And so they came. Despite the cold and damp and drops of patchy drizzle, the faithful came out to the coasts of the Irish Island. I mean all of it. They braved the stinging winds off the North Atlantic Ocean in tiny villages like Clonbara, Falcarragh, in Donegal. Standing or kneeling on beaches and strands they stubbornly faced Dingle Bay, the Celtic Sea, St. George’s Channel, the North Channel, and the Irish Sea. Determined faces all with one purpose. To stem the tide of abortion in what used to be the most Catholic country in the world. There were thousands of them gathered at predetermined locations to begin their march to the seas. They met at The Docks, in Galway City, the Lobster Pot Restaurant, in Wexford, Brandon’s Pier, in County Kerry, Castlerock Beach, in Derry and more than 270 other locations around the whole of Ireland, north and south, east and west.
They came “asking God for the miracle of the protection of Life and the preservation of Faith.” And, they did this on the Feast of Christ the King. The organizers of the event explained it this way:
Why the Feast of Christ the King? Ireland was the first country in the world to be consecrated to Christ the King. This solemn consecration was declared in the 1940’s. The feast is extremely important. Acknowledging Christ as King has relevance for the spiritual, social, cultural, legal and political life of Ireland.
Take note America: “…the spiritual, social, cultural, legal and political life.” Especially when our courts, our academic institutions, our major corporations, our own government have redefined the relationship between Church and State. Thus making it impossible to hold any religious convictions, at least publicly, lest the office holder or the judge or the bureaucrat or the titan of business or the teacher be held in contempt. Today’s politically-correct charged atmosphere will not tolerate the belief in a higher power above the sanctimonious dictates of the state. Because, rather like the old Soviet Union, the still autocratic China, and all forms of socialistic societies brainwashed by “group think,” the State is now their god.
There are some in Ireland, I know not how many, who are convinced that prayer is the only path to freedom from the dictates of modern morality.
The Irish did this following Poland’s lead to pray for the protection of their homeland by lining up on their borders, appealing to heaven to thwart the onslaught that threatened a timeless faith and fidelity to Christ the King. Next year there’s to be a referendum in Ireland on abortion. According to a September 26th article in The New York Times, the “debate will center on the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution passed by a two-thirds majority in 1983, which gives an unborn child a right to life equal to that of its mother, effectively banning abortion.”
But, that was a long time ago even in an ancient land who proudly proclaimed itself the island of martyrs and missionaries. The Eighth Amendment was passed only a few years after St. John Paul II made the first papal visit to Erin’s shores. In recent years, Catholic Ireland has been bloodied by the sins of her clergy in sexual scandals one after the other. The faith, so embodied by her patron Saint Patrick, has plummeted to new lows. This is a new, spiritual version of the An Gorta Mòr (The Great Hunger). Yes, there is another kind of famine plaguing Ireland today. It is one wrought by the sins of man and not the soil. Like almost all western countries, Ireland has bought into a materialistic, self-absorbed, hedonistic form of secularism. Where the highest good in human existence is characterized and fantasized by a corrupted form of self-realization. Instead of exporting or giving and sanctifying and sacrificing to the world her innate spirituality, Ireland is now importing the modern creed of “what’s in it for me?”
Yet, the organizers of the Rosary on the Coasts had an answer for that mindset: “When we honor Christ as King, we are immediately brought to His Queen, Mary and her Immaculate Heart.”
Sharon Mcgononegal, a participant in the event said “next to the prayers of the Holy Mass, the rosary is the most powerful prayer on earth when prayed with fervency, love, and great devotion.”
Bernice Rance, a supporter of the Irish efforts on the Feast of Christ the King, and a native of Alberta, Canada said “this is awesome. Will be praying for you from Canada. God bless!”
And, Norma Cahill Morrison added on Facebook “this is the sword given to us … we must use it!”
Indeed, instead of complete capitulation to the dynamic forces pushing a faithless existence in which everything and every thought is bleached with the esoteric, elite mantra of a progressive and culturally accepted, Hollywood ethical dementia, and the leftover, drug-induced, dictates of Baby Boomer professors indoctrinating our offspring, maybe it’s time to fight back with the best weapon we have: the sword Norma Cahill Morrison speaks of. “The beads,” as my father called them. We owe that much to our children, our grandchildren, and posterity. Because, if we let things go the way we have, if our schools keep trending towards a goose-stepping insistence on accepting everything anathema to Judeo-Christian ethics, and we surrender to the dictates of social planners planning our own destruction, then we will self-destruct. We will implode from within without a shot being fired from any enemy combatant. Unless we use “the sword given to us.”
The faithful of Poland recognize this. Even their government has proclaimed this. Is this Ireland’s last chance at redemption? Is it ours in America? Can anything save us from ourselves? Yes, of course, if we, as Sharon Mcgonegal shared with us, pray the rosary “with fervency, love, and great devotion.”
On the first day of the apparitions of Our Lady of Knock, in August of 1879, a steady downpour began to fall, not unusual for an island nation in midsummer. In a 1999 article written for The Priest, Fr. Paul E. Duggan, a Doctor of Sacred Theology, quoted Fr. Hubert, O.F.M. Cap.:
Knock is a manifestation of the mystery of redemption wrought by the Lamb of God. By a felicitous symbolism conceived in heaven, the Queen of Knock reveals in her person something of that singular grace and beauty conferred on her by this mystery … She appears as the climax of human redemption. This unique completion of redemption in Mary has already crowned her in heaven as the divine ideal which foreshadows the absolute victory and transfiguration awaiting the Church on its entry into eternity.
At the Shrine, now Basilica of Knock since St. John Paul II christened it so, there was a steady, yet light rain falling on the Feast of Christ the King this past Sunday. On the strands of Ireland everywhere, following the program for the Rosary on the Coasts for Life and Faith, there were hymns sung including Hail Redeemer King Divine, Hail Queen of Heaven, and Faith of Our Fathers. Holy water was sprinkled in all directions. Finally, the faithful dug into the sand and, after a blessing by a holy priest or bishop, they planted Miraculous Medals to protect Ireland from all harm and the self-destructive conventions of our modern world.
And, in the small community of a place called Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, at Eighth Square, a stone’s throw away from the shores of Lake Caroline, Jane Galloway and members of her family said a rosary in communion and solidarity with their brothers and sisters just across the pond.
Perhaps it’s time to think about our own rosary on the coasts of America. Only, instead of facing the sea we should turn around and look inward at ourselves and our families and our homes. Let’s replicate what the Poles and the Irish have done. Let’s bend a knee to Christ the King.
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