"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Now he will diminish

A German man receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday.

The pope is a mere man, and the Catholic faith has never and never shall teach otherwise. And when the current pope steps down and there is a new holder of the petrine office, this fact will stand in stark relief. When the key of the house of David is passed to another, and yet both men are still living, one having the keys and one having given them up, we will witness this truth of the papacy.

When I heard Benedict XVI was stepping down, I became excited. Not because he is a bad pope, on the contrary he has done a superb job. But this move shows to the world what the Church has always believed and taught: that the bishop of Rome is a bishop just like any other bishop, and a man just like any other man, and that his unique charism is all about who Christ is and the indefectability Christ promised the Church, and most pointedly it is all about the chair the man sits in, and absolutely nothing about who the man is who sits in that chair. The most powerful man on earth does not lift himself by his bootstraps and lord over the people as the kings of the earth do. He receives his power from Another, and is merely a chamberlain to the Emperor, or a Prime Minister to the king. As Isaiah 22, which Jesus himself refers to when choosing Peter as his steward says:

In that day I will call my servant Eli′akim the son of Hilki′ah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your girdle on him, and will commit your authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. And they will hang on him the whole weight of his father’s house...
And now, he will hand the keys to another.

He has passed the test. Now he will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Joseph Ratzinger.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gun Control? Who cares.

I'm sure back in the day a master archer liked to have a good quiver, but he didn't need it. If he found his enemy had stolen it from the camp in the night, or that his enemy wants to ban all quivers, he would simply laugh and offer his enemy his cloak also. He is serene in the knowledge that his effectiveness in battle has very little to do with his quiver, but has everything to do with his skill in archery, his bow, the quality and quantity of his arrows, his bravery, and above all, the quality of his Marshal and his Lord. He wonders why his enemy is so anti-quiver, but shrugs and crosses himself, thanking God for confounding the mind of the enemy to take the quiver and not his precious bow or arrows.

The Apostle Paul
is often depicted with a sword
 St. Paul says,

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of fortifications, destroying counsels, And every height that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ; And having in readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be fulfilled."

2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Guns are weapons we use to protect our weapons.

They are the archer's quiver. We husbands and fathers are the archer. The bow and the camp are our wives. The arrows are our children, the marshal is the Church, and the Lord is Christ.

Psalm 127 RSVCE (my emphasis)

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Lo, sons are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has
his quiver full of them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

If only Christians would worry less about the evil of gun control and more about the evil of birth control. As the psalm says, the watchman watches in vain unless the Lord watches the city. This means the watchman could have a supply of weapons like the in the Matrix...

with a nuke silo in the back forty and an aircraft carrier battle fleet down at the marina, and he could still be doomed. If the Lord has ceased to watch the city, then all the modern armaments in the world will not stop that city from being overrun. And now for the reality check: Do you seriously think the city is not overrun? Do you seriously think God is watching the gate? Of course He isn't. Why would he? The men of the city are at home playing Xbox and "polishing their swords" by giving their wives contraceptives. And what children they do have are not being equipped to battle against the culture of death surrounding us within the city walls.

 Now I know what many conservative Christian gun guys might say about all this,
 "Yeah, that's all fine and good, our weapons are not carnal and all that... yeah yeah I get it. But what about my AK47!? Big Brother wants to take it away! *sob sob*..."

My response:

Let's focus on the more powerful weapons at our disposal: our own children, first by being open to lots of them, and second by training them for war, and to train their children for war.

When we fully understand that the war we are engaged in is entirely spiritual in nature, I think the whole gun debate will become about as meaningful to us as a presidential debate. I am not saying we should not care about voting for president, I am simply saying it is of very little importance to our lives as Christians. In the same way, many of these distractions we men let ourselves get focused on are the equivalent of a soldier boasting in the town tavern while the war is a mile down the road. Just one single Christian father who allows himself to be seduced by pornography or video games or any other evil that our culture offers is a bigger defeat than if all guns were banned tomorrow in the US. Think about that. Just one father failing his family by giving in to Satan is worse than all guns being banned. We are in a spiritual war, and we need to focus on the true weapons of are warfare.

Lets engage the enemy by being the best husbands and fathers we can be, and mobilizing vast armies of warriors to do the same.

Saint Michael, defend us in battle