Wednesday, November 07, 2012

No lasting city...

Let the dead bury their dead.

Of course whenever I quote John of the Cross some readers who do not know me object because the counsel may not apply to them in their state in life. Nevertheless I believe there is something in John's precautions that is helpful for a soul's balance in ordering one's priorities.  So, let the dead bury their dead. That's pretty much my personal attitude about the election. When they ask for my shirt, I'll give them my coat as well.

As St. John says, "Take Lot's wife as an example, because she was troubled at the destruction of the Sodomites and turned her head to watch what was happening, God punished her by converting her into a pillar of salt. You are thus to understand God's will: that even though you live among devils you should not turn the head of your thoughts to their affairs, but forget these things entirely and strive to keep your soul occupied purely and entirely in God, and not let the thought of this thing or that hinder you from doing so."

If that doesn't work for you, maybe keep digging. 

How can you believe when you seek approval from men?

Christians are not approved by the world - indeed, Christians often do not approve of one another - all the snark online verifies that much. But how does that concern me when my job is to follow Christ? St. Seraphim Sarovsky assures us, "Keep yourself in peace and thousands around you will be saved." So there you have it - that is what I understand by the words, let the dead bury their dead. It is in reality a going out of sorts - outside the city gates, bearing the insult Christ bore. For here we have no lasting city; we are seeking one which is to come. Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is the fruit of lips which acknowledge his name. Our life is hidden with Christ in God and I need to fix my eyes on him, who inspires and perfects my faith.

Once again, that is what I need to do - let the dead bury their dead.



  1. Terry, that was wonderful. Precisely the perspective we need.

    Which of John of the Cross's works was that quote from? I have read his "Dark Night..." (I think it was; it's been a while) but don't recall it being in there. I want to make sure to read his other stuff, beginning with the work that contains that quote (though perhaps I'm wrong & it was in "Dark Night" but I just forget).

  2. My favorite St. John of the Cross was his commentary on the OT verse:
    " Do not fret, it only leads to evil."
    He notes that after trouble between we and a key person in life, we fret and the devil adds or subtracts from the ruminations about the other person so that we are subtracting goodness from them or adding evil. He was awesome in his uniqueness and outside the herd quality... which is not typical of Catholicism... and I believe in Catholicism but think much of our parroting e.g. on the recent change on and opposition to the death penalty bespeaks a herd mentality.
    Aquinas and John of the Cross seemed untypically unique...Aquinas for his time period and John of the Cross for all periods.



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