"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

This feast calls to mind two needs.

One of course is to pray the Rosary. I used to do it regularly, and keep telling myself I will again. The daily regimen of it is not for everybody, but it does most people good. Pope John Paul II explained it all for us.

The second is the need to combat militant Islam vigorously. This very feast was established by Pope Pius V in 1573 to commemorate the victory of the Catholic fleet over that of the Sultan at the Battle of Lepanto less than two years earlier. It was touch-and-go, and many had been fearing the end of Christendom. Their fear was well-founded. But that battle, as well as the Christian victory against all odds at the Great Siege of Malta, spelled the beginning of the end for Ottoman power. What we need to realize today is that the old conflict is re-emerging. We are already fighting, and will doubtless be doing so for a long time.

Now as before, the outcome is not guaranteed. While we are right to have ceased believing that we should kill, torture, enslave, or otherwise deprive people of their basic human rights because of religion, it cannot be said that the same attitude prevails among Muslims. Islam has yet to learn, and perhaps will never learn, what Christianity took over a millennium to learn. Some Muslims are behaving accordingly; and in few Muslim-controlled countries do we find the sort of "reciprocity" in freedom that the Pope constantly calls for. So, peace will not come about by a misplaced tolerance any more than by the old crusader mentality. It will only come about if we resist force and threats while respecting consciences.

Our Lady will help if we ask her, just as she did centuries ago.
blog comments powered by Disqus