Sunday, January 17, 2010
Amongst the outspoken who hate the Church with an utmost and dire vengeance is the drunken Christopher Hitchens. Shamefully ad hominem as it is of me, I cannot but observe that he presents himself as an Ivan Karamazov after that man has 'thrown down the cup of life' and chosen to debase himself. Well, at least I know that Hitchens himself does not object to personal attacks and cannot blame me for engaging in the same practice. This is to his credit; he is consistent, boldly consistent. A consistent enough atheist to despise Blessed Teresa of Calcutta is a rare occurrence.

Few anti-Catholics of any ilk dare to such heights of spiritual audacity, whether their principles dictate it or not. The foundress of the Missionaries of Charity is such a corporeal and spiritual proof of God's dwelling in the Church, such an embodiment of all that humanity wishes it had the courage to be, that both natural human reverence and idealogical self-preservation demand obeisance.
Pat Robertson has always been glad to glaze over her Catholicity and praise her work. While attending her funeral, Hillary Clinton likely blocked out the memory of Mother Teresa's unequivocal condemndation of abortion at the White House's National Prayer Breakfast. Yet, Hitchens has actually done Blessed Teresa the courtesy of listening to her full message and condemning it.

What is Blessed Teresa's full message? It is simply that of the Roman Catholic Church's, of Christ's:

If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master.
If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. (John 15: 18-20) thee, do we send up our sighs, mourning, and weeping in this valley of tears... (Salve Regina)

I do not promise to make you happy in
this world but in the other. (Our Lady of Lourdes)

Expect suffering here on Earth. Our true home and place is in Heaven. Expect happiness in the Hereafter. Naturally, one who doesn't believe in a 'hereafter' will rebel against such a doctrine. And there is yet another reason for non-believers to be incensed.

The Church does not teach that we must wait until Heaven to accomplish God's will. There is a fitting occupation for us in this World, even though the Earth is merely a way station. This occupation is constant and active submission to God's Will. To take up our crosses daily, and with a cheerful spirit, to follow in His bloodied footsteps is our charge. And being One Body, with other members of the Church and with humanity, we must also accept the sufferings of others as the Will of God.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta pledged her life to alleviate the pains of the poor, but according to Christ's paradox, she also accepted it. She boldly observed the beauty that the fruits of suffering may bring forth, namely, spiritual graces for those who have not yet grown to love Sum Qui Sum perfectly. St. Pio of Pietrelcina observed that Christ is in a sick man, but in a poor, si
ck man, He is present two times over. Blessed Teresa observed also the special spiritual power in the trials of the poor. Those who suffer the most on Earth render the greatest glory to God. Suffering, once a brand of ignominy is, in the Church, the seal of the elect.

Naturally, if one does not believe in God, this is a sick joke. Sick jokes logically make people angry when perceived as such. These angry people have enough goodness to wish their brothers in humanity the same comforts they have, and they become more furious when they see such a thing is unworkable. Alleviate poverty? Even given the possibility, what of sickness? What of accidents? Even given that such sources of misery could be eliminated, the fact
that suffering persons have existed in the past and do exist in the present time, cannot be remedied.

The misery of the unmiserable is thus begotten. In more rational and active minds however, it is not content to remain a vague or even acute feeling of displeasure. A man who is constantly and increasingly unsettled by something is likely to do something about it. If he cannot accept the dripping faucet, he'll rise from bed to remedy it. Obviously, his strategy will be sound or faulty. All of man's strategies are.

If his tactics are sound, they will succeed. However, if his very project was doomed to failure from the beginning, the wholeness of his intent will not produce a good plan anymore than an unfeasible end will be gained by practicable means. His reason may have tried to work out a solution that would dispel the problem, but if he did not consider the desirability of the result itself, his means will be at best inconsequential and at worst detrimental.

The 'result' that the haters of suffering wish to achieve is of course the end of suffering itself. This should not be confused with the attempt to alleviate pain by aiding the sufferers. The project described above is the effort to destroy the very problem of pain--to create an earthly paradise.

How could anyone object to such an endeavour? Even those who naysay it's viability should surely acknowledge what a noble or pleasant dream it is? It is hard even for the Catholic to suppress indignation at the sound of grey monks warning us against such a campaign. It takes the greatest effort of Faith to accept the Cross and to kiss its splintered timber as we bear it for no other reason than that God has said to do so.

However, as we walk by Faith and not by sight, we are given visions of worlds made in man's image, that do provide a concrete, if negative, reassurance that bearing the holy rood was the right decision.

Beginning even before Malthus, and not ending with Margaret Sanger, the desire to eliminate poverty, deformity, insanity, deficiency in existence--in brief, pain--the patients themselves are often eliminated. The argument that we would emply to justify shooting a horse with a broken leg is regularly, brazenly, and coldly applied to human beings living a 'maimed' existence by men and women of the highest office. Birth control, abortion, euthanasia, contraception--all of these means of preventing or quenching life, are the answers that those miserable with misery have to offer.

Chiding the Church for preaching abstinence as the right prevention of AIDS, some atheists have recklessly promoted the use of condoms at the expense of the people suffering in Africa. Many have dared to claim that by signing a check for distributing boxes of
prophylactic rubber to these unfortunates shows they care more than religious brother and sisters who have dedicated their very lives to ministering to these afflicted men, women, and children.

The pro-abortion idealogues have nothing but ad hominem smears, which they vehemently attempt to smudge against the pro-life faction. All their claims boil down to one point, and whether they own this fact is irrelevant: 'It's better for a child to die in the womb than to be born into pain. If you aren't going to give that child a happy existence, you have no business arguing that that child has the right to life in and of itself. Nor do you have the right to tell other people they should leave off the pleasure of sex if they won't provide for the life that may result. Man was born for pleasure. Do not interfere with his destiny, for some of us, as the murder of Jim Pouillon shows, are willing to kill even the post-born to achieve that destiny.'

The legally promulgated murder of Terry Shiavo, who endured the excrutiatingly slow death of dehydration and starvation, shows just how close euthanasia-on-demand is to our doorstep.

The utopian dream has materialised as a horrific nightmare. The war declared on suffering becomes war on the sufferers. Demonically comic and painfully futile, this jihad has taken hold of our age with frightening power, and no end of its campaign is in sight.

All that the soul can do is love. The love that burns with the most charity is the simplest, and fortunately there is enough of it left in this world that aid has been sent to Haiti in an attempt to stem the suffering. It is a blessing of the deepest kind, that God's ministers are also there to console the inconsolable.

Father Toussaint has given his people the same answer God gave Job. Life is good, because all things that exist are good. All things have their good in virtue of their being. The bruised apple is better than no apple; the maimed life is better than no life. Those wounded and woeful now in Haiti are at least alive and have been called to see their continuing life as a gift and to renew their trust in the Source of life.

We must not think that because we do not suffer with them that we have escaped the same call. As they say, 'Fiat voluntas Tua,' so must we. Rancour and rebelliousness is not the fitting reaction to such events. Weep, pray, fast, and give alms but then committ these souls to the Lord that loves them more than you can imagine.

Thank God for the material blessings He gives. Trust Him when they are withheld, not only in your case, but in that of others, too. Do not be uneasy on their account. Callous as that may seem, look where the indulgence of uneasiness can lead! Let Faith and Hope be your comfort and assurance that God is Love. Love never fails.


About Me

My Photo
Warsaw, Poland
Domine, spero quia mundum vicisti. Lord, I trust that Thou hast overcome the world. Panie, ufam, żeś pokonał świat.
View my complete profile