Mass Insanity and the Dog Days of Summer
As I hauled up the tent and sleeping bags for our vacation, my wife innocently commented, “I hope the Church doesn’t fall apart like during the last trip we took.”
She needs to stop saying such things.
During the last family trip, the ex-Cardinal McCarrick scandal blew up. We came home to a Church shaken, battered, and not to be trusted (I speak mainly, though not exclusively, of the hierarchy). But it was for the best. Now what on earth could go wrong this trip?
The trip itself was invigorating. If the good Lord has created a more stunning place on earth than the Rocky Mountains, I am not aware of it. However, it seems that other Canadians needed to get out of their homes and visit these mountains as well. Campsites and attractions were full. This meant that, for the first time in many months, we encountered people from all over the country. Regular people! Mostly without masks too! How, you might ask, are people these days?
They are… unbalanced.
As a prime example, it seems the death of the family has accelerated rapidly. There were shockingly few children out enjoying nature. When we did spot children, though rarely more than two children per family. I suppose it is cheaper this way. As it apparently is necessary to stare at a phone when relaxing next to a mountain, only shelling out for two extra devices is cost efficient. Meanwhile, our family, with a mere four children, earned many comments and stares. Yes people, they are all ours. I agree, life is busy. And rest assured, we know what causes children. Here’s a tip: it involves not staring at a phone.
What has now replaced the baby, en masse, is the fur baby. We literally saw more dogs than babies on our trip. Dogs on hikes. Dogs walking the streets. Dogs swimming in clear turquoise lakes. People proudly exploring nature with three or more dogs by their side (somehow this is socially acceptable). Dogs resting on sidewalks with their own special mats and water bowls provided by thoughtful business owners. Everywhere it was Dog’s Welcome! In fairness to our canine friends, at least there were no dogs sitting staring at phones.
The pervasiveness of fur baby culture was brought home one night at our campground. Our one-year-old started crying at 2am. We tried to quickly whisk him into the van so as not to wake up anyone. Too late. He woke up a nearby dog. The dog barked, thus riling up packs of other dogs. Soon the night was filled, and I mean filled, with echoing barks from hundreds of campsites. Serves them right. I was proud of my little one-year-old.
Perhaps the height of craziness was when we saw a guy walking around with his “fur baby”, this time a cat, in a baby-carrier strapped to his chest. How cute. Then again, it may also have been when we saw one young lady, walking alongside her mother, pushing a specially made dog stroller with a decent-sized dog lounging away. The young lady no doubt believed she was the dog’s mom. It would follow that her mother thought she was the dog’s grandmother. I’m not sure if the dog’s father was in the picture or not. Maybe there is shared custody.
I love dogs as much as anyone. But this is mass insanity. One does not elevate a dog to the level of human. Rather, one is lowered to the level of dog. Lower, in fact, if one’s purpose in life is to serve an irrational animal. It is a sterile existence, mentally unbalanced, and the most pathetic form of LARPing I can imagine. And it is no longer a trend, but it seems to be the norm. My wife and I must be too sheltered, for we were clearly taken aback. It wasn’t nearly this pervasive even three years ago on our vacation. COVID measures, it seems, have pushed people into the irreal world.
“How are people ever going to be normal again?” my wife wondered.
“Well, it used to be the Church which preached sanity,” I mused.
To the Church we must go, then! As if by emphasis, we soon made our way to the local parish church for Sunday Mass. Surely, there must be some offering of sanity and sanctity within those holy walls.
Not in 2021. In our times, going to Mass while on vacation is to play liturgical Russian roulette, and 99 out of 100 Masses are loaded with modernism. There is only one unfortunate word which can be used to describe the typical parish Mass in 2021: boredom. Everyone at Mass looked bored. At least their eyes looked bored, seeing as over 90% of churchgoers voluntarily opted to wear a mask. Even the four guitars used by the choir – one guitar for each chord played I imagine – failed to ignite the congregation. It was banal. At least there were no dogs inside, though maybe they were called out earlier for fur baby liturgy.
We snuck out near the end of Mass as the priest began his fourth homily. I apologized to the kids, promised to take them to a traditional Latin Mass as soon as possible, all while trying to get Seed Scattered and Sown out of my head. It was impossible to pray. It was nearly impossible to stay awake. It seems the mainstream Catholic Church and the world are one. They are one in boredom. They are one in blissful deprivation.
I texted my mom later to ask about our house back in Saskatchewan. I couldn’t help but sneaking in a mention of Mass where we had, “not one, but four guitars.”
Her reply came as an atomic bomb: “And no more TLM. So sickened.”
As crazy as things seemed on our vacation, we were still happily disconnected from the internet. My wife and I had no idea. My mom’s text said it all. Without further explanation, we immediately knew what had happened. Pope Francis finally unleashed his calamitous attack on the traditional Latin Mass. It turns out that the Church really does fall apart whenever we take a vacation.
“The pope hates us. He just hates us,” was my muffled first reaction.
“Pray for your enemies,” countered my wife.
It is a sickening feeling to see so many people living sterile, unhappy, and selfish lives. However, there has always been one glimmer of hope and growth for Latin rite Catholics: the TLM. How are Catholics to counterattack the invasive and evil secular culture while being formed with the four guitar Mass? The answer is they cannot. Not for the past 51 years. Not ever. God help us. We need the TLM.
The next day, with my mind still racing in bewilderment, we decided to get away and climb a glacial mountain. Not just any mountain, but one with a sign reading, “No Dogs Allowed”. Good. Up we went. After some time, our children grew weary. The steep trail was relentless. So too were we. We encouraged the kids, bribed them with ice cream, and eventually carried them when needed. Upward. Away from the mess below; the sickening mess. Upward. There are no dogs upwards. No guitars. No masks. No popes. Upward and away from it all is where we had to be.
Finally, we reached the upper alpine meadows of the mountain. Sweaty and huffing, we sat and inhaled it all in with relief. The air was the freshest I have ever breathed. The vegetation was vibrant, new, and exciting. The glacier nearby shed fresh water to plants and animals, while the sun danced upon a rugged precipice.
What can one say at a moment such as this? It is good to be here? Let us set up tents and stay? I think I now somewhat understand St. Peter on Mount Tabor. I didn’t want to go down. Yet through the turmoil racing in my mind, one subtle voice was whispering to me. It said, “Yes, we are so small. But He, the one who made the mountains, streams, flowers, and even dogs, is immense and powerful. We are helpless. He is strength.”
It is time to go down the mountain and penetrate the mass insanity with conviction, Truth, and even holy anger. It is time to fight for the Mass, and for the return to mass sanity. Bring on the persecution. Down the mountain we go, the battle awaits.
Get out of the way, Rover.