“Absolutely! It is also prudent to fully understand the horror ahead of us...and then, get to work!”
This is a little different from “things will hit bottom quickly, I'll take care of me and mine and protect them from the shrapnel, and then we'll just go about picking up the pieces.”
“Each of us...must unite more fully with the faithful and like-minded in our local area of influence. I am talking even down to the neighborhood area...for prayer and preparation.”
Each of us must live justly, and within that, do what we can to protect our own. We must pray and wait on God. The “solutions” required by our nation are no longer within our grasp. Things will not get better as a result of our efforts. We are beyond any natural help or assistance.
Things will get worse. There will be no overall relief. I doubt that things will hurtle downwards. The decline, I think, will be kind of gradual, not to alarm anyone. Economically, we'll see some ups and downs. Unemployment will likely decline over time. But so will full-time employment. Many more people will be employed on a part-time, casual basis. There will be fewer "careers." Health care will gradually, but steadily deteriorate. Fewer people will own their own homes. Fewer people will start new businesses. Illegitimacy and fatherlessness will become the norm. People will still attend church, but they will increasingly pay God lip service. The government will grow larger and larger, but not all at once. Just a little each day. Our rights will be increasingly restricted. Not all at once, just a little each day.
The poor will grow poorer, and eventually, they will grow desperately poor. Laws that protect the innocent, things like age of consent laws, things like laws that protect the young, the old, the innocent from abuse, will be stricken as "impositions on freedom." Or something like that. I imagine in time every law concerning the abuse of drugs will be stricken, every sexual act, practice and arrangement will be made legal.
And most folks will submit because, well, most folks will approve.
There could be a “bottom” someday, but from our human perspective, to our human vision, the pit into which we have fallen is bottomless.
We must pray and wait on God, meanwhile doing what we can to preserve what little we can for ourselves and our own. We pray that God delivers us from the time of trial when we pray the Our Father. It appears that He may have permitted us to be delivered into a time of trial, in spite of our prayers.
It may not be entirely vain to try to exert what little power that we can in this pagan society, at least to mitigate around the edges what is coming.
But primarily, we need to pray and wait on God. A little fasting and penance won't hurt, either. Perhaps He will call our nation to repentance and we will have a rebirth of righteousness and freedom. Or perhaps it's his will that America is pretty much over, at least as it has existed for over 200 years.
But we will not pick up the pieces. We will not put things back together. We will not make things right.
The “worse case” situation will be a second civil war which would make the first one look like a day at the beach.
WE can't do it. That is the point. God MAY do it, but we should not expect Him to do so. To many people put God in a nice little box and expect Him to always bail them out. God does what God does. Sometimes that means we get to climb the tree.
Since this is a Catholic thread, I think it's important that Protestants reading it remember that Roman Catholics honor St. Augustine. The Christian experience — not just the Protestant experience, but the Christian experience — is that people will never truly turn to God with their whole hearts until they know in the deepest recesses of their hearts that they can't self-correct, and nothing they do is good enough to please God. Christianity is a religion of God's grace, and God's people generally don't realize that until they've hit bottom, need His grace, and know nothing they can ever do is good enough to please Him.
A faithful Roman Catholic does understand the tremendous power of bondage to sin and the need for grace — we may have far more in common with a humble Catholic woman who prays faithfully every day to withstand the trials of life than we do with some “health and wealth” gospel preachers who sound more like Pelagius than any Protestant of the 1600s.
Threads like this are a key part of why I believe evangelical Protestants can, should, and in some cases must work together with Roman Catholics in the sphere of the civil magistrate. We have far more in common with each other than we have with the liberals who are trying to, as this thread discusses, advocate views which will destroy our country and have the effect of knocking us to the ground.
The problem is that not everyone who hits bottom realizes where their only comfort in life and in death lies — they may just lay on the ground blaming everybody around until they die choking in the vomit of their own sins. Let us never forget that just because somebody has hit rock bottom doesn't mean they're going to get up again. They may well be utterly destroyed, unable to fight anymore, and die a sinful and miserable death.
Applying that to America — four years ago, I think a fair number of Obama voters truly didn't understand what they were getting. They were voting for our first black president, or voting against high gas prices, or voting against the perceived failures of President George W. Bush and the Republican Party, or just upset with the economic problems of 2008. The voters four days ago didn't have that excuse. President Obama has had four years to make clear what he wanted to do, and Americans decided this week, by a slim majority, that they like the direction in which he is taking us.
As a nation, we have now deliberately and with a high hand decided to re-elect a president who advocates evil and wicked policies. God will not overlook deliberate and willful actions, and will hold us accountable, either here or in eternity.
May God have mercy on us and our country. We certainly don't deserve it.