‘Government as a human act of governing oneself and one’s responsibilities and one’s dependents is very different from the modern institution of the State.’ — Alana Roberts, from her film review of The Dark Knight Rises

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rubrics of love

Salvation is not about doctrine, but about love. There is, in fact, no salvation outside of love, because God is love, proven by His becoming one of us, and everything that follows from it.

We approach God always through love and never through doctrine. Does this mean that doctrine is pointless or of no importance? Not at all. But it is always love that gives doctrine its true meaning and value.

Loving God will always bring you to Him, but thinking about God at best brings you to the threshold of love, at worst locks you into a mental prison.

The invisible God becomes visible through love, but the visible God, our brother and sister, can become invisible through doctrine.

What is ‘the first and great commandment’? And what is ‘the second, that is like unto it’? And on what ‘hang all the Law and the Prophets’?

‘With the fear of God, with faith and love, draw near!’ intones the priest or deacon, announcing the readiness of God to receive us unto Himself in the Holy Mystery of His divine and life-giving Passion, fed to us spiritual infants on golden spoons.

‘You have only to open your mouth, for Me to fill it,’ says the Lord Almighty through His holy prophet, the psalmist. And, ‘precious in the eyes of God is the death of His saints.’

Yes, with fear, that is, utmost respect, even awe, approach God in your brother and sister.

Yes, with faith and love, trusting in the One who upholds all faithfully and who loves both you and them with an unconditional mercy.

We can do no more, and no less, than what we see our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ doing every moment of every day, not just in His ‘little Book’ the written scripture, but also in His ‘great Book’ the world.


Friday, July 13, 2012

The art of defiance

What do you do when you need to demonstrate to false authority that in you, no false conscience resonates to its shrieks? What do you do when you need to whistle in the dark, even when something in you does resonate to the claims of false authority, but you have recognized it and decided to sacrifice not a single good to it?

Welcome to the art of defiance.

Gaiety is never out of place in this situation. Arguments are.

Insults should be veiled. Make your opponent work to be offended and you will be one up on him, since he gave you mountains of offense for free. With luck you will be able to avoid engaging him in an actual battle and you will have nothing to regret.

Always tell the truth as simply as possible. False authority is built on lies; the more relevant truth you are able to pack into a sentence the more baffled your liberty-killing opponent will be since he has relinquished his relationship with truth.

Do not try to make your genuine claims clear to false authority. Like trying to cut tiny pellet with a pocketknife, your opponent will always slip out from under from the point. Rather, try your best to confuse him. As long as you consider him your brother, you will not want to confuse him – you will want to save him by altering what you perceive to be his honestly mistaken beliefs. When you realize that he is a devil-puppet and a soul-killer, you will simply want to stop him, leaving his salvation to God. Confusing him while making your genuine claims clear for thoughtful observers is the best way but requires skill. I recommend practicing on other people’s blogs.

I’m not good with people. Never have been. Since I don’t have that knack, I have to take the long way around and learn either through mistakes or through trying out the precepts in this book.

Defying false authority is fun unless it has real power over you and your loved ones. Then circumspection is called for. I’ve been in both situations.

— Alana Roberts, Curmudgeon in Training

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

We can now be men

Polytheism is man’s guess at God. It’s not so much the plurality that is the problem, but the fact that it’s man making God in his image. A manufactured God is still only an idea, and regardless of how beautiful or how true the stories about the gods are, they don’t lead anywhere, they only entertain.

That’s why even a monotheism that is man’s guess at God is no good, cannot raise us to a higher state of being, cannot save us or bestow life to those in the tombs. All it can do is incite us to efface and destroy the evidences of the common lie, that man can and does make up God or gods in our image.

If it buries every polytheism or monotheism that is not itself, perhaps it will not be noticed that it too is a lie. Since human freedom results in abuse of freedom, it seeks to eliminate freedom because it has no power to grant true freedom. Then, we are right to be atheists, if it is these gods or that God that we refuse to believe in.

Until the revelation of the true and only God, an honest man must be an atheist. If God does not reveal Himself, we have nothing to go on, only speculation. When God does reveal Himself, we find that all our ideas about Him fall short. We finally see that we have been wrong all along about Him, except for our guess that He must be.

When God reveals Himself, we discover that He is One after all, because His love, His will, and all His acts are one. When God reveals Himself, we experience that He is more than one because He is among us.

Our guesses about Him no longer must be judged as right or wrong, because now we know they were only stories, only ideas that we had made, without power to help or hinder us, to free or enslave us.

The games we played when we were children are finally over. The real life has begun, we can now be men, we can think and speak and act, as men. The Real Life has come, the desired of the ages has arrived.

It is only Jesus.