Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Go Merrily in the Dark

As brother Aramis says, the way that seems most apparently points to a faithful, loving, and just future is a a collective effort to get lean and be re-fitted in the amour of Christ. No truer words can be spoken, and, in my opinion, too, a form of Distributism rather than secular socialism or capitalism is the economic form it must take.

But we are living in a time when hubris is driving persons who are locked in a bipartisan death-spiral (read: mimetic rivalry in which the object of desire has taken a backseat to a destructive doubling rivalry that threatens all within its dance of death). If - IF - the $550B run on the banks preceding the elections was part of this power feeding frenzy and economy-busting grab to take the presidential election, we see what lengths this doubling rivalry will go - and we haven't seen the end yet.

But men and women of theological hope must realize with Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput the insight of his essential book, Render Unto Caesar. Namely,
“Critics like to say that religion is divisive, or intellectually backward, or that it has no proper place in the public square. … But this is nonsense. Democracy depends on people of conviction carrying their beliefs into public debate -- respectfully, legally and non-violently, but vigorously and without apology. If we are uncomfortable being Christians in a public debate, then we've already lost the war. In America the word "pluralism" is often conjured up like a kind of voodoo shield to get religious people to stop talking about right and wrong. In reality, our moral beliefs always shape social policy. Real pluralism actually demands that people with different beliefs should pursue their beliefs energetically in the public square. This is the only way a public debate can be honest and fruitful. We should never apologize for being Catholics.”
The way to making it through these dark, apocalyptic days so filled with apoplexy and fear is to keep our eyes and hearts firmly on the Agnus Dei, the "lamb of God who takes away the sin(s) of the world," the Lord of the Eucharist and One Who has over the world. How? Easy.

First, stay close to His altar, assist regularly at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Second, read the Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - know Him in the Word of the God, the Bible. Third, see how the Church teaches economics. And fourth, follow the Two Great Commandments (Matthew 22,37-40) - go on now, find it!

The devil's weapons, a priest said two weeks ago in the Crypt Church of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, are cynicism, despair, and violence. Our weapons more than counter his. They are faith, hope, and love. Never - never - fall into despair. Practice these virtues, seek God's Kingdom (Mtt 6,33), and "all these things shall be yours as well." Peace and joy, pilgrim.

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