Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Children's Crusade

G.K. Chesterton noted, concerning the “trend” of conversions to the Catholic faith among his generation:
“I have therefore thought it well to put first this general note on the nature of the movement in my time; to show that I am well aware that it is a very much larger and even a very much later movement than is implied in describing my own life or generation. I believe it will be more and more an issue for the rising generation and for the generation after that, as they discover the actual alternative in the awful actualities of our time. And Catholics when they stand up together and sing 'Faith of our Fathers' may realise almost with amusement that they might well be singing 'Faith of our Children.' And in many cases the return has been so recent as almost to deserve the description of a Children's Crusade.”

This insight caught my undivided attention the other night as I supposed that perhaps our generation is on the forefront of this Children’s Crusade. The old stereotype is that the young run off in all manner of wide-eyed naiveté chasing after the latest spiritual shaman or shyster, in search of enlightenment, enrichment, and new revelation—while their elders counsel them against such things. “Stick with the Faith,” the father tells the son.

Haven’t we all noticed, though, that the tables have turned? How often have we found ourselves, the children, counseling our parents and grandparents against some deviation from the Faith? How often has it been us arguing for truth over emotions or convenience, while our elders fret about, either rationalizing or capitulating. How often have we seen them swept off by some “new understanding” being offered by a book, a diet, or a spiritual guru interviewed on Oprah?

“Stick with the Faith,” the son must now tell the father. The Children’s Crusade is afoot, and soon the Enemy will tremble at the awful bright banners gathered in defense of the Faith.


Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

OK, I'm going to say it: "G.K. Chesterton could see the future." There.

Gives new meaning to "ye must be as little children".

Of course now I can proudly proclaim myself a Childish Catholic.

Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:29:00 PM  

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