Back to Fundamentals

When the business man rebukes the idealism of his office-boy, it is commonly in some such speech as this: “Ah, yes, when one is young, one has these ideals in the abstract and these castles in the air; but in middle age they all break up like clouds, and one comes down to a belief in practical politics, to using the machinery one has and getting on with the world as it is.” Thus, at least, venerable and philanthropic old men now in their honoured graves used to talk to me when I was a boy. But since then I have grown up and have discovered that these philanthropic old men were telling lies. What has really happened is exactly the opposite of what they said would happen. They said that I should lose my ideals and begin to believe in the methods of practical politicians. Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my old childlike faith in practical politics. I am still as much concerned as ever about the Battle of Armageddon; but I am not so much concerned about the General Election. As a babe I leapt up on my mother’s knee at the mere mention of it. No; the vision is always solid and reliable. The vision is always a fact. It is the reality that is often a fraud. As much as I ever did, more than I ever did, I believe in Liberalism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Liberals.

By Liberalism Chesterton means the doctrine of self-governance.

Armageddon, indeed.

3 thoughts on “Back to Fundamentals

  1. Father Angelo, your post is timely. Today, I became angry (I’d like to think it is justified), again, towards the Catholic vote for death of the most innocent children of our nation. The percentage according to the media is roughly 54%. Included in that percentage are people who have all of the necessary information, education, and Sacraments to have voted for life regardless of the opinion of the candidate. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to hear that so many of these ranking Church officials voted for death considering their silence over the past many years, but especially during this election.

    This evening as I began to overcome my anger, I began to think how easy it was as a child to overcome the disappointment of the failures of those who were responsible for my well-being. How I wish I could have that same love for the Church officials who have betrayed our trust in their ability to lead us through some of the most tumultuous times in the history of human race. I vow to do all I can to amend my emotions and work towards forgiveness.

    The next logical thought is to realize that the men who should bravely lead us through the upcoming battles will not sacrifice themselves. They will not be examples of saintly martyrdom. Nor, do I expect they will imitate Christ in the shedding of their blood and water for mankind. Afterall, they have not been a voice, even a squeaky little voice, for those who can not speak for themselves.

    It is hard for me to continue this thought. Instinctively or perhaps by the grace of God, I know that we must joyfully accept whatever persecution Our Lord allows us to endure for the common good. I pray I can overcome the anger and imitate Christ on the Cross when He asked God the Father for the forgiveness of the ignorant. I fear I am too weak for the challenge.

  2. Nancy,

    You sound quite strong to me! But, you’re grieving … I think it’s okay to grieve. There’s a difference between that of grieving and that of feeling hopeless and/or unforgiving. It sounds to me like you’re making all the right efforts and that Our Lord will lead you to the place of forgiveness … but, we all probably need to let our anger not be snuffed, but put to some good use!

    I, personally, feel like I haven’t done all I can as far as rolling my sleeves up in this area … I pray for the end of abortion, I try to spread the word within my own little circle and I vote pro-life. But I haven’t always been brave enough to spread the word to people who I know will string me up by my toes. I haven’t stood outside of abortion clinics (due to the timing and locations …. but still). I’ve thought about being trained as a phone counselor for girls/women to call when they’re in the midst of a *crisis pregnancy*. I have selfishly allowed my everyday family tasks and needs to trump these types of activities. I do think there are enough people out there with more time on their hands than I, but they’re not doing it either. So, it probably means that people like us will need to sacrifice family needs a smidge to carry some of this. I guess I will need spiritual direction as to where one draws the line.

    Anyway, by thinking of my own short comings, I am forced to be more forgiving of others as well. It’s easy to pat myself on the back for the few things that I DID do in the pro-life efforts .. .but, alas, I cannot say that I did ALL I could do. Perhaps you can find it in your heart to forgive someone like me as well and then perhaps that will lead you to forgive our Church leaders at some point. It doesn’t mean that my excuses nor the Church leaders’ excuses are all valid or excusable … they’re not. That’s where our anger, I think, needs to make us push forward now in spite of all of our failures and clear weaknesses. sigh.

    Take care,

  3. I didn’t mean to misguide you regarding my emotions. They are in check. I am not grieving, but I am angry. I am the type of person who believes that people should suffer the consequences of their actions. That would probably be construed as harsh or uncompassionate. I am realistic when I say that we must prepare ourselves to joyfully accept the Cross.

    There are many people who have been silent for too long. Their silence is very loud. The FI are not silent. This is one reason why I love the order so much. I truly LOVE their spirituality. It is so logical, yet passionately loving. Their faith is beautiful and outspoken. I am blessed that God uprooted me from my comfort because otherwise I would not have had the immense fortune of getting to know them. I believe that if we took a Franciscan vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and consecrated ourselves to Our Blessed Mother, we can endure any persecution that may come our way.

    I am spending too much time on the computer of late, but I want to share some excellent advice given to me by more than one priest. IF I am taking care of my husband as I should, AND educating my children and caring for them as I should, THEN if I have some additional time to do something for the community outside my home, THEN I should discuss it with my husband and get his approval. I think the least we can do is write letters to various Church officials, though… 😉

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