Reading the psalms, I was struck by this terrifying fact: Our modern world is repeating the same terrible sins of the Israelites’ times. Today, many Catholics and other Christians are turning from God, whether intentionally or by their actions, just as the Israelites did. We fall for the lies that the devil speaks through the culture around us–We serve their idols, we fall into their sins, we commit their atrocities… History repeats itself:
[The Israelites] did not destroy the peoples, / as the Lord commanded them, / but they mingled with the nations / and learned to do as they did.Psalm 106:34-35 (RSV)
Now, God is certainly not asking us now to destroy other nations or anyone who does not believe in Him. God only asked this of the Israelites because He knew that, if they didn’t, they would otherwise continually turn from Him to the gods of other nations who adamantly opposed Him and committed unspeakable atrocities (which is exactly what they did). He had to protect His chosen nation, so that from them He could bring the Savior into the world in order to then save all nations. Thus, today we are called to live “in the world,” but not “of the world.” This is only possible by cooperating with the grace of God, which we now have available to us through Christ and His Church.
However, many Christians and Catholics today, rather than relying on the grace of God and staying faithful to His Church, are adapting their morals to the current culture, just as the Israelites adapted their lives to the nations around them. This is the case with those who support abortion, euthanasia, contraception, the LGBT+ agendas, and so on… Because of the social pressure and the cunning lies that the devil has planted in the culture around us, we have even come to committing unspeakable atrocities as the Israelites did:
They served their idols, / which became a snare to them. / They sacrificed their sons / and their daughters to the demons; / they poured out innocent blood, / the blood of their sons and daughters, / whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; / and the land was polluted with blood.Psalm 106:34-38
Is this not terrifyingly similar to the state of our modern world? One might say, “We are not serving idols or demons. We are not performing human sacrifice!” But—are we not? Are we not sacrificing the lives of our unborn sons and daughters to the idol of personal choice?
This realization gave me chills… Those who support abortion (or anything against Christ’s teaching) are setting up their own will as their idol—treating themselves as the arbitrators of good and evil. If we do this, we eat the forbidden fruit; we seek to decide good and evil, to become like God. But we do not realize that, by doing this, it is really the devil whom we serve…
I cannot help but ask: If God’s response to the Israelites when they turned to such atrocities was often to allow them to fall into the hands of other nations, so that they would turn back to Him, so that He could then save them… I cannot but wonder, then, what will happen to our nation in these days?
However—our hope lies in Christ, and Him alone. He is the one who conquered sin and death. This is why we must pray to Our Lord for our nation and or world—and most importantly for our Church, which is meant to be a light to the nations (not a conformer to them).
In many instances throughout the Bible, the Israelites were only saved from the consequences of their sins by the interposition of a person faithful to God. In Psalm 106, it says that “Moses, [God’s] chosen one, stood in the breach before [God], to turn away his wrath from destroying them” (23). Here, Moses seems to be a type (symbol) of Christ to come. He prefigures how Christ, God’s chosen one, would sacrifice Himself to stand in the breach, so to speak, that sin caused between us and God; Christ thus reconciles us to the Father and saves us from the eternal consequences of sin (which is death).
However, Moses also acts here as a representation of what we as Christians can do through prayer: We, like Moses, must stand in that breach, interceding for souls in prayer. In this way, we become a reflective image of Christ, offering up our prayers and sufferings in union with His sacrifice for the salvation of souls. Intercessory prayer—especially when accompanied by fasting and offering up our sufferings in union with Christ’s—is more powerful than we realize. In many cases, Prayer may be the only thing that stands between souls and the deadly consequences of sin.
I believe one of the most powerful prayers to intercede for others, to “stand in the breach,” is the prayer of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Through this prayer, we invoke the graces of Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of souls. So, I invite you to join me in praying for our Church, our nation, and our world, entrusting everything to the Lord’s infinite mercy:
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Jesus, I trust in you.
God bless you and keep you,