Tuesday, March 4, 2008

His Kingdom is not of this world!

Got this query in my e-mail:

Cardinal George is interested in your input! In light of the Year of Spirituality, the Cardinal's third question this year for the parishioners of the Chicago Archdiocese is:

How does working for Social Justice strengthen faith in God?

Quite simply, it doesn't. I spent the first twenty-five years of my life as a Godless Communist working for social justice and it never did anything to foster in me any kind of belief in God. I became a Catholic for entirely personal, philosophical reasons that in no way sprung from my longstanding and continuing efforts for Social Justice.

Once again, Oswald Spengler has it right:

To ascribe social purpose to Jesus is a blasphemy. In Jesus we have the direct opposite. “Give unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s” means: “Fit yourselves to the powers of the fact-world, be patient, suffer, and ask not whether they are ’just’.” What alone matters is the salvation of the soul. “Consider the lilies” means: “Give no heed to riches and poverty, for both fetter the soul to the cares of this world.” “Man cannot serve both God and Mammon” — by Mammon is meant the whole of actuality. It is shallow, and it is cowardly, to argue away the grand significance of this demand. Between working for the increase of one’s own riches, and working for the social ease of everyone, he would have felt no difference whatsoever. When wealth affrighted him, when the primitive community in Jerusalem — which was a strict Order and not a socialist club — rejected ownership, it was the most direct opposite of “social” sentiment that moved them. Their conviction was, not that the visible state of things was all, but that it was nothing: that it rested not upon appreciation of comfort in this world, but on unreserved contempt of it. Something, it is true, must always exist to be set against and to nullify world fortune, and so we come back to the contrast between Tolstoi and Dostoyevski. Tolstoi, the townsman and Westerner, saw in Jesus only a social reformer, and in his metaphysical impotence — like the whole civilized West, which can only think about distributing, never renouncing — elevated primitive Christianity to the rank of a social revolution. Dostoyevski, who was poor, but in certain hours almost a saint, never thought about social ameliorations — of what profit would it have been to a man’s soul to abolish poverty?

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