A conspiracy of goodness and mercy solving our problems
Friday, December 2, 2022
Today we have a throwback reflection from our Advent journey last year. As God gave Jeremiah encouragements from time to time during his hard time, so we too, need them. Yet as the world grows darker around us, and the times get harder for us as Christ foretold, it is good to always keep God’s encouragement to Jeremiah in the back of our minds as we fill our lamps with oil and prepare our souls with prayer:
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in a peaceful land, how will you do in the thickets of the Jordan? Even your brothers—your own father’s household—even they have betrayed you; even they have cried aloud against you. Do not trust them, though they speak well of you.…Jeremiah 12:5
What is that staggering piece of optimism that this Advent and all Advents teach us as we journey to Christ? That none of our present problems, none of the problems to come are without an answer. And that answer does not come from man nor his political platforms. It comes from a God who offers us his own mind on every matter, what is just and what is merciful in each instance. We are not left alone to our own interpretations. We have a God who has revealed His will through the mind of one fully man and fully divine! A mind we have full access to understand.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that we may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.1 Corinthians 2:16
It is the mind of Christ from where we can see hope and joy and solution for all the problems and divisions of this old world, a world soon to be destroyed by divine edict and replaced with a Kingdom wherein goodness, righteous, justice, mercy and truth will rule. But for now, He solves our problems in two ways: A thorough reading of and obedience to His word and a taking in of his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity upon His altar.
If I am to answer the question, “How would Christ solve modern problems if He were on earth today?”, I must answer it plainly; and for those of my faith there is only one answer. Christ is on earth today; alive on a thousand altars; and He does solve people’s problems exactly as He did when He was on earth in the more ordinary sense. That is, He solves the problems of the limited number of people who choose of their own free will to listen to Him.G.K. Chesterton, Our Tradition – If Christ Should Come
Can this Advent awaken the old joy of the saints from long ago within us to proclaim this wonderful news to all who are searching for it? Only we and God can answer that question as Chesterton reminds us below.
“The only question that remains is what was the joy of the old Christian ascetics of which their asceticism was merely the purchasing price. The mere possibility of the query is an extraordinary example of the way in which we miss the main points of human history. We are looking at humanity too close, and see only the details and not the vast and dominant features.
We look at the rise of Christianity, and conceive it as a rise of self-abnegation and almost of pessimism. It does not occur to us that the mere assertion that this raging and confounding universe is governed by justice and mercy is a piece of staggering optimism fit to set all men capering.
The detail over which these monks went mad with joy was the universe itself; the only thing really worthy of enjoyment. The white daylight shone over all the world, the endless forests stood up in their order.
The lightning awoke and the tree fell and the sea gathered into mountains and the ship went down, and all these disconnected and meaningless and terrible objects were all part of one dark and fearful conspiracy of goodness, one merciless scheme of mercy.
That this scheme of Nature was not accurate or well founded is perfectly tenable, but surely it is not tenable that it was not optimistic. We insist, however, upon treating this matter tail foremost. We insist that the ascetics were pessimists because they gave up threescore years and ten for an eternity of happiness. We forget that the bare proposition of an eternity of happiness is by its very nature ten thousand times more optimistic than ten thousand pagan saturnalias.” – G. K. Chesterton, Francis, Twelve Types, 1902
Our Advent Prayer
Dear Lord, please give me Your courage, for perhaps I lack it more than anything else. I need Your courage before men against their threats and against their seductions. I need Your courage to bear unkindness, mockery, contradiction. I need Your courage to fight against the devil, against terrors and troubles, temptations, attractions, darkness and false lights, against tears, depression, and above all fear. I need Your help, dear God. Strengthen me with Your love and Your grace. Console me with Your blessed Presence and grant me the courage to persevere until I am with You forever in heaven. Amen.
St. Joseph, Ora Pro Nobis.
Beloved, my prayers are with you. God bless you!
One thought on “A CHESTERTON ADVENT: ON A THOUSAND ALTARS”
God is awesome and is always with those who acknowledge Him. With God as our focus, our journey through this world will lead us to heaven.
Thank you for your prayers.
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