Forgive Them For They Do Not Know What They Do
The sun is shinning, the birds singing in chorus yet a strange otherworldly silence slinks about the country. The silence isn't caused by the lockdown but from an entirely more profound source.
As the Easter celebration reaches its peak it conveys to the world like a deaf mute, unnoticed amongst the clamour of idle chit chat communicated over neighbours hedgerows and the irate salvos of frustrated parents with intense cabin fever. Scarce vestiges of Easter survive as secular themed wreathes and other decorative paraphernalia adorn the facade of some homes. Traces of Easter egg wrapping litter the ground discarded in haste by little hands as a prompt that Easter is upon us.
The odd phenomenon of a gluttony of chocolate Easter eggs sold in various sizes and flavours is contrasted with the non observance of Lenten fasting.
Worse still are the images of an Imam reciting his prayer in a Catholic Church in the West of Ireland with the approval of the parish priest. Bare in mind that Islam denies the divinity of Christ and so gravely disrespects God in His own house.
While a few "nationalists" laughed at this spectacle, enjoying the moment of schadenfreude at the expense of the faith, they unwittingly take part in the demise of the nation they wish to preserve in solidarity with the globalists they despise.
There are many legitimate criticisms of the church. The abuses and neglect brought immense shame to the institution but one should be careful not to confuse an entity with its distorted replica. If an unsuitable student of music feigned learning his instrument and becomes a very bad musician does this mean playing music is as bad as the efforts of a charlatan? It would be like hating mathematics because a math teacher was an abusive bully. Not wanting to provide any excuse for the evil perpetrated by some clergy it is wholly irrational to conflate the misdeeds of those who did not live by the faith with the faith itself. Moreover, the mother who anxiously lights a candle for the son in trouble, the grandmother who routinely recites her prayers to protect her family or the ancestor dispossessed of his life and land because he dared remain devout to the faith of his fathers are as much the church as any deviant priest, more so in fact.
We have seen with the fall of faith in Ireland a remarkable rise in State sanctioned evil. Unlike clerical abuses these acts are effectuated with the approval of the people, the same people who decried errant church abuses. Over 1000 innocent babies are systematically murdered per month through abortion, a "service" legitimised by the votes of a majority of the Irish people. No English monarch or puritan can be blamed for these crimes.
The silence I speak of is the breath of Christianity, a profound belief that gave succour to Brian Boru when he fought the Vikings at the battle of Clontarf in 1014, 500 years after the arrival of the faith to these shores. The martyrdom of Archbishop of Armagh. St Oliver Plunkett, hung drawn and quartered at Tyburn in 1681 on trumped up charges of treason ( as a result of the discredited "Popish Plot" manufactured by Titus Oates) going to his gory death on account of his faith. Then came the penal laws that infringed upon Catholics and later still the Irish genocide, aka the famine, exacted on the " Catholic" population according to historian Chris Fogarty. In 1916, during the height of the rising, Padraig Pearse asked a priest to come into the GPO to hear the confessions of the volunteers. According to author Greg Daly "The rising was conducted to the sound of the rosary being said in Irish". Even James Connolly, who had declared that he had not practiced the faith in years, still received the sacraments before his execution ( a lost memoir was unearthed in 2013 telling how Connolly reverted to his faith).
It cannot be helped if someone cannot believe in God, Christianity or the Catholic church. My own journey back to the faith was a combination of science, theology, philosophy and history. Each playing a pivotal role and each providing a different reason for my return to the spiritual fold. Science and philosophy gave me the rational evidence, while theology and history the emotional connection. Although some people either don't discern or are unable to arrive at the same conclusion as I did, a growing number of non believing nationalists recognise the sacrifices made by our ancestors as well as the faith they defended and therefore accord the church some deference or at least remain ambivalent. Others sadly, shamefully engage in puerile mockery, and in doing so attack our forefathers and all they stood for.
As the Celtic crosses around the grave yards gathers lichen and moss, the round towers dilapidate over centuries, and the Marian shrines lose their external gloss, the greatest decay of all is the loss of faith in a nation that was respected and known the world over for being "Catholic Ireland", a moniker achieved over many centuries in the blood of martyrs and defiance of the faithful.