19 Feb Building a Civilization
When I was a kid I loved to play a computer game called Age of Empires. For those who are not familiar with this game it is a strategy game where you build up a civilization and try to conquer other nations.
What I loved about the game was that you started out with just a few villagers and a town centre. At the beginning of the game your civilization was hunters and gatherers but as you gained more resources you could upgrade your town and develop things like farms so you no longer have to hunt for food.
In the game you also had to build up your military and defences to protect yourself from other players who would try and take over your region.
The game also allowed you to play campaigns where you would play through historical events such as the Third Crusade to the Holy Land, or the Siege of Orleans. The game introduced players to historical figures such as St. Joan of Arc, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, Genghis Khan, and many more.
The reason I am bringing up this game is I think that this experience of playing Age of Empires was preparing me, in some way, for the role I now have in starting the John Paul II Cultural Centre. In a sense I feel like God has been preparing me for this role since I was a young child and the experiences I had growing up enabled me to be the person I am today.
Throughout my childhood I loved to play strategy games and to build up civilizations. Not just in Age of Empires but also through board games like Risk and Settlers of Catan. The joy I got from playing these games was not really from conquering other players, it was from building up my own town and completing all the upgrades I could. Only then would I venture out and conquer other players.
The goal of the John Paul II Cultural Centre is similar to how I played Age of Empires. We want to build up a new civilization of life and love. We want to combat the culture of death and the lies of Satan, so we must construct a place for training warriors of God. We want to provide formation so men and women of all ages so that when the time comes to confront the lies of Satan in our lives we have the tools we need to wage war against the Enemy, instead of being overwhelmed by him.
As a society we are fighting for our very lives against an enemy that is very powerful. All around us we see signs of the war we are fighting in the broken homes, families and marriages that we have all experienced. Symptoms of the war include; contraception, abortion, euthanasia, divorce and remarriage, changing the definition of marriage, infidelity, adultery, fornication, pornography, and many more evils that we see running rampant in our times. All of these things are lamentable but should not cause us to lose hope. Even the fact that we are fighting an Enemy that we cannot defeat on our own is not a reason for hopelessness because we have been assured by God that Christ has won the victory by his passion, death and resurrection.
Because we are losing the war in our personal lives through our failure to live moral lives we are beginning to see signs of societal decay in selfish governments and politicians, in our empty churches, in our shattered education system, and in the misuse of power. All of the numerous societal issues we are facing are signs for us of that we are losing the war against the Enemy. And to be clear the Enemy is not Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama, Kathleen Wynne, Bill Gates, or any other human being. The Enemy is, and always has been, Satan who is intent on destroying the human race. Our political and business leaders make the choices they make because they are fallen and sinful creatures like we are and they are not allowing themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit, but despite this we should not condemn them. We should pray for them. Pray for their conversion. Ask God to give them the wisdom and guidance they need in order to be the leaders we need in these troubled times.
In order to build a culture of life we must destroy the culture of death. This is accomplished by each individual person choosing to live according to God’s laws and entrust themselves to the love of God. Our job then, as soldiers of Christ, is to bring the hope, mercy and love of God to all those who have fallen into the despair and lies of Satan. We must bring light into the darkness of their lives and give them hope in the salvation offered by Christ. We are not called to condemn others. God alone can judge the hearts of men. We are called to be men and women of faith who give hope to all we encounter. This is how we bring down the culture of death and build the culture of life; a new civilization which is devoted to Christ and His Church.
Building the culture of life must begin with us. Each of us must make a decision to live a moral life. We must chose to be saints because men and women today need saints in order to inspire them to change their lives and follow Christ. Do not be afraid to step out in faith and be a saint. It will be hard and you will fall into sin and temptation many times but always chose to get up after each fall, confess your sins, and continue seeking Christ. I hope and pray that we can support and encourage one another on the path to holiness and that in some way the work we are doing at the John Paul II Cultural Centre helps you to grow in your faith and love for God so that you can help to build the culture of life that Pope St. John Paul II talked about so often.
Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us!