From the Pastor: Las Vegas Shooting. Why?
All of the news outlets and initialed government organizations are bewildered about the motive behind the recent unholy shootings in Las Vegas. But what they all are failing to take seriously is that simple word which I used to modify “shootings” in the last sentence, namely, “unholy”. “Demonic” would have worked as well, as would have “devilish”, “diabolical”, “satanic” or any other number of words bringing to the forefront the ultimate cause of such an evil rampage. But nooooo, the secular world is not about to admit that the devil is real and that “we” as a whole have invited him to fill the void left when “we” kicked God out of our lives. ISIS is still claiming responsibility. That does nothing to diminish the preceding statement, for they represent the devil, even if nobody wants to admit that truth.
Those who believe in neither God nor the devil have blamed this latest mass murder and maiming on guns, the President, Republicans, Libertarians, housewives, mailmen, chimney sweeps, and those who eat non-organic food. Everything and everybody gets blamed as long as God and the devil, prayer and the antithesis of prayer are left out of the conversation. This is exactly what “they” don’t want “you” to think about. But thinking about it is a must. In thinking about the “why’s” of the shooting and the “what’s next” for the near and distant future, we must use reason and Faith, and make no mistake, by that I mean we must use Catholic Faith, for all other forms of Faith fall short. That, of course, means that we must use Scripture, Tradition and the Church’s magisterial teachings as we ponder these issues.
Yet that is not to say that it takes a gifted theologian to understand how we got to where we are and how to get out of this moral cesspool. For what Catholic cannot see almost immediately that the devil was at work in the shooter’s life? What Catholic cannot see almost immediately that he needed, yet had rejected, Jesus Christ and His gift of Eternal Life? What Catholic cannot see almost immediately that no “solution” to the problem of preventing the next massacre will be solid and sustainable unless we humble ourselves before God Almighty, beg His forgiveness, beseech His mercy and grace, and truly commit to becoming Saints individually and as a nation?
Look around. The way the United States has developed its infrastructure, economy, transportation, communication, and governance (among other things), we need--really need--either a moral population or a tyrannical government to keep us “safe”. The Las Vegas shooter shot a lot of people. Our free society makes it easy for immoral persons to shoot people, to stab people, to run people over, or to find countless ways to destroy life or a way of life. Humans are social animals. We gather into large groups just about everywhere and for many reasons: for recreation, for education, for employment, for prayer. Our society was built with the expectation that interdependent people would be as safe or safer in those crowds than they would be in independent isolation. Now, though, having been shamelessly taught to reject God, to ridicule Faith, and to despise Truth, an increasingly immoral population is changing the equation. Immoral people can be and will be and have already been emboldened so as to find new ways to kill large numbers of unsuspecting random people. Immoral people can be and will be and already have been emboldened to kill targeted, important society members (and, yes, some jobs are more important in some regards, such as in keeping law and order on the streets, than others), taking advantage of, say, our police being easily identified by their uniforms and being in public places where they should be safe and are basically defenseless (like sitting in their squad car filling out paperwork), which things also make executing them quite effortless for the wicked.
The Las Vegas shooter also took a couple of potshots at large fuel storage tanks which will certainly inspire others to devise ways to successfully blow them up, destroying shipping ports and fuel depots, along with food and goods distribution networks, and causing untold mayhem. Our society was built with the expectation that most people would behave rationally and morally. Those large fuel tanks are out in the open, nuclear plants are unprotected from above, the electric grid is vulnerable, train tracks are unguarded, jets take off and land in populated areas, water supplies are not tamper proof, and the list could go on and on. In a moral society, none of that matters. In an immoral society, there will always be someone (or some group) exploiting such “weaknesses”, trying to make a name for himself by causing more death and destruction than the last guy, or by becoming the first to think of a new way of wreaking havoc, or by simply causing chaos for the sake of chaos.
So how do we stop the next terrorist act? A tyrannical government can do it fairly well and fairly quickly. The fewer freedoms the people have, the less they can “cause trouble”. But an almost infinitely better way (though at this point it will take a lot longer to achieve than the first option) is for everyone to learn, accept, and live the true Catholic Faith. Pray and fast, people. Pray and fast.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka