Thursday, February 12, 2009

What To Do?

The Word of God:

“If you obey me wholeheartedly, says the Lord, and carry no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, keeping the Sabbath holy and abstaining from all work on it, then, through the gates of this city, kings who sit upon the throne of David will continue to enter, riding in their chariots or upon their horses, along with their princes, and the men of Judah… This city will remain inhabited forever. To it people will come from the cities of Judah and the neighborhood of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the foothills, from the hill country and the Negeb, to bring holocausts and sacrifices , cereal offering and incense and thank offerings to the house of the Lord.

But if you do not obey me and keep holy the Sabbath, if you carry burdens and come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath, I will set unquenchable fire to its gates which will consume the palaces of Jerusalem.”

TW 301: “I’ll tell you a secret, an open secret: these world crises are crises of saints.
God wants a handful of men ‘of his own’ in every human activity. Then…’pax Christi in regno Christi’ – ‘ the peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ.’”

The Actual State of Affairs: A Remarkable Crisis. {2001: World Trade Center; 2008: NIHILISM}

The public square is now dominated by NIHILISM. Truth is not denied; Everything is true. Therefore, nothing is true

Death to the unwanted child +
No discrimination of the sexuality of man and woman.
Massive financial fraud: “The End of the Financial World as We Know It,” Michael Lewis.
Loss of freedom of speech. There is no mainline dissenting media.
Public office is now a transition to power instead of transition to service.

The solution is neither money (2.5 trillion $) nor even virtue. After the 2.5 trillion $ of the people’s money is thrown at the financial world, there is still declining trust. We can become virtuous but not changed in our attitude of seeking self.

Ratzinger (CWR1993): “in the present situation of emptiness, there looms the terrible danger of nihilism, i.e. the denial or absence of all fundamental moral reference for the conduct of social life.”

What to do? “These world crises are crises of saints:” “You are too greedy if God is not enough for you.”

How does one become a saint? One must “hear the word of God and do it” (Lk. 11, 27; Lk 8, 20-21).

The Radical Realism of the Word of God:
“In aeternum, Domine, verbum tuum constitutum est in caelo... firmasti terram, et permanet”. This refers to the solidity of the Word. It is solid, it is the true reality on which we must base our life. Let us remember the words of Jesus who continues the words of this Psalm: “Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”. Humanly speaking, the word, my human word, is almost nothing in reality, but a breath. As soon as it is pronounced, it disappears. It seems like nothing. But already the human word has incredible force. It is words that create history, it is words that form thoughts, the thoughts that create the word. It is the word that forms history, reality.Even more, the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our notion that matter, solid things, things we can touch, is the most solid, the most certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. He who builds on sand only builds on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will vanish. We can see this now with the fall of two large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. Who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is he who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is he who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent. Thus the first verses of the Psalm invite us to discover what reality is and how to find the foundation of our life, how to build life” (Opening Address of the Synod on “The Word of God”(Oct. 7, 2008).

Jesus Christ is the Word of God in Person. Sanctity is becoming Christ as gift of self. Is it possible to become “another Christ?” St. Paul (Gal. 2, 20) and St. Josemaria Escriva: read Rome, December 1970

The means:

Conversion: Savage Sincerity (tell the truth about the self); regular confession (weekly).

Spiritual Direction
: “The spiritual director has to help the person build up and strengthen his unity of life progressively, without allowing any aspect to remain voluntarily outside of his response to God, forming a pocket of selfishness. A grave danger for the Christian is that of becoming spiritually bourgeois, accepting a halfway dedication, placing conditions on one’s availability, seeking compensations, in short, abandoning the love you had at first (Apoc. 2, 4).

“Our Lord always asks for more: more, more, more, St. Josemaria repeated. Sometimes it will only be a small effort, other times, a bigger one; but always a bit more. Therefore, we always have to be demanding, in a refined way, but speaking clearly and without fear, for our Lord calls us to be saints and we cannot be satisfied with less. At each moment the soul should be asked for that which, with God’s grace, it can give. When doing so, we may have to point out that this does not mean that there is a lack of struggle, or that our Lord is not happy with them, but on the contrary, that he wants us closer to himself and is asking more because he is giving us more grace. No one should go to the chat expecting t be congratulated, but to let himself be demanded of.

“We should not forget that, sooner or later, fidelity presents itself as a radical choice which is somehow present all along the way: either to desire completely to fulfill God’s will, or else to seek oneself. This is the ego, either in its spiritual aspect of self-love, egotism, etc., or in its material aspect of sensuality of love of comfort; these aspects are always found united. Ordinarily, this radical alternative does not present itself all of a sudden, but builds up gradually through successive choices, small ones, perhaps, but ever more blatant.

“When a person, with God’s grace, honestly tries to respond affirmatively to the insinuations of the Holy Spirit, or if he changes course, realizing that he has not been completely generous, then he becomes more sensitive to seeing the will of God in everything, and following it. ON the contrary, the negative responses that he has not rectified leave him insensitive to successive calls.”

Small things: “Now every time we respond faithfully to a motion of the Spirit, out of a desire to be docile to what God expects of us, even if it’s something almost insignificant in itself, that faithfulness draws grace and strength down on us. That strength can then be applied to other areas and may make us capable of one day practicing the commandments that up until then we had not been capable of fulfilling entirely. This could be seen as one application of the promise made by Jesus in the Gospel” ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much.’ One can deduce a fundamental ‘spiritual law’ from it. We will obtain the grace to be faithful in the important things that at present we find impossible by dint of being faithful in the little things within our grasp, especially when those little things are the ones that the Holy Spirit asks of us by calling to our hearts with his inspirations.”[2]

Plan of Life:


The Mass: The Action of Christ Himself in and out of time. "Nuclear fission" that gives you the power to master yourself to do the small deed of the moment in ordinary life.

TW 301: “I’ll tell you a secret, an open secret: these world crises are crises of saints. God wants a handful of men ‘of his own’ in every human activity. Then…’pax Christi in regno Christi’ – ‘the peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ.’”

[1] Jeremiah, 17, 24.
[2] “Jacques Philippe, “In the School of the Holy Spirit,” Scepter (2008)20.

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