Thursday, February 21, 2008

"We'll be fine."

"Whatever happens, we'll be fine." - Hillary Clinton at the end of a recent Democrat debate.

Watching the Democrat debates this past week, which is essentially evil with a smile, I am now reflecting on how much I appreciate being Catholic. We all know as Catholics we have a sure rock promised to us by God never to falter. ...something to be grateful for.

I got to's political climate is "so what" when compared to the past 2000 years. So I say bring it on. We survived Diocletion, the Arians, the Moors, Turks, Mongols, Nazis, the French Revolution, and even the "bad popes". We will survive through apathy as well.

Our Hope should not be in one man running for office no matter how awesome they are at reading a speech someone else wrote for them. Humans when left to themselves and without God will always come to the same result: death. There is no hope in politics ever, and since the French Revolution there hasn't been much to be happy about. Hoping in politics alone is hoping against hope.

What would the result of earthly utopia be? People live in perfect harmony for 90 years and still die? There is no hope in that. As broken humans this will never be achieved because it is part of our fallen nature that we rebel and even search for reasons to do so. Reading Pope Benedict's Encyclical has given me better perspective on the theological virtue of "Hope".

Servant of God John Paul II
Reigned: 1979 - 2005
Fought Communism. The Church survives.

Hope is not everyone having a six figure income. Hope is not a perfect nuclear family. The Baltimore Catechism puts it "Hope is the virtue by which we firmly trust that God, who is all-powerful and faithful to His promises, will in His mercy give us eternal happiness and the means to obtain it. " The Church teaches us that Hope is a virtue that reaches out to God because He is external. He is not human. God is the entirety of truth, the entirety of justice, the entirety of mercy, the entirety of Charity. Even those words are lacking to express how much 100% actually means.

Venerable PIUS IX
Reigned: 1846-1878
Saw the end of Papal temporal rule. The Church survives.

And what this means to me is that I can look past the politics of today, which will always be the politics of division as long as we are human. But it is our Faith which makes the difference.

Pope St. Gregory the Great
Reigned: 590 - 604
Picked up the pieces after the fall of Rome. The Church thrives.

You see these holy Popes I am interspersing here? All of these popes reigned in some of the worst political times in Western History. I am doing this to point out the fact that no matter who gets elected or takes over by force, Christ has kept his promise never to leave us alone. "I will be with you always." He is and he sent his Comforter, the Holy Ghost to guide his Church ceaselessly and to fearlessly preach the truth until His return.

I am not excluding our Protestant Brothers and Sisters here at all. And while I think they are lacking the benefits of the visible Church their hope is still oriented towards Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI with St. Augustine reigns since 2005.
Fighting Relativism, Modernism, and Inidifferentism

But even still some of you might think I am ridiculous by placing my hope in some sort of invisible, unprovable God. Well I'm not intending to type the Faith into you. I can't and I'm not going to try. But I do have compassion for you because the kind of hope a secular existence brings is a few earthly trifles, all around good times, maybe world peace, and a painless death. Then its over.

Barack Obama does not promise true Hope. Nor does Hillary Clinton or John McCain. Their hope is more like trust. Hope (trust) in ME and your life will abound with goodness. I will do what is right, I will bring us together, I will work for the little man. All of it is false hope which merely extends upon a horizontal world view and preys on those who by no design of their own, nor merely of the randomness of the cosmos, need true Hope. Their hope is really a wish.

Charlemagne and Pope Adrian I
Papal Reign 772-795
Founding of the Holy Roman Empire.

But being human it is also our nature to take that horizontal world view. The realm of politics effects our daily lives and thus it is relatively important. So what are we to do? Wait around for a great Christian King to rise once more? It has happened before but we can't hold our breath waiting for political solutions. But there is a comfort knowing that as Christians we've read the end of the book already.

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"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton