Weekly Blog

The Boiling Frog and the Church

A quick internet search dispels the myth of the boiling frog. Who knew? From Wikipedia, “the boiling frog” is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death”. Tests indicate that the frog jumps out of the water as the temperature rises and it becomes uncomfortable.

The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of initiatives or threats that arise gradually”. I don’t know about you, but whether a fallacy or not, I feel like the boiling frog of late. Over the course of the last year, particularly related to COVID, but otherwise too, we have witnessed our government take more and more control over our lives, locally and nationally. While the actual health impact of the pandemic can be debated, what can’t be disputed are the changes we’ve been forced to endure, whether related to our:

  • Churches
  • Restaurants
  • Work
  • Schools
  • Stores
  • Gyms

And the list goes on. In the greatest and freest country in world history, under penalty of law (and shame), we are being forced to act a certain way. We continue to destroy lives and livelihoods.

Don’t get me wrong. My wife and I are taking COVID very seriously, following all the protocols, with it dramatically impacting our lives over the last 12 months. Related, many of us are familiar with Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, where he lives the same day over and over. We were just commenting on us living Groundhog Week, with it being the same week after week after week. Thank God Spring is right around the corner.

It’s not politically controversial to note that the current administration is in favor of greater government control over our lives, given its stated agenda and actions. Our liberties are decreasing. We’re all the boiling frogs while the rich and powerful appear to be getting more rich and powerful.

So, what does the Church have to say about this. Chapter 2, Article 1 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses The Person and Society. Two paragraphs make the primary points:

  • CCC 1881 – Each community is defined by its purpose and consequently obeys specific rules; but “the human person is and ought to be the principle, the subject and the end of all social institutions.
  • CCC 1883 – Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, i.e. family, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.

I’d invite you to read the entire Chapter…find the Catechism on the internet with a quick search if you don’t have a copy.

So, as always, here’s the $64,000 question. What are we to do? Here are some ideas:

  1. Do your own research, identifying the issues. We can’t solve for something we don’t understand.
  2. Pray about it:
    1. What are we witnessing being done by our government versus the teachings of the Church?
    2. What is the Lord calling us to do, collectively and individually?
  3. Take action:
    1. Given your God given talents and treasures, how is our Lord asking you to spend some of your time?
    2. Love God, love others, share our faith

Point 3b speaks specifically to the Great Commandments and the Great Commission, spoken to us by Jesus. My sense is that if we as Christians spent more time on these three things (love God, love others, share our faith), the rest, including everything above, would take care of itself.

As always, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph