Brothers and Sisters, I come before you today with a heavy heart, one that I am sure that I share with many of you. After Friday's Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, you may be tempted to believe that you are all alone. Many of you may feel alone even in your own families. It brings to mind the words that Our Lord spoke regarding times such as these. He said:
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. (Luke 12:51–53)
Faithfulness to Christ will inevitably lead to such divisions even in the family, but you are not alone. The Church stands with you in this time of sorrow, and the Church stands for you. But now is a time to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable. Our Lord told us from the Mount of Olives, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will have their fill."
At this moment, those of you who hunger and thirst for righteousness are not receiving your fill, but we have the promise and the hope that Christ will return to overthrow the forces of moral chaos. Let us hold fast to that hope, for Christ's final victory over the world is nothing less than a certainty.
Yet, at the same time, I cannot help but tremble for our country. I do not fear for myself or for the Church even though open persecution now seems inevitable. The world may think that it has won something, but it has only won for itself the fires of Hell.
Yes, I tremble for my country when I consider that God is just and will not be mocked. As Bishop [Thomas] Tobin said in his statement, Friday's Court decision is nothing less than a complete rejection of God's plan for the human family — and I would add to that, a nation that has rejected God so thoroughly cannot hope for His mercy.
My friends, it is time to enter the ark. It is time to leave the world and its ways behind us and enter the Church. Let us heed Our Lord's warning delivered through St. John the Apostle: "Depart from her, my people, so as not to take part in her sins and receive a share in her plagues, for her sins have reached up to heaven, and God remembers her crimes."
Judgment is going to fall upon our nation. In the words of Billy Graham, "If God does not judge the United States, then He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gommorah." Think about that.
Those who wish to receive God's mercy need to enter the Church now, because this is where His mercy is to be found, inside His Church, not outside. Those who remain in the world and live according to the spirit of the world will surely perish with the world. This world is a sinking ship, and the more water it takes on the faster it sinks.
It should be obvious to all at this point how far along we are to the day of destruction. We have gone beyond the point of no return. There will continue to be isolated battles scattered here and there, even the occasional victory that might give us hope. But the culture has been so radically transformed now that only God's direct intervention can save us at this point.
The most merciful thing that God could do for us now would be to send a great chastisement upon the earth to turn our hearts back to Him, a chastisement to make the world realize the folly of its ways. I believe in God's mercy, which is why I tremble for my country. Our world has become so arrogant as to presume upon God's mercy while remaining steadfastly in its sin, but they have no idea what it is they demand of Him. When our nation finally reaps what it has sown, will the people recognize it as God's mercy calling them back to right relationship with Him? Or will they see it as punishment?
It will require wisdom to see God's chastisement as His mercy, a wisdom that our world lacks but that the Spirit gives freely to all who ask of Him. We must all go through the fire that is coming upon the earth. The saints of God will come through the fire and be purified as gold in the furnace, while those who are of the world will burn in torment and curse God.
Cursed are those who call evil good and good evil, but blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness. You will have your fill. For Christ's final victory is nothing less than a certainly.
Father Roman Manchester is a priest in the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island. He hosts the radio show Romanus Contra Mundum.