Oct 24, 2007

Standing Outside in Tornadoes

My husband grew up in a rural farming community where his family's house had a nearby "cave" or root cellar buried in the ground. The two wooden doors to the sod-covered "cave" lay at an angle and could be lifted to either side, then pulled back down from the inside and latched during a storm.

Stone stairs led into a dark interior with a slightly arched ceiling and rock walls. The dirt floor was cool and damp. It was a good place for spiders when it was infrequently used. During my husband's early years, potatoes were normally stored there and retrieved on almost a daily basis. During warm months, the "cave" was the cool repository for milk because electrical or ice refrigeration was not available.

The "cave" also served as a storm shelter for the family. My husband's dad would keep his eyes to the southwest to track potential severe storms. Quite a few times, he would yell, "Time to go to the cave, boys. Hurry!" And lots of kids would run outside the house, often in their pajamas, to descend into the dark protective environment of the "cave." No one wanted to stand outside in a tornado.

The past 40 years have been similar to living through tornadoes. Severe storms have weakened the structures of the church and society, and families have had to protect themselves by going into "caves." This situation still prevails today.

So what is the modern equivalent of a spiritual "cave" or catacomb? Homeschooling and private, parent controlled schools are spiritually protective environments that are used by many families. Isolated Latin Mass communities are also "caves", although they have a much wider purpose and important future in the Church.

The most important "cave" is the family home itself. Shed of secular media such as TV, popular magazines, and rock music, the home is the protected nursery for the future generation of solid and productive citizens who understand God's purpose in creating them and try to follow His laws.

What happens if you try to stand outside in a spiritual tornado and withstand the modernist whirlwinds? The past 40 years is filled with large numbers of parents who tried to do this and their children were blown away! Sometimes all of them. Even well-formed parents were lost to the storm. They thought they could stand outside in a tornado.

I tell my grandchildren that they are the descendants of "old country" people who were smart enough to leave their homes and go to "caves" to avoid storms that could destroy them--either spiritually or physically. Our family knows well that several of their male ancestors came to this country to avoid the destruction of European wars. Their "cave" was a "new country," the United States of America. Our ancestral young potential draftees required by European armies avoided having their genetic links to the future being destroyed. That's the reason our family members now exist.


Anonymous said...

What perfect analogy!

wolftracker said...

A most excellent metaphor. And you've pretty much described my home.

Radical Catholic Mom said...


thetimman said...

extremely well said. a joy to read.