Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Struggle is not in Vain

Bishop Athanasius Schneider is a great teacher and he has taught again well recently in Rome (here). 

I know for a fact that many Catholic people today have a difficulty with Bishop Schneider. Some lay people, some bishops and priests are frightened by such clarity of teaching in part because it is confrontational and sadly, for whatever reason, they have been conditioned falsely to seek a semblance of peace which has nothing to do with the truth which comes to us from God alone in Jesus Christ. 

In this context, I would like to recommend for your consideration another approved author, a layman, Dietrich von Hildebrand and especially his book: Transformation In Christ, On the Christian Attitude and of that book, especially Chapter 13, Blessed Are the Peacemakers, (Kindle Location 4970). Ignatius Press. There we read:

"God alone, not a peaceable behavior as such, is the absolute good. Our fight for the cause of God is necessarily also a fight for true peace, seeing that the latter coincides with the victory of the kingdom of God. Therefore, the spirit of peace which must animate a true Christian will never restrain us from fighting for the kingdom of God. It will determine a basic difference in quality between that fight and any merely natural conflict." (Kindle Locations 5173-5176).

Many, and not necessarily all convinced Christians, diagnose the malaise affecting much of Western society, especially our youth, as rooted in the aimlessness which springs from a refusal to embrace real values and goals, enlightened by the truth. We, as adults, owe our young people an example approaching that of Dietrich von Hildebrand; we owe them a life's witness of clear thought and consequent action in defense of truth and God-given values. Beyond ethics or aesthetics, we owe them a witness of life lived in union with the Almighty.

On this last Saturday of the Church Year, the Office of Readings quotes St. Augustine talking about the Christian life as song pointed toward a more perfect hymn in our heavenly homeland:

"O! what a happy alleluia there, how carefree, how safe from all opposition, where nobody will be an enemy, where no-one will ever cease to be a friend! God’s praises sung there, sung here – here, by the anxious; there, by the carefree – here, by those who will die; there, by those who will live for ever – here, in hope; there, in reality – here, on our journey; there, in our homeland.
  So now, my brethren, let us sing, not to delight our leisure, but to ease our toil. In the way that travellers are in the habit of singing, sing, but keep on walking. What does it mean, “keep on walking”? Go onward always – but go onward in goodness, for there are, according to the Apostle, some people who go ever onward from bad to worse. If you are going onward, you are walking; but always go onward in goodness, onward in the right faith, onward in good habits and behaviour. Sing, and walk onwards."

Best wishes for an Advent truly lived and sung in company with the One Who comes, with Immanuel!


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