Thursday, February 14, 2013
Choose Life Then
Although Blessed John Paul II coined the term Culture of Death to describe the culture of the modern world, it is clear from the first reading that the culture of death has existed for quite some time. Moses is speaking to the people of Israel(DT 30:15-20) thousands of years ago but his message is equally appropriate for men and women of the modern world. He sets before them a clear choice between life and death. One leads to prosperity and the other to doom. Choosing life is what leads to prosperity. Death leads to doom. This seems pretty clear, it makes sense. How then can we account for the overwhelming prosperity of the modern world when we have clearly chosen death? We murder our children in the womb by the millions, and we do so in a manner that is so violent(dismembering/cutting them to pieces) and viscious(chemically burning them to death), that we can hardly speak of what is actually being done to these babies and mothers. We have systematically changed the demographics of whole societies by eliminating some forms of life simply because we do not want them: Downs Syndrome children and those with other possible birth defects especially in the West, and Female babies especially in the East. The sick and elderly have become a drain on our so called prosperity, so we choose death for them. By lies and cunning we pressure them to not be such a burden, then we go on pretending it to be their decision when we in fact we have facilitated their suicides. At other times we out right kill them under the polite term euthenasia or under the lie that hospice eased their pain with a leathal dose of a narcotic. Our narcotic loving society loves to get high, to escape. We are constantly assuring one another that we deserve to unwind, relax, decompress. Prescription drugs and our societies addiction to them are ok because a doctor wrote a prescription. Illegal drugs are okay because we get them from a friend and he never hurt anyone, he just sells to his friends. Murder, kidnapping, torture, rape, beatings, violence, slavery, all these exist only in the movies or on cable tv. Those seven evils are only for our entertainment as we get high. We are not complicit. We pretend they had no part in our drug of choice getting to our family room coffee table. Our escape from life has become so important to us that we condone all sorts of behaviors that previously were rightly considered abnormal at the least but in fact are and always have been gravely sinful. Women's liberation has come to mean that women are free to degrade themselves as long as they are getting paid. Porn stars are now main stream. Strip Joints(Not Gentlemens Clubs) and family resturants are found on the same block in nice parts of town. Sexual perversion has become a best seller, in particular perversion that includes violence, pain, bondage and slavery. So called reality tv is our modern form of entertainment. We revel in the public degradation of others, in the devient lifestyle of others, in the sins of others. Websites are set up to arrange adulterous affairs and this is considered mainstream. Apps are sold so that sexual liasons can occure with no strings attached. Whatever escape you desire, society must be tolerant to it, accepting of it, and approving of it. Even when that desire can never transmit life as is the case of same sex unions or marriage, in this culture of death we are required to be tolerant and approve. Many do approve claiming a false compassion because they have Gay friends, co-workers, or family members. Of course many are tolerant and approving of others because they do not want to examine their own choices. Devient sexual practices are rampant in marriage today even in those who consider themselves to be good even holy people. Husbands are guilty of sodomizing their wives in one way or another, often times requesting it as a special treat. Wives are guilty of using sex as a weapon or tool to get their husbands to do what they wish. Husbands hide in the filth and perversion of pornography thinking it has no affect on their marriage or worse ask their wives to watch along with them believing it will enhance their marriage as they collectively enjoy the degradation of the men and women paid to perform. Particularly insidious in the lives of married couples is the grave sin of contraception so widely practised today that people are shocked to find out that it is a grave sin. Many women have even been convinced that birth control pills can be used to treat other health issues they are having. Or worse the health problems their teenage daughters are experiencing. In reality the Pill leads to disease and death. The practise of sterilization in marrige at the spouses request or at the financial planners advise leads to destruction. Yet good people are continuing to choose to undergo these surgeries as if it was a choice for life and a benefit to their marriage. The other side of that selfish choice by some is the selfish choice by others to make their own children through IVF. Having a baby to these couples is a right, an accesory, a privaledge they deserve. They kill any number of their own children in trying to get pregnant, to get what they want. They freeze others as if they were vegetables not human persons. All with a doctors approval. In fact all these sins, all these perversions and there are many more, all of them are performed and commited with the approval of others. The seeming prosperity of the modern world is an illusion, a lie. The Culture of Death is Doomed. We are like a seemingly normal healthy person who is riddled with cancer on the inside. We have placed ourselves and our own approval at the center of our very existance. God does not approve. God does not approve. He is the Lord and Giver of Life. He is the source of all freedom. It is clear then that we must choose Him. We must choose to obey Him in all things. We must choose to love Him. We must choose to walk with Him. In this we choose life and will know true prosperity. This is the choice that Moses gave to the people of Israel, and it the choice he offers us this day. Life and Prosperity. Death and Doom. Lent is a time to choose life. Lent is a time to put God at the center of or lives. A time to taste a see the prosperity that comes from living a well ordered life. It requires obedience. It requires love. It is a journey (a Lenten Journey) in which we can all grow. This is the invitation of Moses and it is the invitation of the Church every year during this Holy Season. As Jesus tells us in the Gospel today (LK 9:22-25) it means bearing our cross, and it will seem like we are losing our lives, our freedom but in Truth we will be embracing the gift of eternal life. For Jesus the world is not enough. He wants to bless us with a heavenly reward. The scribes, chief priests, and elders rejected Him. They chose to put to death the Author of Life. Choose Life then. Take up your cross. Commit yourself to God. Humble yourself and walk with Him. Love Him this Lent as you never have before. This is our call to holiness. Let those who have chosen death and doom see what true prosperity and life look like. That in seeing how good our Father is to us, poor sinners that we are, they may come to know and believe what we know, that is the love and mercy of God given to us in Jesus Christ our Crucified Savior.