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Friday, November 20, 2015

Shekinah

The Lord Jesus cleansed the Temple, and John quoted the prophet: "Zeal for your house will consume me." He cleanses us in the Eucharist every time we receive Him worthily. As I go along, I have become more thankful for this. We should be able to say with a moral certainty that we are free of mortal sin, and we have recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation to recover the grace of our baptism, if not. Even so, we are constantly reliant on the cleansing blood of Jesus.

I was attempting to recollect after Mass today, when I was informed that there was smoke in the Cathedral Basilica, and I needed to leave. It's a big place. I didn't see anything obviously wrong, so I kept going, and tried not to worry. I made a joke to myself: "Are we sure it's not the shekinah? [The glory of the Lord, which filled the Temple after Solomon dedicated it]

A person in Christ who is keeping the covenant is like the Temple, when the Lord's glory filled it. I might not even feel that way, depending on what is going on. But it's the truth. That's faith: a certainty in things which are unseen. If God tells me I am the place where His Spirit dwells, who am I to disagree?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

This Is What I Remember

I don't remember much from the day they buried my father. I remember skipping the funeral Mass, but going to the burial. I was 9 years old. This is what I do remember: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

I know now that it is an expression of Christian hope that I did not yet possess. There is a difference, mind you, between hope, and presumption. Presumption is grounded in self-regard; hope is grounded in the promises of God.

What a beginning! Let's above all give thanks that God's promises grow ever clearer, and that all else fades.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rising Like Incense

Here's a text from the book of Revelation, namely, chapter 8, verses 3 and 4: "And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God."

I must admit, I haven't routinely thought of prayer as being this powerful. But what if it is? Suppose we are the agents of mercy before the final judgment. If you knew it only took one prayer between life or death, you'd offer it, wouldn't you?

When that seventh seal is broken, Heaven will fall silent for half an hour. The place of eternal singing and joy. That is The Day The Music Died. I don't really know what judgment will be like, but I don't want to be on the wrong end of it.

The Christian life isn't complicated; it's learning to praise God and give him thanks now, because everything that does not do this will pass away.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rain Down

I love the rain. Now that I'm Catholic, I can think of it as God's holy water. Isn't that the real meaning of the fact that he sends rain on the righteous and the wicked alike? Holy water is a sacramental, and sacramentals dispose us favorably to receive greater graces. It is for us to believe that God is mercy, and we will see greater things than these.

Don't miss a chance to thank the Lord. There may be a greater thing after the rain.

Monday, November 16, 2015

We Need Real Change

The pope speaks rather forcefully in Laudato Si about our technocratic paradigm of economic and social organization. It doesn't take much awareness of the social doctrine to understand the numerous problems with that paradigm. When your favorite presidential candidate doubles down on the paradigm, it causes chagrin. Apparently, we need fewer philosophers, because they don't produce anything, says Marco Rubio.

On the contrary; philosophers remind us of first principles, and to make arguments, instead of having them. Back to the point, you wish to lead a party whose greatest achievements led human beings out of soul-crushing slavery, but you seem to want to trade one slavery for another. It doesn't do any good   to rescue a man from the socialist state in order to sell him to the corporate one.

The great genius of limited government is in allowing people to find the best solution to a problem themselves. The true conservative does not question the legitimacy of government as such, but makes a prudential judgment about when it's not necessary. If the Republican Party continues to chase macroeconomic indicators and growth in the abstract without reference to the common good, it has nothing to offer the American people.

The real flourishing of people, from the least to the greatest, must be actively sought, not assumed to have taken place. We cannot continue to listen to economists and philosophers who believe the common good is fictitious! We cannot speak endlessly of morality, while believing that markets and transactions within them are morally neutral.

Economic growth is not opposed to community, but it is when sought as the primary goal of economic organization. There are no better technocrats; we have to change our goal.