“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” – G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, 1925
You are caught in a raging river along with many others and are being swept downstream. What is more sensible? To catch hold of and climb onto a rock which is rising up above the water, or go with the flow because it requires less effort and most people are doing it, and be swept over the edge of a waterfall to be dashed to pieces below?
The Rock is the Catholic Church, remaining firm and steadfast upon the solid foundation of St. Peter amidst the ever-changing river of the world. If you hold to the rock you will stand out from the river for all to see, but you will also become a beacon of hope to those who are still caught in the rapids. They may now follow your example and cling to the rock too, and if their own efforts are not enough you will be able to grab their grasping hand and pull them to safety.
“We do not really want a religion that is right where we are right. We want a religion that is right where we are wrong. We do not want, as the newspapers say, a church that will move with the world. We want a church that will move the world.” – G. K. Chesterton, The Catholic Church and Conversion, 1926
Like salmon who swim upstream, fighting the river and avoiding many obstacles until they reach the waters where they were born to bring forth new life, so must we fight against the flow of the world, that we may reach our Eternal home and enter into life everlasting. And though we will meet with opposition we must not become disheartened for “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven…In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – Jesus Christ [Matt 5; 11-12, John 16; 33]