Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, "They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways."
So I swore in my anger,
"They shall not enter into my rest."
- Ps. 95:10,11
As the Invitatory Psalm warns us every morning, God's patience is not limitless. O, we may find some temporary comfort in soft and flacid churchspeak. We may allow ourselves to be lulled by the gentle assurances of God's tender mercy, no matter what we do. But deep down, we kinda know it ain't so soft. We know that presumption is a huge error, and that there comes a time when God says "Enough!". God gives us time to repent. That, in fact, is precisely what time is for - that we may repent. But time ain't forever. How much time does God give us? That is the question.
July 25, 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of the papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Now, I won't insist upon a literal understanding of the term "forty years", but somehow, sooner or later, something's got to give. Through the prophetic charism given him, Pope Paul VI warned us in 1968 of what would follow if we accepted the practice of artificial contraception. He warned of widespread abortion, of the coarsening of society, of the breakdown of marriage, of rampant sexual licentiousness, of the victimizing of women as objects. And for forty years, Humanae Vitae has been ignored and even openly opposed - not just by atheists nor even by Protestants, but by Catholics, by priests and bishops and good Catholic couples. And so, because we have chosen to ignore the warnings, they have tragically come to pass. And still we do not heed.
How long, O Lord?
O, by the way, the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is just 4½ years away.