With the recent Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade, pro-life and pro-abortion factions have been jockeying to further influence our nation’s culture. It’s hard not to notice the hateful ugliness of a visceral recoil coming from leftist activists. So why exactly does a nation’s culture matter? What’s at stake? Why does choosing to live a life of virtue, or vice, even matter?
With abortion and many other issues, the world is in a massive state of confusion. Violence is increasing. Order is breaking down. Everyone knows that there is something wrong afoot. Everything that is good these days is under attack. What’s going on, and what can everyday people do about it?
In Against the Grain: Heroic Catholics Through the Centuries I tell the story of 21 saints from 21 centuries focused on 21 virtues – and why virtue matters – especially for our time. Better understanding individuals who lived as shining examples, as signs of contradiction, who did what was right and not what was necessarily always popular. Against the Grain is a summons to heroic virtue, to sainthood, for all. To be a saint is to change the world one soul at a time.
When the world tilts toward crazy, the desire for the heroic increases. Americans love superheroes. Feel good stories about good defeating evil. Our rational brains inform us that while comic book and movie superheroes aren’t real, we’re fascinated by them nonetheless. Why is that? Instinctively we love our military, police, firefighters, medical and everyday heroes. Heroes give us solace, energy, and hope.
Catholics know that those who have lived lives of heroic virtue, our Saints, were not fictitious, but real. We look to them to imitate them as they give us true solace, energy and hope. Living lives of heroic virtue is what is required to fix our broken families, nation, and church.
Dr. Jordan Peterson recently asked Church leaders to start asking more of young people. He spoke of “making big demands—big asks—of her members. By so doing they would get a heroic response, heroic involvement, and heroic dedication. Do we prefer short-term safety, affiliation or status over long-term freedom, belonging and heroism?”
Against the Grain, while focusing on heroic saints, is a highly relatable book as it also focuses on struggles and weaknesses. Against the Grain shows the path the saints walked to get to the point of strength. And that’s the example that you and I need. Where we too say, “Why not me?”
Against the Grain is a roadmap. It is a message to take action. An action of resistance to the globalists “Great Reset,” “Great Transition,” and to the anti-Christian elites.
Against the Grain is also a life preserver. More to the point, it’s an eternal life preserver. When the culture is swamping your boat with garbage and nonsense, living a life of greater virtue, perhaps even heroic virtue, is an eternal life preserver.
We are called to be extraordinary in the ordinary. As the world whips itself into further frenzy, confusion, and madness, the cross is the answer. Saint Bruno, founder of the Carthusians, said in the 11th century, “While the world changes, the cross stands firm.” Stand firm with the cross.
Against the Grain is a playbook for the good guys to stop playing defense and start playing offense. If you have been conditioned to go with the flow of our immoral culture, this book is not for you. If you live as a sign of contradiction amidst our coarsening culture, and are looking to live a life of greater virtue, perhaps even heroic virtue, be fortified with Against the Grain.
Against the Grain is a book that will change the way you see your faith and your relationship with humanity. It’s about an epic struggle and mostly, about our future. As Saint John Vianney said, “The saints did not all begin well; but they all ended well. We have begun badly; let us end well, and we shall go one day and meet them in heaven.”