Stay and Fight in California

There is good reason to stay and fight. Los Angeles is not just one city among many. Los Angeles is the center at which all the other cultural battles find their proper orbit. The banner that we find ourselves living and fighting under (Our Lady, Queen of the Angels) is one in which the whole story of salvation history is not only summed up — the serpent, the woman, and the two seeds (Gen 3:15) — but also carried out (the exorcisms, the cross, and the sacraments). Mary is the Queen of the Angels, and it's precisely those angels and her queenship that allow us to stand here, even at this present moment, and declare to a city under siege that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father" (Phil 2:10-11). We cannot leave. We must stay and continue the mission first entrusted to St. Junipero Serra.

I and others have been developing this line of argument for some time now, and it has recently caught the attention of more and more Catholics in this area. Fr. Tim Grumbach, of course, himself stood in this belief when he made the choice to become a priest of LA. For Fr. Tim, as well as the host of seminarians working their way up the ranks to enlist, Jesus and the early church really did intend to stay in the city (even the city of Rome itself). Yes, of course, there were plenty of individuals who had lived and moved and had their being in the rural areas of the Roman empire or the deserts of Egypt. But the bulk of the early Church never left the city. And neither should we.

When we arrive in the fourth century AD, it becomes quite clear how important were those Catholics who had stayed. We seem still to be faced with some confusion as to why anyone would stay in California, never mind Los Angeles itself. Many reasons have been given and are continually given by those who seem to have no supernatural perspective whatsoever. It was not the homeless on the streets of Spain that convinced St. Junipero Serra to sail across the Atlantic. Nor was it his local politics, taxes, or hope for a better land with a better future. There were, no doubt, plenty on those boats who, I'm sure, were sailing for precisely those reasons. But neither of them are St. Serra. And neither are we, which is precisely why we ought to ask St. Junipero Serra to intercede for us so that we too might have that same supernatural perspective, to see beyond street-tents and taxes to the fact that this city, beyond all the others, is in desperate need of Christ and His Church.

Let's stay and fight.

Jesus and Mary, be with us on the way

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