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A Leaven In The World… What Cannot Be Canceled

January 21, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

There is much talk, albeit in smaller circles now, of cancel culture.
After Twitter banned Trump, and the big tech companies colluded to shut down Parler almost immediately, there was little left of truly free social media. In their apparent desire to leave no Internet avenue of escape for the new Public Enemy No. 1, a duly elected president, the tech oligarchs colluded to garner even more power for themselves in their growing monopoly over public information and communications. Racketeering charges, anybody?
In their hatred for one man, the most powerful men in the country are trampling on the rights of millions with impunity. They say the pushback against violence at the Capitol is about the country and preserving our way of life; which is true. First Amendment rights, however, are also necessary for our way of life.
Democrats once joined together with others in calling for a breakup of the big tech monopolies. Will they do so now that, after the election, they are sitting in the catbird seat, with the support of Twitter, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and others?
When a small room of block black or athletic wear-garbed, nose ring-festooned, bearded millennials drinking organic bottled water is deciding who can talk to whom, in the country which was once the greatest defender of freedom in the world, we have an attempt at a fascist takeover.
Twitter allegedly continues to purge anyone who has used the platform to question the election results. Why? Jack Dorsey and his henchmen have now accorded themselves the ability to know which written expressions do or do not incite violence and thus use their power over social media to silence those now judged guilty of unacceptable speech.
Expect the list of such infractions to grow. Those who have power seldom use it to seek less of it.
Gab and MeWe seem to be attracting new users. The Christian founder of Gab currently has 1.7 million followers. I opened an account there using my Parler handle @FatherKevinMCusick. This social media alternative is browser, not app, based. It can load more slowly at times, depending upon how your browser responds. The site has been getting much more traffic lately, which may also be slowing down response.
Word is that Gab anticipated the big tech purge of so-called “conservative” voices, which term usually lumps in pro-life and thus also Catholic users. Gab, as I said, is Internet based and thus was not on the App store, so could not be punished as was Parler by removal from access via that platform.
So, at present I’m on Gab while waiting for Parler to come back in a couple of weeks, as was forecast, after they are down for a period to enable a move to private servers.
But these are not the only “social networks.” As a priest and pastor my vocation each week calls me to care for two fundamental “social networks” created by God. These cannot be canceled by tech oligarchs, but they can be surrendered by neglectful operators and users.
Grace is still real. It is true power because it cannot be ended by the world, or any power or person in the world. Because it is mediated by actual relations with God through sacramental life it is not available via the virtual reality of the Internet. Grace cannot be “canceled.”
The family and the Church, encountered in the local parish, are the basic cells of society. These two are where, with husband and wife, life itself is conceived, nourished, and grows and, the parish, where supernatural life is conferred by, and the promise of eternal life is nurtured and strengthened through, grace.
These two social realities cannot be “canceled” by others who wield power in the world. But they can be rejected or lost by souls who abandon God’s plan for human life and salvation.
False promises of “feminism” and other lies have eroded the family. Social coarseness, pornography, contraception, abortion, and the glamorization of divorce are among the factors which gradually corroded the strong social identity of marriage and the family. These most often were accessed via the “promise” of the Internet.
God’s plan for the family is now officially countercultural.
In the parish the difference of Christian reality must be defended. Our children must encounter holiness. The quiet, solemnity, and majesty of Traditional liturgy help them to assimilate the spiritual realities of grace and anticipation of Heaven. They visualize themselves as saints worshiping among the saints as they pray the same liturgy handed down faithfully through millennia in the Holy Spirit.
The noisiness and worldliness of many parishes today do not offer a powerful, compelling alternative to the mundane reality outside the church building, where all too often noise and many words falsely equal importance in man’s calculus.
The child who learns from infancy to pray the Traditional Mass encounters and appropriates the power of God, which is greater than the mere multiplication of words or competing volume of noises which serve as mental blocks to the infinite and the eternal. The child imitates the silence encountered in the church through the liturgy, and learns to access the infinitude of God through the absence of endless social chatter. The “cathedral” within each soul graced by Baptism is thus affirmed and encountered through the intellect and will.
Speech is necessary at times, and speech is necessary in our liturgy. The beauty of music is a joyful noise which adorns our praise. But our liturgy also must give room to the realities which are beyond speech if it is to truly nourish the soul in search of God.
Flee the parishes which sound like nightclubs even from the parking lot. If you enter the lobby and get the impression you are entering a place where you should be offered a table and a drink, you cannot pray as you should.
In our parish we are maintaining focus on catechizing children within the family. We are keeping social bonds healthy by our Sunday meals together at the parish hall. And we are keeping first in priority our relationship with God through sacred worship primarily on the Lord’s Day.
These are the means of nurturing the “social networks” hardwired in the human person both by God in His act of creation and by the Lord through His Passion, death, and Resurrection. Tend to and care for the family in the home and the family of the parish if you wish to change the world through the power of God, which cannot be canceled by tech oligarchs or rich globalists.
The everyday witness to which the Lord calls us is played out most importantly with those we encounter, really and truly, not “virtually.” Invest in real persons and real relationships where what you see is what you get.
The “Incarnation” of the Lord is encountered every day in the family and in the parish. In times of challenge and uncertainty such as our own, seek Him more intensely there where He teaches He is to be found.
There are easily accessible and built-in “spam detectors” against the use of masks or deceit in the family and in the parish. All too often, outside those “networks,” there is deception and manipulation, as well as abundant temptation to violate the sacred relationships to which God continually calls us through vocation and faith.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
On Gab.com/Parler: @FatherKevinMCusick and blog: apriestlife.blogspot.com

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