"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Back to the grindstone

Thanks to all who've expressed concern about me. I've been spending the last few months looking for full-time work and doing occasional day labor. For reasons well known to those who know me well, I do not have the luxury of time; if I did, I'd be off to DC or Rome to earn a papal licentiate in theology, which would take about a year-and-a-half. So I suspended blogging for the duration, on the assumption that I would not have too much difficulty landing the sort of job I held for the last several years. For reasons understandable to anybody who follows the news, that assumption has proven incorrect; despite a number of interviews and promising leads, nothing has so far materialized. Yet I've decided to resume blogging anyway, on the principle that the Lord expects my abilities to be used in his service.

Spiritually, the break has been fruitful. I have not succumbed to depression, my congenital danger; indeed, I've come to realize that it had become too close and old a friend. I'm done with that because I believe God dismissed her. Instead, I have received a greater outpouring of love and support, from true old friends as well as new acquaintances, than I ever thought possible. I cannot and do not want to sing for my own pity party, because people do care and help. The Spirit is at work. Amid and often through my daily struggles, the Lord has been making clear to me that it's time to trust him completely and just do the things he created me to do. That's why I'm back. The rest will take care of itself. "Seek ye first..."

There's been much to ponder in what's termed "current events." Often, the mega-event unfolding through them does so without being noticed as such. I get the sense in prayer that what's happening in the world today is a clearing of the field for a truly decisive struggle between good and evil. The clearing process is most evident in the worldwide economic recession, which is a deserved crisis of trust, and in bioethics.

I do not believe that the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency will arrest the process; indeed, his ascendancy is part of it. Like the complicity of the German people in the Holocaust, his stand on abortion is atrocious because it does not, will not, recognize the atrocity. To hear him tell it, the moral question is beyond his pay grade. The atrocity will be held in check, if at all, only because the Democrats have failed to gain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. But whether Obama gets FOCA through Congress or not, this country stands under judgment. His election showed that the majority of the American people, including the majority of Catholics, cared more about their money and about getting past Bush than about the ongoing holocaust that their false conception of liberty has licensed.

The economic crisis is simply the unravelling of illusions that were sustained by the same sort of greed. As usual when a financial panic has set in, the new fear is as irrational as the old greed; so now we have a downward spiral rather than an inflating bubble. Eons ago, paper money was backed by gold that the government was presumed to have; now it is backed only by trust that people, and above all the government, will pay their debts with the same selfsame paper, or even with just computer bytes representing that paper. When that trust is diminished by real events such as the foreclosure fiasco, money is not lent, capital does not move, jobs are lost instead of created. I believe that the trust will not be fully regained. And I believe so not because I am ignorant of business cycles, in which booms alternate with busts; I believe so because I believe that God will no longer permit business as usual.

Humanity is killing its children and poisoning the planet at an unprecedented rate. The West, with its moral and spiritual decadence, faces a fanatical enemy dedicated to destroying it---not just in two active theaters of war, but in as many ways and places as they can. Above all, however, we are proceeding with the "abolition of man" himself. 

Britain and other countries now see nothing wrong with creating human beings for the express purpose of harvesting their cells for the benefit of others. Legally, such human beings can be altered and killed at will. The rot hasn't set in quite as far here; but it's only a matter of time, especially with the Democrats in charge. And it's only the latest symptom of the underlying disease.

First it was eugenics, which got a bad name because the Nazis practiced it; now it's back, in the form of "pre-natal screening," which will be ubiquitous within the lifetime of baby-boomers. And the ball's been rollin' for a while. Widespread contraception created the general impression that sex and procreation need have nothing to do with each other. That has been gradually destroying not only sexual morality in general but marriage in particular, which is why homosexual liaisons can be regarded as marriage, which they aren't. Then, artificial reproduction not only reinforced that separation but made it possible to treat children as commodities. With IVF, embryonic stem-cell research, and now pre-natal screening, that's exactly what we have. When sexuality becomes a commodity for the mainstream culture, our children are not far behind. And when that happens, it's a sign that we have surrendered completely to our own appetites.

One term for this is 'moral relativism'. Hving reduced morality to prejudice, policy, and will-to-power, we are left with nothing by which to evaluate our appetites. In that case, we are ruled simply by the appetites of the most powerful among us, and have no appeal against them other than our own. It's the law of the jungle all over again. C.S. Lewis termed that terminus "the abolition of man"---the title of one of the most prophetic books of modern times.

But I do not believe that God will let things reach that terminus. Humanity is not a mere evolutionary experiment doomed to self-destruct. Each of us, rather, is conceived by God in love, even when our human parents did not conceive us in love; each of us is destined to eternal life, bodily as well as spiritual, in fellowship with the Triune Love. That is why one of those Persons was sent to die and rise for us: to reach into the very depths of our wretched sinfulness, and of the suffering brought on by sin, so as to lift us into a share in the divine nature itself.  A God who wants that for us, and can do his own will, won't let us completely ruin the earth, and re-bestialize ourselves in the process, before the Great Restoration.

In the meantime, please pray that I soon get the job God wants me to have.

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