Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday Night Adoration

On the first Monday of the month, Veritas meets for adoration at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento. Spending an hour in adoration of our Blessed Lord is probably a better way to spend my Monday nights than watching wrassling. Afterward when we met for our social at the local Irish pub, we began talking about the perennial problem of our generation: the belief that we can do anything at all. Our parents meant well but instead that notion paralyzes us. Once we commit to marriage, priesthood and religious life are out. Once we are ordained or take final vows, marriage is out. By taking one job I decline other jobs. By living in one place, I forsake living in other places.

It sounds tautological when written out that way, but our emotions get the better of us. We are reluctant to choose one action that precludes taking the equal and opposite action. Liberalism doesn't like unchosen characteristics such as race, sex, IQ, religion, or culture. Our public identity must therefore be based entirely upon the things we can choose such as our job, our university, and our conspicuous consumption habits. We are assured that we can do anything we want, but there is a noticeable bias toward glamorous fields such as writing, art, film, music or toward the secular priesthood also known as a scientist. Not everyone can be a writer, artist, director, musician, or scientist though. What happens to the people in humdrum every day jobs like secretary, teacher, janitor, plumber, carpenter, cubicle jockey? We begin to feel like we're lesser people than our liberal overlords.

God gives you certain inclinations, gifts, and talents. You can use them to serve him or not. G.K. Chesterton compared the Catholic worldview to a giant playground on the edge of a cliff. There's a wall erected on one end of the playground to prevent you from falling into the abyss. So long as you remain within the playground, which is as large as the world, you can choose what you want to do. The tough part for most people these days is discerning what it is they want to do. Once you've made up your mind, failure is impossible if you never give up.

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