There is a growing desire, among faithful Catholics, to remove all connections from the outside world. It’s a reaction in response to the world’s progressive ideology that includes an upheaval of common decency, a lack of morality, and a disgust of anything related to God. As I understand the root of this mentality, to protect our children from evil influences and the importance of preserving their innocence, there is a level of practicality that needs to be discussed.
As many of you know from my previous articles, I was raised in the “underground” Latin Mass of the 1980s and 1990s. My perspective of childhood in the Catholic Church is much different from the average Catholic of that time. Now that the Latin Mass is in a slightly different growth position forty years later, there now appears to be a trend arising from this growth towards forming Catholic communities. I want to touch on the pros and cons of this thought process and how my grandparents also dealt with similar concerns.
There is no need to debate the obvious – the evil in this world no longer hides in dark corners or under the guise of goodness. It doesn’t have to any longer. Our society, through vice and lack of self-control, has enabled evil to dwell quite openly and also attacks the most innocent souls – our children. As a parent in today’s world, there’s an ever-increasing desire to seek protection for these innocent ones. It is of the utmost importance for parents to use prudence and keep the senses and the souls of those children within the realm of innocence and goodness.
I have noticed that many souls who are brought to the faithful traditions of the Catholic Church, also are quickly drawn to a contemplative life. Specifically, women who have heard and followed the progressive lies of Feminism are now embracing motherhood and homemaking with reverence. The movement towards femininity that is family-centered is truly a gift from God as so many little souls will experience the love and nurturing of dear parents who desire to raise saints.
With all that being said, the desire among many Catholics to retract from the confines of this world is strong, but not completely practical. My grandmother was a staunch traditional Catholic and was very involved in preserving the Latin Mass. Her opinionated temperament never shied away from speaking the truth, no matter the consequences. She strongly desired the resurgence of the Latin Mass and there was no question about shrinking behind the shadows. My grandmother recognized that she was not a religious sister (even though she did visit a convent as a young woman and decided that was not her vocation), but that she was a wife, mother, and grandmother. It was her responsibility to build the culture towards goodness, within her means. Had my grandparents driven to a far-off corner of Wisconsin and settled away from the daily struggles to preserve the Latin Mass – our area may have had a different result from today’s growing traditional community.
It is understandable that each soul has different gifts and God has a particular role for each one of us in this life and at times the thought of living a monastic life as a rural family may seem appealing, but that isn’t the calling for every soul. Rather, it is more important for each soul to find their own solitude within their home and with their family and close friends.
There is absolutely a need to protect innocent souls, and even through the chaos and evil of this world, God has gifted us with beautiful Catholic communities across the world. There is no need to shrink from the world completely. Every wholesome career needs hardworking and moral souls. Every family needs strong virtuous mothers. Our communities need leaders, doers, and helpers. Souls are searching for goodness and joy. Even among the chaos and evil, there are misled souls who desire to find faith and hope. Their search shouldn’t be forsaken – as someone led each of us towards God, maybe we can do the same for others.
The progressive ideology that embeds every fabric of our society is not a reason to disconnect from the world. Yes, we are to live with prudence for our family, and especially our children, but God did not call the laity to become nuns or priests. As laity, our lives are intertwined with the world as we must raise souls who one day will also need to live among the wolves. So, rather than spend the time shrinking away from society, let’s attempt to build it up through our example of joy and goodness – ultimately, to lead souls towards Tradition and God’s love.
Danielle Heckenkamp is a wife and mother of six children. In her spare time, Danielle works as a freelance writer for a variety of Catholic publications.