GEORGE RUTLER, OUR PECULIAR TIMES: Catholis Wisdom for Times of Crisis, Sophia Institute Press, 2020, pages 256

In this anguished days, from Fr. George Rutler comes this timely set of reflections on the ominous times in which we’re living.
From riots to pandemics, speech codes to behavior mandates, modern man is living in a time of eerie, fast-moving social change that is increasingly resembling some of the darkest periods of history. As we careen toward a breaking point, there persists a profound lack of perception abroad as to what is unfolding right before our eyes. Surrounded by widespread ignorance of history and loss of supernatural faith, we march forward in blindness, unable to perceive or imagine what is in store for us on the other side.
Father Rutler dives deep into the relevant histories to put our modern times into a balanced perspective and provide us with moral applications that enable us to see, understand, and navigate our current circumstances.
As the moral structure of the West continues to crumble, a profound lack of awareness as to the danger that is unfolding persists. Mired in widespread ignorance of history and loss of supernatural faith, society lurches forward in blindness, unable to perceive or imagine what lies in store on the other side.

In “Our Peculiar Times,” Rutler recalls past history to place the events of today into a balanced perspective and provide readers with moral applications that enable them to see, understand and navigate the current circumstances.
Fr. George Rutler addresses our current causes of anxiety and our never-changing, ever-new reasons for hope. His writings on the issues of our day are infused with the confidence that God grants us His peace and no earthly circumstance can take it away.
With insight and wit, the author comments on the confusion in the Church and the chaos in many societies, which are not without precedent but are on a uniquely global scale. The author says that the gremlin that haunts our times is ignorance and a failure to recall the trials of the past. “If there is one underlying theme in this analysis of the chaos of our times, it is dismay at the lack of historical perspective.”
It’s impossible to summarize neatly what Father Rutler suggests as the best way to react to chaos, except – as is implied in the title – that once we have sifted the truths from the lies, we must stay calm, and pray, and do the right thing ourselves, and continue doing so even if the Lord sometimes appears to be sleeping, and the barque appears to be in danger of sinking. The consoling message underneath it all, of course, is that the Lord is in control, and He wants us to trust Him because He alone can and will “pick up the pieces of whatever mere mortals may break.”
Known internationally, and also in Malawi through Luntha TV, for his programs on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), including “Christ in the City” and “The Parables of Christ,” Rutler is the author of 32 books, including the ac-claimed collection “A Year with Fr. Rutler” published by Sophia Institute Press. Since 2013, he has been the pastor of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in New York’s west side.
This book is for people who seek to rouse their fellow friends from their slumber and persuade them back to faith, hope, charity, and courage.