“Some distribute their own goods, and grow richer; others take away what is not their own, and are always in want.” Prov 11:24
In recent times, a wave of great pride has come upon the privileged. Merit being a racist creation from past societies (so we’re told), we the enlightened, now have the good fortune to see political figures, lawmakers, high-ranking executives and even school board members, being chosen according to skin tone, genital mutilation, and preferred method of fornication. Those who are privileged to be included, can happily march on the parade.
Examples of this new privilege can be found on the executive team of Silicon Valley Bank, the risk department at Credit Suisse, the health department of the US and other western governments, school boards all over North America, and even on certain swimming pools to name a few. Airlines and even the army, are quickly updating their policies so that they too can join in. A man trapped in a woman’s body, is precisely who we need when trapped in an airplane, and I can’t think of a more ironic slogan for the Marines: “The few (and fewer and fewer) and the proud.” Perhaps the former is a result of the latter. Enrollment to the armed forces has kept declining to the point of alarm for recruitment departments. Is it possible that putting your life at risk for someone else’s truth or for D.I.E., “just ain’t worth fightin’ foh”?
The concept of struggles between diverse classes of humans is the problem socialists purport to resolve. Whether it’s rich vs poor, noble vs peasant, black vs white, native vs immigrant, Muslim vs infidel, Catholic vs Protestant, South vs North, West vs East, capitalist vs socialist, woman vs man, woman vs child, and so on and on, the theme is always the same: oppressed vs oppressor. Their response to the issue is also always the same: give us more power. The sales pitch being that once in power, those evil oppressors will be dealt with once and for all through, may we dare call it, a final solution?
But what if the solution to this problem is within the problem itself? Do we really have classes or categories of humans? Who determines the roles of oppressed and oppressor and on what criteria? If being a woman is merely a mental construct then why do gender-confused men rush to get breast implants and mutilate their genitals? Why do gender-confused women rush to get testosterone and mastectomies? Think therefore I am, is perhaps not quite so. Reality has a way to make itself known. As a proud boxer once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Seeing gender-confused men literally beat women in the ring, while the mob applauds, is the modern version of colosseum-based entertainment. More than a mere isolated event, this example illustrates a free fall of our civilization, the descent from man to beast.
The apple being offered today is presented differently, but its promises remain the same: freedom and power to do as one likes. Total liberty, the famous existence before essence, as offered by Sartre to his disciples. Pol Pot absolutely loved it. Will to power, the famous “God is dead”, was the apple offered by Nietzsche, and the Nazis devoured it too, seed, skin and all. Sin literally brings death – it was true in the beginning and remains til today. Bishop Barron calls it “spiritual physics”. Abortion (kill the child), euthanasia (someone kills you), medical assistance in dying (you kill yourself), one-child policy (reduce population), gender-affirming care (kill the possibility of pregnancy itself), etc are symptoms of the malaise St JP2 called “the culture of death”. As the old adage says, an apple a day, keeps the Doctor away!
The first sin came as pride – it wasn’t Lucifer’s lack of belief, as he certainly believes the existence of God, but it was his refusal to obey, to bring himself under mere humans, later on under a young Mother and her little Child, that led his first foray into human affairs at the garden. Once the apple was bitten, pride now had its root. From there, we quickly see a descent to lust, where the married couple can no longer even look at each other, having lost their natural sense of purity and love, no longer free but a slave to desire. There was no one else to look at, no organized religion with their rules, no state, whether organized or disorganized, with their laws, and yet the feeling of shame and fear overcame them (Gen 3:7).
From lust the descent continues to envy, as complete sexual liberty no longer suffices. Despite living in the richest, most materially affluent society in history, financial autonomy also no longer suffices. I must have what the other has. In fact, I have the right to have what he has. This is the next step on our descension to Dante’s frozen waters: sloth. Work and merit are enemies to my happiness, it’s white supremacism, which comes as surprising news to the ghettos of Boston populated with Irish and Italian immigrants, Portuguese and Polish construction and cleaning workers, German and Dutch farm workers, and Ukrainian refugees, to name just a few.
When sloth takes over and no one is left to “toil the ground for food” (Gen 3:17) , anger creeps in. Jane Austen in her book Pride and Prejudice, had one of the characters share the following insight: “That would be the greatest misfortune of all! To find a man agreeable whom one is determined to hate.” Cain was determined to hate Abel (Gen 4:8), the same way worldly powers, religious bureaucrats and individual relativists were determined to hate Christ. The “final solution” constantly and inevitably always being death.
Whether it’s lust, envy, sloth or anger, these are all primarily symptoms of our pride, the idea that there is no God, and if there is, that He is distant and not present in our daily lives. The Romans had after all, a great diversity of gods in their pantheon, which were included and even celebrated in daily Roman life. The Jewish priests themselves (Sanhedrin) also found a way to co-exist with the Roman authorities. What both could not tolerate, was the presence of the living God, a Divine Person in their midst, because they feared that meant an end to their temporal authority and power over the people. More importantly, it meant they needed to change, to be obedient, to realize there’s someone greater and that their actions, thoughts and words would be known and judged. This was unbearable for them. Not much has changed: the state still welcomes private gods, and religious authorities continue to go along to get along (i.e. Pope Francis’ deal with China), but they will not tolerate objective Truth, and since Christ is the Truth and Life, it follows that they will not tolerate any objective Christian. “And if the world hates you, know that it hated me first”….(Jn 15:18). This is why we have the FBI arresting unarmed Christian fathers from their homes (i.e Mark Houck), and religious authorities coordinating with the state to keep churches closed (i.e. Bishop Crosby of Hamilton Diocese). Upon reflection, it’s almost like the Real Presence of Christ was arrested, house-arrested perhaps, but arrested nonetheless, with no visitors allowed.
If pride, our attempt to be gods, is the root of all sin, and sin leads to death, then humility, our attempt to be saints, is the root of all virtue, and virtue leads to Life. Like the sun that shines on all of us, so does the Son shine His grace freely to all of us. The only question is will you refuse this gift, simply put it aside, or open it and use it? Here’s what Christ had to say for the one that buried the talent, then sat around waiting for his master, and finally re-gifted it back to Him upon His return: “As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” (Mat 25:30)
In the parable of the talents (Mat 25:14-33), there’s a master and 3 servants. Not only are the servants not equal to the master, even their abilities are not equal, “To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one, each in proportion to his ability.” This is meritocracy! Clearly, this master did not employ a D.I.E. department, for if he had, he would’ve given one talent to each of the servants, and expected the equal outcome of no profit from each. Then everyone would be happy. Amazingly, despite their different circumstances, different starting points, they were all given equal opportunity to “come and join in your master’s happiness”. Churchill once remarked, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” The story ended with Christ separating the goats to His left, and His flock to His right. Not going to say this was any sort of political endorsement, but given our current times…
Friends, we have the privilege of faith that came to us through the blood of the martyrs, the blood of knights and soldiers, the Blood of Christ. In other words, through Sacrifice. My father, not my skin colour, took me across the ocean to this great country. My father, not a government bureaucrat, worked 12 hour shifts to provide me with food and shelter. My father, not some school counselor, gave me my education and taught me the value of hard work. All the privileges I have today came from the sacrifice of our forefathers running through the frozen, mine-infested waters of Normandy, from the sacrifice of my father working long hours through the hot and humid Canadian summers, and from the Sacrifice of Our Father.
The flag of our fathers is not pride, but humility and sacrifice. We have the great privilege to carry it.
“Fly high the Cross, the love of Christ proclaim
Til all the world adore, His sacred name!”
St Joseph: Pray for us
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