Paul wrote this about the Eucharistic liturgy and the words of consecration. What I am passing along is hardly of comparable significance. In fact, it hovers somewhere between Gospel and Gossip, as does much of the flotsam and jetsam of cyberspace. But I would not be passing it along if I did not think it a good deal closer to the Gospel than to gossip, for the two things I am here passing along have what I think is a high degree of veracity.
Taken together they provide a very interesting background for understanding contemporary history and the recent trends in Western culture, especially on the European side of the Atlantic, thought they have, as you will see, great relevance for our own society as well.
Roy Schoeman is the author of "Salvation is From the Jews." Here is an excerpt that recently circulated in the blogsphere that is very much worth reading.
And then there is a letter sent to CNN about its recent "God's Warriors" series which appeared on the Gates of Vienna blog-site. As I said in an earlier post, I do not have a television and I did not see the CNN program, but everything I have read about it leads me to believe that the author of this letter has it right. It's here.
Taken together, these two unrelated pieces provide something of a backdrop for the spiritual and cultural crisis in the midst of which we are now living.
The historian Christopher Dawson:
We find ourselves back in the same situation as that which the Christians encountered during the decline of the ancient world. Everything depends on whether the Christians ... are able to communicate their hope to a world in which man finds himself alone and helpless before the monstrous forces which have been created by man to serve his own ends but which have now escaped from his control and threaten to destroy him.
Talking about disparate yet significant connections, Fr Michael Liccione in speaking re: mortal sin said:
There's a crucial fact usually overlooked by those who uncritically apply the Liguorian conditions (grave matter, full knowledge, and full consent): people can be and sometimes are culpable for lacking full knowledge of the wrongfulness of what they do, or propose to do. Countless are the cases when people can and ought to know better than they do, but they don't because at some level they have chosen not to. Whole societies can be swept up in that: e.g., Germany in the late 1930s, or Rwanda in the mid-90s. Thus, even when the Liguorian conditions for full knowledge and consent are lacking, there can be and are cases where full consent has been culpably withheld from the task of acquiring, or maintaining, full knowledge. Thus the sinner can be just as guilty as they would be if the conditions were clearly met at the time the obvious sin is actually committed. Rationalizations abound, and by no means are they all involuntary.
"The same is true of the culture adopted by the Nazis, as shown by its favorite cultural expression, the operas of Wagner. His famous “Ring Trilogy”, for instance, is at least on the surface an exaltation of Teutonic paganism."
If one cannot dig deep enough into one's subject to know that Wagner composed a cycle of four music dramas, the Ring Cycle, not a "trilogy", I have to wonder if we're not hovering nearer to Gossip than Gospel. Gospel shines light on everything, both Wagner's bigotry and unfortunate utility for later generations of bigots, AND his incredible genius for taking a fabulous tale (Teutonic or otherwise) and making it explode into life through some of the world's most amazing music, which we are very fortunate to still have with us. The Gospel illuminates the wheat and the chaff, and we cannot see only the chaff and hate it, nor just wheat and make it the whole truth.
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