Today, on the bus, it came to me that many people live lives cocooned in deceit. Deceit, or lying to one's self about something, may be a reaction to hurt or deprivation. I think of the two brothers, Jamal and his brother Salim, in the movie Slumdog Millionaire, who each chose a different way to cope with poverty. One chose a life in the underground of crime, while the other one chose an ethical lifestyle.
I see prostitutes working the streets, encounter shopkeepers who lie, notice the number of homosexuals who openly are "couples" here, and children who are rude to their elders in public.
But, all these sins come from a root sin of deceit. These people, all children of God, have chosen lifestyles which force them to continue deceiving themselves about the goal of life. They have forgotten heaven, and hell.
Like Salim, they have settled for false love, power and money. Perhaps, they simply do not really know that there is an afterlife, and that all of us shall be called to account, not once, but twice.
I do not see any street ministry in Malta. I see no priests walking about, reaching out to these people. Why not? Why is there an assumption that those in deceit do not want to break out of such sad lifestyles? The churches, with myriad Masses daily, lack youth, except for tourists. But, not all who are wrapped up in deceit are young.
One growing problem here is the acceptance of sin. Too many families accept cohabitation, homosexuality, and contraception. It is taboo to openly discuss sin here, as if to mention evil is so offensive, one cannot address the dead souls who need life-giving words.
Deceit wraps up those who look the other way, think it is OK to cheat, or lie, or fornicate. Deceit wraps up the middle class so that an entire generation looks the other way and accepts sin.
The acceptance of sin is a sin in and of itself. If one accepts sin, one encourages the mortal sins of others. This is a problem with small islands. England has the same problem. Too many people are afraid of offending others by talking about truth.
Not to instruct the ignorant or not to admonish sinners are sins of omission.
Deceit has captured so many people, it is as if the Siege of Malta failed. The enemy is within the gates.
But, Malta is merely a microcosm of the macrocosm. The sins of Malta, a place which was once a shining Catholic City on a Hill, are the sins one finds among Catholics everywhere. Sadly, these things are more obvious on a small island.
There are many excellent priests here, and good laypeople who pray daily and love God. I am impressed by the number of people who daily visit the chapels of Adoration, even to say one prayer. There is a constant stream of people visiting Christ. Most are old, very old, but not all.
I pray that their prayers may be answered, as I am sure that many are praying for those in their families who are caught in the web of deceit.
The remnant here is under attack by the same enemies as we see elsewhere-consumerism, materialism, sexual promiscuity, idolatry, greed. the love of money. communism, socialism. The simplicity of the faithful Catholic who prayers her rosary and goes to the Adoration chapel may save some prisoners of deceit.
But, I fear that the evil which has been unleashed upon the earth will swallow up the good people here. The remnant is so small, so small....
Pray for Malta, pray for Europe. The gorgeous churches stand as witnesses to the past of Christendom, which is fast falling to the lies of modernism and secularism.
Tonight, I grieve for this beautiful country, these beautiful people, because so many have lost their way in the tangles of deceit and others look the other way. If there is ever a time when Malta needs saints, it is now.