This modern parable in two parts furnishes us with a practical lesson about Catholic evangelism.
Pretend, if you will, that a viral illness broke out that was highly exaggerated, gravely mismanaged, and cynically manipulated by a powerful few at the expense of the many. The virus was real enough and people died as people die from various flu viruses every year. But the reaction was disproportionate to the point of being dangerous. The exaggerations came by very unreliable testing and deliberate statistical alteration, leading many to believe that they were facing a deadly pandemic of massive proportions. The mismanagement came by way of the mass diffusion of improper cures (some of which were themselves deadly), the shutting down of schools and businesses, and the drastic alteration of people’s everyday life. The cynical manipulations came by way of a Malthusian alliance of billionaire oligarchs, medical deep-staters, profit-minded Big Pharma, and — for good measure — Big Tech and the mainstream media (MSM) to control the flow of information in favor of the Alliance. The outbreak, the Alliance claimed, would only be contained when the right vaccine was found — even though there was no guarantee that one would be found or that it would be safe.
Now pretend, if you will, that a growing number of concerned immunologists, virologists, physicians, and nurses pointed out the exaggerations, mismanagement, and manipulations. These good people made money neither from government grants nor from the foundations run by the Malthusian billionaires. They were only interested in preventing or curing illnesses — saving lives while doing no harm. Because of their concern, the Benevolent Ones became increasingly alarmed that simple and effective preventatives were being ignored by the Alliance, who had secured for themselves a virtual monopoly on approved pandemic information thanks to the MSM and Big Tech. The Benevolent Ones were similarly alarmed that simple, effective, and inexpensive cures for the illness caused by the virus were being ignored by the Alliance. When it became apparent that the much anticipated vaccine was unnecessary, and could be unethical and dangerous in the extreme, the Benevolent Ones warned people. It seemed the right thing to do, and it was, after all, a free country.
But Big Tech and the MSM denounced their benevolence as a reckless use of free speech, holding them up for mockery and ridicule. Worst yet, the Benevolent Ones were cast out of respectable society by being “deplatformed” and called “conspiracy theorists.”
In spite of the best efforts of MSM and Big Tech, the Benevolent Ones were able to get their message out, though with difficulty and at a cost. Those who became convinced of their message resisted the narrative of the Alliance and became very zealous in spreading this information that they found so helpful. The Convinced Ones used every means at their disposal to spread the message of the Benevolent Ones against the Alliance. Big Tech had to change their algorithms more than usual to keep up with the inconvenient flow of free speech.
For reasons beyond the purely literary, this part of our parable is, like Schubert’s Eighth, unfinished.
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Not a pandemic, but a universal contagion has infected all of humanity from the very beginning. It is called Original Sin. It robs man of his happiness — his beatitude with God. It causes ignorance in the intellect, malice in the will, and concupiscence in the appetites. Because of these effects, man is spiritually ill, and this illness makes him unhappy. An Alliance of evil ones — demons and their human minions — propose all manner of false remedy to these illnesses. These remedies resemble the worst of modern pharmaceuticals in at least two ways: first, they treat symptoms only and not the disease; worse, they cause iatrogenic injury, sometimes fatal in its effects. All manner of false philosophy is fed to the intellect to embrace, all manner of unworthy pursuits are proposed to the will to take up, and — especially — all manner of gratification is provided to the appetites to satiate them. But the sad condition of the patient only worsens under such “care.” (Yes, some members of this Alliance call what they do “care”; some even use the motto, “Care. No Matter What,” only they kill people’s bodies and souls at the same time. Like the lower-downs in the Alliance, these malignant ones lie and murder.)
But there is an organization of Benevolent Ones who have the real remedies humanity needs: for ignorance, for malice, and for concupiscence. These remedies were given by God Himself to this Organization to distribute absolutely free of charge (even Hydroxychloroquine costs more!). By preaching the divinely revealed truth, this Organization can heal ignorance; by administering grace-giving sacraments, it can heal malice; and by proposing the moral law in all its grandeur, it can help the afflicted to discipline their concupiscence so that even temptations can become occasions of growth and improvement. These remedies actually improve the patient with no addiction, no iatrogenic injury, and no big bills.
Sadly, though, the Organization’s own members are not so zealous in getting the message out — neither about the “bad news” of man’s universal spiritual contagion, nor about the good news of the remedies that the Divine Physician gave them at such a tremendous cost to Himself. The Precious Blood, shed in torrents for our salvation, is neglected by many of those entrusted with announcing its salutary benefits. Various errors, vices, and skewed priorities are presently hindering them.
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If you, like me, are convinced that the COVID-19 phenomenon has been manipulated by people with a very insidious agenda, it is good if you spread the word about it to your friends and family. I would argue that it is both a spiritual and a corporal work of mercy to do so. I also believe that the proponents of this agenda need to get very heavy pushback from those who refuse to drink their Kool Aid — or receive their injections, as it were. That said, how much more ought we to share the Good News that Our Lord Jesus Christ, through His Church, will not only heal us of our deadly spiritual maladies if we are willing, but will also make us partakers of the divine nature here and joint heirs with Him hereafter.
Are we really convinced of the Religion? Do divine Faith, Hope, and Charity really operate in us? Then let us marshal them forth in good works.