Wednesday, August 30, 2006
How we may know chastisement is coming.
Burning Man (Painting by Andre Durand. I did not use the real title.)
We can know that a chastisement is being prepared for us without divine revelations or apparitions of the Virgin Mary. (Although we must be grateful to so good a Mother that she would help us discern the will of God.) Her apparitions have been occurring since the 1830's beginning with St. Catherine Labore, with warnings of chastisements. Since we seem to have recovered from every war and revolution we become more and more skeptical that any real chastisement could befall us. We become ever more complacent, permissive, as well as licentious. It seems to me there has been established a new world religion - not so much the "liberalism" Ann Coulter writes about - that is it's cult, or praxis - instead it is relativism that is the idol of this religion. Materialism, pleasure, leisure and convenience seem to be its "graces".
John of the Cross writes, [Chastisements] "can also be known in their causes, since the divine providence responds most certainly and justly to what the good or bad causes arising from the sons of men demand. One can know naturally that a particular person or city, or some other factor, will reach such a point that God in His providence and justice must respond in conformity with the punishment or reward that cause warrants." (Ascent II, 21;9)
What is so wrong in the world that it should merit a general chastisement? I don't know? Maybe read the news and not watch the censored and sanitized version of it on television. One simply has to just look around. Not just the wars and the rumors of wars - those are chastisements.
Abortion. I know everyone gets tired of hearing about it, and soon they won't be with the not-so-new "morning after pill", that guarantees even more promiscuity. Everyone takes contraception so for granted they fail to realize just how much of an affront it is to God. By it we attempt to make ourselves masters of our own creation, while misusing the gift of sexuality for our own pleasure. It cannot be a coincidence that homosexuality has gained such acceptance in a contraceptive culture. Sex without consequence legitimizes just about every other sexual expression. Just as abortion, legitimizes every other type of life choice, such as infanticide or euthanasia.
In our very well educated minds we convince ourselves there is no such thing as revealed truth that governs our lives. Everyone claims we worship the same God and that there is no religion any better than another, pagan goddess worship included. Everyone is equal. Hence, even the Catholic church may host pan-religious prayer meetings at Assisi praying for peace. We now believe every person can decide for himself what is moral or immoral. Thus man falls for the original lie and thinks himself equal to God, and this essentially is idolatry.
This is what happened in ancient Israel, when the people turned from idolatry and corrupted the temple worship. Turning to other gods is never pleasing to the One True God. It is never pleasing for him to see us engage in abominable behavior, such as infanticide, sacrificing children to idols for a life of convenience, whether by a pill, or a knife. We may not mock his creation by abusing his gift of sexuality through masturbation, homosexuality or transgender operations. It seems to me we have lost our sense of sin because we have forsaken true worship of God and authentic spirituality - thereby abandoning even the natural law.
So you see, we can know by natural reason a chastisement is coming. The question is, when?