Sunday, April 13, 2014

All Things in Perspective

When one hears things in context, one is less likely to be blind-sided by things like this article from LifeSite News. From the American political perspective, the "left" will be shocked that "Papa Frank" is not "The fluffiest Pope evahr" (to steal a phrase from Fr. Z), and the "right" will be shocked that he is not " the great enemy of morality and the free market."

Love him, hate him, you can't ignore him.

This is the core of what heresy means - to take away; specifically to "take out" what you don't like, and leave the rest. It is to take a true thing, a fact, and take it out of context. Heresy - like all the best lies - is not dangerous because of the falsehood, but because of the truth with which it is wrapped.

To put it another way, "The devil doesn't come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you've ever wished for."

Our political parties, our social groups, our - let's be honest - cliques, how often do they become our comfortable heresies?

Do not take me out of context - I do not mean that we should not be engaged with our culture, or our national politics. The catechism actually states that we have a moral obligation to be engaged in politics.

Nor do I mean that we shouldn't have friends, communities, association with like minded individuals. These "home bases" are part of how we maintain sanity in an insane world, how we can relax and be refreshed.

The danger comes when we imagine that these communities, these political affiliations, these hobbies and common interests, when we forget that they are not the center - they are not all there is.

The source and summit of our life is the Eucharist, given to us by the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Political parties will come and go, interests and friends will come and go.

In the Eucharist Christ abides, eternal and unchanging, the center of all that was, is, and will be. He is the only ultimate truth, for He is Truth Itself. Our failures come when we forget that and replace him with our apostolate, our political action, our common interests.

Only when these are put in the proper context - Jesus Christ - do they bring life.

As we enter into Holy Week, we must ask ourselves: "What is the center of my life? What is the context of my life? What is my comfortable heresy?"

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