Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mary's eyes

He's My Son by Mark Schultz set to the passion.

Try looking through Mary's eyes while listening to this song and watching the images from the movie take hold of your heart.  Imagine seeing through those eyes (Mary's eyes) and witnessing the look from the One battered and spat upon... gazing into the eyes of the Innocent One.

VATICAN CITY, 31 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Easter Triduum was the central theme of Benedict XVI 's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square.

"We are", the Pope began, "living through the holy days that invite us to meditate upon the central events of our Redemption, the essential nucleus of our faith". In this context, he encouraged everyone "to experience this period intensely, that it may decisively guide everyone's life to a generous and strong adherence to Christ, Who died and rose again for us".

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Truth, Myth, and the Passion Redux

Jimmy Akin dispells the wickedness of the accusers.

Now, peace, be still, and remember what is really going on.

If there is a lesson to learned here it is that each and every time the Gospel in general or, in this case, the Holy Father in particular is made the scapegoat of the howling, ravenous hoard, it is the structural re-enactment of the Passion that set us free from sin and death in the first place.

The Holy Father undoubtedly knows this. Now, pray for him, for the Church this Holy Week, and all whose faith make be shaken by the purveyors of mythological paganism.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lord, Let Me Walk

Remembering Rock Bottom (Link to full text)

Lord, must the journey always end this way,

Under the weight of the wood?

How many times have we nailed you up today,

Under the weight of the wood?

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion - Remember Rock Bottom

"Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test." Only the first of many disappointments our Lord would suffer at the hands of those closest to him, closest to him and so all the more able to abandon, deny, and betray. These scenes should affect us all, because they portray only too well the human condition, which looks first to its own strength and intellect, not to God. The passion and death of Jesus show humanity reaching rock bottom, show the boundless disappointment that we can be to God and to ourselves. We need this week to remember rock bottom, remember it in our prayer. Otherwise we will not appreciate Easter Sunday, when from rock bottom Christ Jesus was raised up - and ever since has reached out his hand to raise us up as well.

What do I most need to remember and pray through this Holy Week, with regard to my part in the crucifixion of Jesus?

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (Lect. 37-Year C)
from WLP Seasonal Missalette

Pagans Want Their Sacrificial Victim

The Scapegoat (1854) - William Holman Hunt

What I have learned from René Girard's mimetic theory is that when there is sufficient social and psychological turmoil, crowds start looking for a scapegoat. From the viewpoint of the Christian faith, we would say this is a primary piece of evidence of the Fall, a common blind spot rooted in our disobedience to the will of God thematized in the Doctrine of Original Sin.

In traditional societies, what Girard calls the "single victimary mechanism" was an extremely economic way of re-establishing peace and harmony in the community. It nearly always only took one victim; "unanimity minus one," as he says. Or, as Caiaphus said in John 11, 50: "Better that one should die than the whole nation be destroyed."

But, as Robert Hamerton-Kelly reminds us, the Gospel has been at work in history for about 2,000 years. We have to perform capital punishment behind prison doors in the wee hours now, lest sympathy for the executed rouse even more turmoil. Gone are the days of a good hangin' in the town square after a picnic and before the fireworks display.

Now, Hamerton-Kelly says, the sacrificial mechanism in fallen humanity tries to work by raising the number of victims, or the prestige of the victim: genocide or regicide.*

Enter our newest attempt at scapegoating; namely, the Holy Father. Ah, the ravenous wolves are circling via the New York Times and other liberal organs. Voices of reason notwithstanding, the ignorant taunts of the mob howl, wanting their victim.

Even if Joseph Ratzinger knew the abusive priest was re-assigned under his jurisdiction, note well that these accusatory voices are (a) illogical insofar as their own liberal, progressivist platform would not call intergeneration same-sex activity a "crime" but merely "alternative lifestyle;" (b) oblique to their own heroes' similar shortcomings. But they want their sacrificial victim.

Problem is, however, the truth does not matter to them. Nor ever does it to the sacrificial mob; whether it is street rabble in Iran or the op/ed offices at 620 Eighth Ave., NY, NY.

They want their sacrificial victim, and the Holy Father has the most prestige.

So far.

*This is so in western cultures influenced by the Gospel. In those not influenced by the Holy Spirit, individuals are still accused and indicted; i.e., "witches", "infidel", etc.

Palm/Passion Sunday

Russian Orthodox icon of the Entry into Jerusalem from Tver, 15th century (Wiki Commons)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Polkinghorne - Humility and Science

Continuuing on the theme begun by brother Aramis, eminent physicist and ordained Anglican priest, John Polkinghorne, opines on humility, science, and faith here.

Last Days of A. J. Ayer

Speaking of life without humility, herein lies, gentle reader, the extraordinary account of renowned and outspoken British atheist, A. J. Ayer, and his last days. Allowing a piece of fish to go down the wrong pipe, he was saved by medical personnel. But what he experienced, being dead, lead him to become best friends with old debating acquaintance, Father Frederick Copleston. Here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life without humility does not work

THE SPIRITUAL MASTERS OF THE CHURCH agree that the “virtue of humility attracted the Holy Trinity into the Blessed Virgin Mary’s heart” (Saint Thérèse of Lisieux). Saint Jerome says that God chose Mary to be his Mother “more on account of her humility than of all her other sublime virtues.” Saint Augustine comments that “Mary’s humility became a heavenly ladder by which God came into the world.” And Saint Bernard adds that, though Mary “pleased God by her virginity, she conceived by her humility.” As Our Lady herself attests after the Annunciation, God “has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness” (Lk 1: 48). “In the new situation created by her divine maternity,” writes Father Raniero Cantalamessa, “Mary’s soul moved quickly and naturally to its point of truth, namely her nothingness, and nothing and no one could change this. In all this, the humility of the Mother of God is seen to be a unique miracle of grace.”

Humility before the gift

We want to share in that miracle of grace! Life without humility does not work. Father Simon Tugwell remarks that “most of our obstinacy covers up a certain degree of emptiness, a certain degree of dishonesty, of masquerading and posturing, of being uncertain of ourselves; that is why it has to be so unyielding. It can only preserve itself at the expense of a certain ruthlessness, maybe even cruelty and disregard of others.”

Humility begins in the awareness of what is most “down to earth” (“humility” from the Latin humus meaning “ground or earth”) – namely, that life is given. Everything I have and am is a gift from Another. This is why Saint Thomas Aquinas says that “humility’s rule lies in a judgment” – a judgment regarding the fact of our real nothingness. Without humility, our limitations tempt us in one of two ways: either we are scandalized by them, which makes us despondent, or we deny them, which makes us grandiose. But humility gives us a placid acceptance of our nothingness, saving us from the extremes of both self-contempt and “sanguine selfassurance” (Saint Thomas Aquinas).

Acknowledging the Presence

The example of the Blessed Virgin Mary shows us how humility makes one “submissive and ready to receive divine favor” (Saint Thomas Aquinas). There is a twofold dynamic to humility. On the one hand, as we have said, it is not possible to be humble if we deny our nothingness. But on the other hand, we cannot be humble if we fail to acknowledge the merciful presence of God acting in our life. This is the glory of Our Lady’s humility. “Humility mainly concerns a person’s subjection to God. It properly regards the reverence which bows down before God” (Saint Thomas Aquinas). Humility blesses us with a serene acquiescence before our nothingness that becomes a begging for the Infinite. God loves to be acknowledged by our nothingness.

“The one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 14: 11; 18: 14), promises the One who was “humble of heart.” Authentic humility creates space in a soul that God refuses to leave empty; he fills it with himself. “No one makes himself naught except to let God fill the void” (L. Lavelle). A humble person is one who has decided to renounce pretentiousness in favor of the purpose that God has for him or her. “Perfect humility consists in constantly making oneself small for the sake of love, to elevate others” (R. Cantalamessa).

The mortification of humility

It is no surprise that recollection and vigilance distinguish the humble person’s life. “Humility disposes one to free access to spiritual and divine blessings” (Saint Thomas Aquinas). But those blessings come to us in the most subtle ways and – as Our Lady discovered – often as a surprise. Nothing is easier than for the noise of our self-assertive thoughts to drown out God’s voice speaking deep within us, delicately. Thus, humility craves silence… a silence that permits us to become detached from willfulness and absorbed in what God wills for us. Humility enables us to hear God communicating his love to us in just the way he wants to love us.

Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P.
Copyright Magnificat

Beginning of a New Age

For those paying attention: today is the Feast of the Annunciation. Interestingly, J. R. R. Tolkien chose this day to be the moment when Frodo and Same reached the Cracks of Doom, Gollum seizes the ring of Sauron and plunges with it into the molten chaos, beginning a new age.

Fancy that.

Living in Evil Times

Predictably, the NYT and their ilk are circling like wolves around the sex abuse story in Germany. The Last Self-Help Administration and their ilk are licking their chops over what they surmise is the dead adversary called Freedom. And in cities like Philadelphia, mobs text and merge, roaming and seeking victims to pummel.

As I predicted in The Dionysus Mandate, it would come to this - and worse - in America, the land of the anthropologically ignorant and the home of the power-lusting leadership and Gospel-rejecting populace.

Oases of civility and sanity survive, so far, however. In those Catholic parishes where the Magisterium of the Church is revered, safeguarded, and maintained, we gather round the true Victim, perfect Sacrifice, and eternal Lord, Jesus Christ. He feeds us with the Bread of Heaven, and we are a universal family around the world.

Pray for our good Holy Father, for Christendom, for families, for all who love justice and seek goodness, truth, and beauty. This is Marian chivalry at its utmost in these desperate and evil times.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fr Barron - No Sense Unless ...

An apropos reality check that the 4Ms first heard from Gil Bailie: “You should live your life in such a way that it would make no sense unless God exists.” - Cardinal Souhard

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

F-bombers in the Club House

Time was, when was it? Probably during Harry Truman's presidency, getting caught saying this to one's commander-in-chief would have been a scandal and true embarrassment. Now, it is presumed that the f-bomb is de rigueur among such Poobah movers and shakers. Particularly when it's end-zone dance time, baby!

Hey. What's good for Enron is good for the country. Right? Right?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Eternal Laws Aren't 'Voted' On

Appearances are Deceptive

There may come a pivotal moment today prior to the vote on the health care bill when each voting member of the House of Representatives will hear a clarion call to turn back from the brink. The United States Bishops have pleaded, Do not pass this pro-abortion health care bill.

You see, our Bishops do not follow mere "party" platforms. They are concerned for not only the unborn who will be imperiled by the passage of the bill, although that is the reason they do not support this bill.

Our Bishops are concerned for the souls of lawmakers, of Americans, and the eternal consequences of supporting a health care bill that will endorse and underwrite a mortal sin.

As uncouth as that may sound, the eternal salvation of souls is a bottom line concern here. The spirit of the age may mitigate against such concern, but Mother Church never stops caring about the consequences of our decisions and actions. The Ten Commandments still stand. The Beatitudes still stand. The Precepts of the Church still stand. Our Lord says the Law still stands (Mt 5,17f). The weight of glory, as C. S. Lewis said, is a ponderous thing. And willful - if ignorant - human pride can indeed preclude our ability to enter into the Beatific Vision.

Pray for lawmakers and their souls today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

'And There He Was'

Father Mark at Vultus Christi shares a profound piece of whimsy written by Sister Mary Ada, C. S. J., And There He Was.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Renaming Freedom, Excluding Religion

The Resistance - "Hey, like my new header, meshugas?"

George Weigel spoke recently at an international symposium honoring Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger. One thing he said was, "Intolerance in the name of 'tolerance' must be named for what it is and publicly condemned. To deny religiously-informed moral argument a place in the public square is intolerant and anti-democratic." To read his entire address, go here.

It does not take a particularly keen observer to see the grim outline of what is happening in the United States of America under the current administration and their allies in the legislative branch of government. Weigel limns it well.

We are simply seeing the relegation of religious values to the interior of places of worship. This would include the values of the Scimitar, but as René Girard has shown so clearly (and the New Testament long before him) politicians fear crowds and power; a trait so-called "progressivists" share with the Scimitar, structurally speaking. For now, the loud-mouth rantings of the Scimitar are allowed, as long as demographics stay below a tipping point.

But it is obvious that leftist progressives want to exclude the Judeo-Christian voice in general and the magisterium of the Catholic Church in particular from public forum, and they will go to no extreme to make certain this happens. The exceptions, of course, are the Catholic-in-name-only types, those who violate the Church's teachings and leadership as progressivist allies. These will be paraded like loyal lap-dogs, shining examples of the "right kind" (wink wink) of religious thinking.

But for those who are loyal to Mother Church, like the babushkas of Soviet Russian, we are free to "hold" our religious beliefs so long as they do not attempt to intrude into serious social policy. Just sweep the streets, go to church, and keep very quiet.

This is the new "tolerance". This is the new "freedom". Welcome to the late, great American reformation.

P. S. - By the way, the babushkas won (cf. above).

Longenecker - Penitence

Fr Dwight Longenecker posts on the Practical Power of Penitence:
I've always been befuddled by those who consider repentance to be a gloomy and unhealthy exercise because it seems to me that it is just the opposite. Admitting our sins and going to confession is actually one of the healthiest and happiest things we can do. Apart from the spiritual graces of the sacrament, here are the practical benefits:

  • Penitence makes me realistic about myself. - As soon as I say, "Lord Jesus Christ Have Mercy on me a Sinner" all the self delusions fall away and I can begin to see myself as I really am.
  • Penitence makes me relistic about other people. - Not only realistic, but compassionate. If I'm a struggling sinner, then so is everyone else. What's the saying, "Be kind, everyone is fighting a great battle."
  • Penitence makes me realistic about God - If I'm a sinner and see myself clearly, then I suddenly see God clearly too. I cut through the sentimentality or the fear or whatever false image of God and should be able to see him as the loving and forgiving Father.
  • Penitence makes me able to learn. - You can't learn anything if you think you know it all. You can learn to be righteous is you think you already are. Saying you're a sinner is the first step to enlightenment.
  • Penitence makes me aware of my need for God - The cry "O Lord make haste to help me!" is the cry of a person in need. We can only be given what we need when we ask for what we need and we can only ask if we first realize we have a need.
  • Penitence opens my heart - The hardened heart is a fearful thing, and no one who is truly penitent can have a hardened heart. Immediately we cry out in penitence we make a great soul jump forward. The opened heart is a heart that can sing.
More here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Discuss with Animals - Get Insulted

Friend, mentor, and all round capital fellow, Gil Bailie, notes the veracity of the theology and anthropology of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes (not John and Thomas, but the pint-sized kid and his imaginary tiger friend). If you ain't seen it, here is Original Sin in a nutshell.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Best Lie

C. S. Lewis once sagely noted, "The best lie is the one closest to the truth." That is why this is so important for us to observe, condemn, and pray about.

The proposed health care reform is a conundrum shrouded in complexity wrapped in obfuscation, just the way the leftists and the Administration want it. It purports to be "compassionate", but maintains the language that Rep. Stupak condemns. Abortion equals fewer Americans for whom health care will be needed.

Pray like there is no working, and work like there is no praying. Ora et labora.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Who will Sing for the Unborn?

Caitlin Jane answers that question in her beautiful song and moving video for "Unborn", and it seems from her Myspace page that she will be performing in the Metro area on March 28

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Christianity or Catharsis

Crucifixion (1617) - Bruegel

Gil Bailie, founder and President of the Cornerstone Forum has quipped, "The ancient world did not have Christianity; it had catharsis."

This shows his predilection for poetry, diction, and sheer determination to pack as much into as little space as possible. Aristotle described catharsis as the purging of the emotions of pity and fear that are aroused in the viewer of a tragedy. We can readily recall such moments: if we are old enough, the moment we heard President Kennedy had been shot; the riveting scenes of the twin towers afire and collapsing in lower Manhattan.

René Girard's mimetic theory posits catharsis as the denouement of both the founding violence of the primitive sacred and that of ritual, one of the three off-shoots of that same primitive sacred (the other two being prohibition and myth).

So, why does Bailie state Christianity as the alternative to the catharsis? After all, our founding violence entailed the horribly violent crucifixion of the One we call Lord and God (Jn 20,28). Yes, that's the rub. The difference lies in these vital facts: (1) the murder of our supreme Victim, Jesus the Lord, did not "take". The crowds left, it is said, "beating their breasts" (Lk 23,48). The sacrificial quotient fell flat in confusion rather than camaraderie.

(2) Second, as St. Augustine noted, our supreme Victim revealed God's will, even from the cross, teaching us to forgive our tormentors. Again Bailie: "On the cross, we would see them as ravenous wolves; He saw us as lost sheep."

(3) The followers of our supreme Victim met Him again, resurrected. Yes, He could do things like walk through walls as we walk through campfire smoke (this argues for a more substantive resurrected Body, not less), and shared fish with them on the seashore (Jn 21,12). But more importantly, He forgave them their cowardice, abandonment, fear, and denial of Him.

(4) It is for this last reason that the earliest witnesses to the power of Jesus Christ waded right into the same crowd on the day of Pentecost that called for their Master's crucifixion not to slay, seek to avenge and wreak revenge ... but to invite them to repent, be forgiven (as He had forgiven them), and be baptized in the Lord's Name (Acts 2,38).

This is the abysmal chasm between catharsis and Christianity. The former always - always - seeks vengeance and reprisal, calling out its "sacred" duty to the dark gods of blood and mayhem. The latter, though imperfectly by Christians, knows that its touchstone is always - always - to forgive as we have been forgiven, because all of us are sinners.

This Lent, let us ponder these strange mysteries embedded on the one hand in the ways of catharsis still very persistent in our world, and, on the other, the Lord who trudged His lonely path to the hill called Golgotha to - one last time in Bailie's words, "shove a stick in the spokes of the primitive sacred's cathartic mechanism."

When we gather at the Altar of our supreme Victim, we say that God is finally vindicated of all our human violence. He came to be our supreme Victim, to show us, once and for all, the way out of our fallen human ways of death, catharsis, and despair. Deo gratias. +

Novena of Preparation - St. Joseph

Father Mark at Vultus Christi asks:

Could we not offer the Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph (March 19) for the Joseph whom God has set over the household of His Church: Pope Benedict XVI? It is no coincidence that, in these days of battle against the powers of darkness, the Successor of Peter bears the name of Joseph, protector of the universal Church. The providential designs of God are often revealed in such details.

I recommend the Prayer to Saint Joseph that Pope Leo XIII promulgated with his Encyclical Quamquam pluries in 1889. It is perhaps more suitable today than when it was written one-hundred-twenty-one years ago. In many places it is customary to pray this prayer after the recitation of the Rosary.

To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.
O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cursillo this weekend - pray for us to be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit

You don't have to go to Ireland to allow the Holy Spirit to work on you, but a nice video all the same.

The Church 2 step

The Great Evangelization by Fr. Robert Barron
The Church 2-step
Step 1 Hunker down - perservation
Step 2 Let loose the Light - let the light out

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

May You Learn the Easy Way

Ah, yes. Well do I remember lying flat on my back after polishing my shoes as a lad, one shoe perched far above my face on the flat of my foot, until it ... well, never mind. My nose learned the law of gravity in one fell swoop. Here's to other fine fellows who learn things the bumpy way.

Benedict - On Suffering and Hope

The Holy Father pulls back from the maelstrom and gives all of us words of wisdom, faith, and theological hope.

"In the face of sin, God shows himself to be full of mercy and he does not fail to call sinners to avoid evil, to grow in his love and to concretely help our neighbor in need, to live the joy of grace and not risk eternal death."

The Holy Father added that the "possibility of conversion entails that we learn to read the events of life in the light of faith, animated by the holy fear of God."

He said that in the presence of suffering or grief, "true wisdom is to let oneself be called from the precariousness of existence and to read human history with God’s eyes, who, always and only wanting the good of his children, by an inscrutable plan of his love, sometimes allows them to be tried through suffering to lead them to a greater good."
More here.

What is important for individual believers to remember is that, while leaders, presidents, gurus, movers and shakers, tyrants, dictators, and potentates come and go, the Holy Father lifts our gaze to something greater and more ineffable to us, our families, and indeed to all the Church.

The entire biblical witness speaks to the reality that God works in the warp and woof of human casuistry, banality, and supposed monolithic hubris (read: if we pass this health care bill, we will have power forever ... muahahahah!).

But human life in focus cannot be lived on such a global scale. Technology has taken us - like Tolkien's palantiri in The Lord of the Rings - to the point of despair over the sheer amount of "is-ness" which we, inevitably, read and use incorrectly.

Human life is best lived and loved on a small scale. Go to Mass. Pray. Work. Love. Help. Forgive and be forgiven. Repeat. Keep the Beatific Vision ever before you as the goal of "health care." And help others go, also, to Heaven.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Cantalamessa - Uniqueness of Christian Faith

Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household, on the uniqueness of the Christian faith, on the nature of inter-religious dialog, and being saved by grace here.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Central Catholic High School Are State Champs

Saints Win State!

Not that I am bias but I thought that the photographer, my wife, did a great job of capturing the action.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


H.L. Mencken is famously quoted as having said, "The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it." I'm lousy at reading persons' motives, actually. What I am dependable about, however, is a hobbit-like love for all things small, human proportioned, and non-centralized.

Nearly every Enlightenment-driven project to "save humanity" in the violent, old twentieth century - from Lenin to Stalin to Mao to Hitler to Pol Pot - all functioned with an ostensible motive of wanting to "save humanity." Each and every one of them ended not only badly, but disastrously in terms of loss of human life. Particularly in one stood in the way of such mere human efforts to "save humanity."

Note well: when the Second Great Commandment of Our Lord (..."and [love] your neighbor as yourself") is sundered from the First Great Commandment ("You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength"), things end badly.

Again, I do not pretend to understand or fathom his motives, but our Last Self-Help Administration president has noticeable, ostensible distaste for all things Judeo-Christian, which is to say, the ancestral voice of the West.

But it is here and only here that the continuity of keeping together those Two Great Commandments (Mk 12,30-31) is to be found in world history. And an United States without this spiritual continuity has no guarantee - absolutely none - that the perpetrators of heinous atrocities listed above will not again rise. Only this time with the finest motives, say, to provide health care for all; unless you aren't born yet, then you have no rights whatsoever. Not even to be born.

Finally, again I do not question I Wun's motives; they may be completely sincere. I question what has always happened when done the way he he is trying to do it and sans outward honoring Our Lord and the biblical Tradition that alone keeps together the revealed Mandate:

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be yours as well."
- Mtt 6,33

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Memento Mori

(Wiki Commons - Click to enlarge)

Feel free to come visit A Little Guide for Your Last Days blog, your one-stop blog for many resources on holy dying.

This Too Shall Pass

Because I admire spontaneity (h/t: Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Where can I hide from your spirit?

Gratefully ripped off .. um, highlighted and borrowed .. from Elizabeth Scalia's The Anchoress site. Romano Guardini on the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

To be seen by Him does not mean to be exposed to a merciless gaze, but to be enfolded in the deepest care. Human seeing often destroys the mystery of the other. God’s seeing creates it.

We can do nothing better than press on into the sight of God. The more deeply we understand what God is, the more fervently we shall want to be seen by him. We are seen by him whether we want to be or not. The difference is whether we try to elude his sight or strive to enter into it, understanding the meaning of his gaze, coming to terms with it, and desiring that His will be done.

We can do nothing better than place ourselves and all that we have in God’s sight: “Behold me!” Let us put away the fear that prevents us. Let us abandon the sloth, the pretense of independence, and the pride. “Look at the good! Look at the shortcomings! The ugly, the unjust, the evil, the wicked, everything – look at it, O God!”

Sometimes it is impossible to alter something or other. But let Him see it at any rate. Sometimes one cannot honestly repent. But let him see that we cannot yet repent. None of the shortcomings and evil in our lives are fatal so long as they confront his gaze. The very act of placing ourselves in his sight is the beginning of renewal. Everything is possible so long as we begin with God. But everything is in danger once we refuse to place ourselves and our lives in his sight.