Wages of Sin
Below are statistics from the State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis comparing 2019 to 2021:
What do these statistics tell us?
The year 2019 was pre-pandemic, while 2021 was a pandemic year. During 2021, more people worked from home and drove less. As might have been expected, automobile crashes were down 21% in 2021, but surprisingly, auto related deaths increased 36%! This would suggest that more people were willfully driving recklessly and endangering the lives of others.
There was also a sharp increase in crime in Minneapolis. In the past, some commentators would have explained that this was due to joblessness or poverty. But during the pandemic, the government sent checks to individuals and businesses, and “Help Wanted” signs went up as businesses sought to hire more workers. This would suggest that the increase in crime was due to a willful disregard for the law, and the lives and property of others.
Is this the “reversion to barbarism” of which Fulton Sheen spoke? “The moment we cease to be Christian we will revert to the barbarism from which we came.”
These words of Jesus come to mind: “If in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?”
The problem is not unemployment or poverty; the problem is sin.
How different would these statistics be if the perpetrators had known their divine purpose: To live in eternal beatitude with God? How different, if they desired to show their love for God by following His Ten Commandments and living by Jesus’ precepts, specifically: “Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not covet; love God; love your neighbor; turn the other cheek; forgive; bear wrongs patiently; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…”
How do we respond?
To quote Fulton Sheen: “The old fashioned and despised insistence on individual holiness as a condition of social apostolate produced a far better social order than the present one based on idealistic ideologies and anti-moral actors in ideologies.”
We each have a role to play in the restoration of the moral order disturbed by sin. For this, “individual holiness” is required. St. John Henry Cardinal Newman’s meditation about his mission in life applies to us:
“God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
Somehow I am necessary for His purposes. I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.
Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; In perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me— still He knows what He is about. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see. I ask not to know. I ask simply to be used.”
Our hope is that St. Michael Broadcasting will help viewers to learn or keep in mind their divine purpose and to live their lives accordingly. Please help the station grow by telling others, praying for its success, by offering to volunteer, by placing program guides in your parish’s information rack, or a financial contribution if possible.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam