They used to tell stories of old time coal miners when I was a kid, and how the mines were at times inundated with seeping, deadly mine gas—especially in the labor intensive, primitive coal mines that were so prevalent many years ago. Coal seams emit a colorless, odorless, and heavier than air toxic gas in mines, which now is abated by powerful ventilation systems. Many miners would perish from the gas- not such a positive force for profit if you are a mine owner or- for happiness if you were a miner. Someone came up with the idea of bringing canaries into the mines with the miners. Canaries are very sensitive to toxic mine gas; and when exposed to it the birds would sicken and die before the miners would notice anything amiss. The miners would know that it was time to skedaddle- they would evacuate, the gas was dealt with, and after some testing the miners would return when everything was safe. Great for all involved; unless you were a canary.
The canary was an early warning alarm, letting miners know when conditions became dangerous for human life. The canaries were sensors if you will, and through the inventiveness of modern man society has become full of such sensors (today they are almost always mechanical). Circuit breakers inside structural power panels for example: when a potentially dangerous electrical surge runs through the lines, the circuit breakers trip, cutting off the supply of electricity in order to prevent injury. With smoke alarms you assume you will see the smoke… but by the time it is visible it is often too late to save everyone; so smoke alarms detect smoke before a person is able to.
These modern safety sensors work precisely because they are more sensitive to danger than the people they are designed to protect; just as a canary once did- it would not do for a smoke alarm to trip only after the smoke was so thick you would be overcome. The canary in the old coal mines worked, as they died from the poison gas before humans would be affected by it and the miners would take notice: but what if the mine owners or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Canaries forced the government into providing gas masks for canaries? Where would that leave the miners?
Now here is the leap: while I will be the first to admit that there are far more spiritual advantages to be gained by Moral law, it cannot be denied that there are many tangible temporal advantages to be gained by the adherence to the Moral Authority of Jesus Christ and the teaching authority of His Church. That is why Our Lord put His Canaries into the system. What is the danger to the living when death comes to the unborn? What is the danger to family, when there are no strings to sexual activity? What indeed are the dangers to humanity when we now act like animals? Paul VI answered these posits 40 some odd years ago and was branded anathema. Some of us moan, “What has God wrought?”
I say, what has man wrought, now that the Canaries all have gas masks?