit, as we will need that rock like peace, if we are to endure what may soon befall us. Let us be strengthened by the example of St. Agnes, whose feast we celebrate today. If a thirteen year old can suffer martyrdom so can we. St. Agnes, that angel of purity, is a saint that we need, as never before in our crazy world of sexual corruption. If we want our hearts to be lifted and soar heavenwards may I suggest that you try and listen to the closing part of Elgar's "The Apostles", which evokes all the splendour, glory and joy of being a disciple of Christ. Dear Saint Agnes pray that we may have your purity, courage and love, for that is what we benighted Westerners need more than anything else. The closing scene begins with the Apostles singing:
Give us one heart, and one way: in Thy light we shall see light; Thou shalt shew us the path of life. Together with Mary and Mary Magdalene and a huge chorus we are swept up into a enormous crescendo where we are exhorted to meditate on Christ's passion and his triumph as King of all creation. Finally the whole gigantic wave of sound ends with Our Lady, Mary Magdalene, John and Peter singing "In his love and His pity He redeemed them" and this then gives way to a quietly incandescent "Alleluia"