Go Do The Same
By Fr. Robert J. Carr
In Sunday's gospel we hear the 72 disciples celebrate that even the demons are subject to them. They are surprised by what they have experienced. Yet, what is most important about their exclamation is that they are learning more and more about what it means to be human. When we fulfill our destiny by living in relationship with Christ, we become more divinized and therefore even the Demons are subjected to us. However, when we reject Christ and choose to go our own way, we never learn the fullness of our reality. Yet, the demons aware of who we really are and bent on destroying that which is of God make us subject to themselves. This is the human reality.
We are right now on the precipice of coming to full understanding of that very consequence of our choices. The fruit they bear is either for better or for ill.
The Age of Non-Morality
In what will prove to be one of the most important articles for the twenty first century and beyond, Benjamin Wiker, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and a lecturer in Theology and Science at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, writes in Crisis Magazine about how we are in a stage of human reality where morality is being cast out. We are not in a time of a new morality but a non-morality. He explains that the origin of this point goes back five hundred years to a time when Francis Bacon began a school of thought that called not for "passive acceptance of human nature, but active testing and remolding of nature."
If you recognize that mentality, it is as ancient as the Tower of Babel in an advanced form. We have been saying for quite some time that this self-exalting anthropocentric ideology is what we are competing against in our world today. It is that movement that is seeking to silence the Catholic voice using techniques perfected during the rise of Communism and Nazism in the Twentieth Century.
The Key to Life Christian Anthropology
Yet, the problem is that what is at the bottom of all of this is Anthropology, the definition of the human. Jesus expands his disciples' understanding of the human. They realize that they can have not only a relationship with God, but can share his reign and his power. They discover that even the demons are subject to them in his name. That is who the Christian is. That is why Christians have powers that secularists do not. That is why the Church has the rite of exorcism and why Christians pray in tongues for example.
Yet, we are living in a world that exalts the human to the exclusion of the Divine. That means we are in a world that is vulnerable to the destructive power of ignorance of all of reality.
Consider this, you can live on the American plains for example and have not a care in the world about nature and about your environment. You can even assume that you are safe each day of your life as you carry out your daily chores. You are free from any cares or worries about your environment. Yet, suddenly you discover that this attitude makes you most vulnerable to the damages that happen when the environment turns ugly. You never understood that you are part of nature not more powerful than nature. Indeed, it was just that mentality that sunk the Titanic and all the victims that went down with it.
Expand Your Self-Understanding
So it is with our relationship with God. Jesus teaches us to expand our understanding of what it means to be human to go beyond what is visible and to include what is invisible to our own limited biological structures. When we don't and assume we are just who we appear to be, then we become vulnerable to any dynamic that can overcome us.
Do not exalt, for example, any alleged genius in Cambridge until our prisons are empty and there are no more gun toting gang members in Boston. The atheistic genius in Cambridge cannot change the heart of the gun-toting gang member on Washington Street because he has nothing to offer him beyond what this world offers. Yet, even the gang member must stand in the face of the miracle that is part of Christian life. Even if he rejects the miracle, if he cannot explain it, he is mystified by it. That is a power that even all of Harvard University does not have, but you do. Using that power you can change the heart of the gang member in a way that Harvard University cannot.
Yet, the minute we reject God and say there is nothing beyond the material, we become vulnerable to the weakest members of our society such as the gang member. Our lives are dictated by those fears that leave us vulnerable to the gang members' abuse and power.
What Makes Us Who We Are
What is the difference between Osama Bin Laden and Mother Teresa? Saddam Hussein and Pope John Paul II, Jeffery Dahlmer and Saint Martin De Porres? St. Peter and Judas? Each are human yet, what lead one to follow one direction and one to follow the other? Both began the same way in the same methods. Once they entered our world their paths diverged, what made the difference. This is what Jesus brings to light. This is what Peter discovered in his weakness and Judas fell victim to in his pride. That is the difference between the gang member and the saint.
This is why Christian Anthropology is so important. That understanding of what it means to be human makes the difference between the loving society and the poisonous one, the hope of eternal life and the hopelessness of economic despair, the power of the person who trusts in God's love and the fear of the person who is dominated by the fellow human out of control.
If even the demons are subjected to us as disciples of Christ, then we need not succumb to their power. Yet, our ability to live as people of faith may make the difference between others falling victim to the most evil of men or watching the most evil of men crumble in humble repentance and remorse, because Christ became real to them by those who could subject even demons to his power.
If you seek to do the will of Christ, you have the power to do that.
http://www. catholicismanew.org MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - Priest, 617 542-5682
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