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Here’s the scenario: As the culture of death destroys itself in its auto-cannibalistic self-consumption, millions begin to flock to the Faith. In the very death throes of decadence, Christ and His Church rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes…

I have a deep admiration for successful novelists. I don’t mean “successful” in the worldly sense but in the literary sense. I refer to those who successfully write good novels, not those who make money by writing bad novels. The world is full of bad novels that sell well and is not sufficiently full of good novels that sell badly. I don’t read the former but I do try to find time for the latter. Dena Hunt, Arthur Powers, Chilton Williamson, Michael D. O’Brien, Glenn Arbery, and Eleanor Bourg Nicholson are all excellent contemporary novelists who deserve a much larger readership. Tim Powers, on the other hand, is that rare breed of contemporary novelist who not only writes superb novels but has a readership commensurate with his talents.

Another reason for my admiration for successful novelists is my own lack of success in writing fiction. In my younger days, I wrote a bad novel that was thankfully never published, and I’m still haunted by the belief or the desire that I might have a good novel lurking somewhere inside me, waiting to get out, but which I’ll probably never write.

Lately I’ve been haunted by an idea for a novel set in the future, similar to dystopian novels such as R.H. Benson’s Lord of the World, Huxley’s Brave New World, and Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. I haven’t developed a plot line or thought about any of the characters but I do have the vision of the future world in which the action would take place. The title I have given my imaginary novel is Death Throes and it depicts the slow and unlamented suicide of the culture of death.

Here’s the scenario:

The population of the developed world is aging due to the contraceptive culture and the rejection of the idea of the traditional family.

Europe has replaced its aging indigenous population through the huge influx of Muslims. The United States has replaced its aging population through the huge influx of Hispanics. China’s economy has imploded due to its one-child policy and the inability of the xenophobic Chinese culture to embrace immigration. Japan’s economy has also imploded due to a shrinking and aging population and its own xenophobic rejection of immigration.

Throughout the world, euthanasia has not only become the norm but has become compulsory. The sick and the elderly are euthanized as a matter of routine if they are unable to pay for their medical treatment. They are given a choice of which method of “happy death” will be administered to them. The pharmaceutical companies offer new and highly profitable “happy-ending” drugs to ensure a pleasurable transition to the happy-ever-after-life promised by the new religions. Almost all the Christian creeds have embraced the “happy Jesus” who promises universal salvation and refuses to judge anyone on the basis of the sort of life that they had led. Jesus respects the right of everyone to do their own thing and promises to turn a blind eye to any “mistakes” that are made along the way.

Islam as a world religion has lost its global identity in the wake of the disappearance of the “Great Satan.” It was only a unified hatred of the United States which had united Muslims globally. Now, with the USA’s disengagement from global policing, Muslims in the Middle East have reverted to the ancient ethnic conflicts that have always divided them. Meanwhile, Muslims in Europe have become “softened” by their embrace of the European “values” of decadence. Many Muslims have embraced the “happy Prophet” and his submission to the Zeitgeist and its “happy Allah.”

Most of the population have never known a father’s love and have spent unhappy childhoods suffering neglect at the hands of their mothers and physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their mothers’ “friends.” These loveless generations take selfishness to new levels of violence and lawlessness.

In the midst of the mayhem, the Catholic Church remains a united force for good and for change. Although the number of Catholics is much smaller, the faithful are on fire for the Faith. In the madness of the culture of death, the sanctity preached and practiced by Catholics is seen as sanity. It is the only alternative. Unlike the rest of the population (except for the very rich), Catholics live to old age because they have children who are willing to look after them and a community of believers willing to support them.

Traditional families become the only long-term insurance policy, encouraging Catholic parents to invest in their own future through their having of children. Outside of the Church is the Night, and outside of the Family is the Nightmare of the culture of death. Inside the Church and the Family is the light of hope and the promise of true freedom.

As the culture of death destroys itself in its auto-cannibalistic self-consumption, millions begin to flock to the Faith. In the very death throes of decadence, Christ and His Church rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes.

Viva Cristo Rey!

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3 replies to this post
  1. If only the modern Church were the one you envision for your story! Unfortunately, most modern Catholics have adopted their cultures’ values instead of being countercultural, living out what the Gospel requires of us. It would take a major renewal of authentic faith, and actually practicing it for that to be accomplished. It can be done. I pray for it daily, and try to live it in my own circumstances, although I fear not well enough. The Church indeed is “the light set on a hill,” but not if her members are sending the opposite message by the worldly ideas they embrace, and living their lives as if Jesus were no more than a nice guy who doesn’t judge anyone.

  2. In his prospectus, the author has left out the names of the heroes who will perform the brave, faithful, and imaginative rear-guard action against the forces of darkness. They are unlikely heroes who never expected to live in such desperate times but stepped up to stand in the breach and be found faithful during a prolonged hour of testing. Men with names like Joseph, Bradley, Stephen, Dwight, Winston, and Gleaves. And women with names like Barbara, Dedra, and Annette. It is they who, each in his own way, employing his own special gifts, form “a united force for good and for change.”

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