Saturday, June 27, 2009

Faith in God by Fr. Jeffrey Mickler, SSP

In an earlier post, I shared a YouTube homily by my new friend, Mr. Jeffrey Mickler, SSP. While I was in the hospital, Fr. Jeffrey sent me a link to a homily he gave just after our visit in Fresno. I am so charmed by his goodness and his faith and his joy that I must share it.


Athos said...

What a fine homily to come and hear all of a Sunday morning. His parish is blessed.

And, thank you for the kind plug, Gil. I hope your energy is returning slow but sure!

Jeff H.

Unknown said...

"Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."
- Mark Twain

From beasts we scorn as soulless,
In forest, field and den,
The cry goes up to witness
The soullessness of men.
- M. Frida Hartley

Mr. Mickler talks about how people without God are losing faith in the future. Which has a strange parallelism to Albert Camus' comment that the future is the last refuge for a people without God. Are those bungling futurists imperiling their future by leaving God out of the equation, or by not planning for it in advance? So which is it? If we burn out before we get there, we still have no future, with or without God. I guess God can be a refuge in time of trouble, or a complete obstacle to avoiding it depending on your particular view of things. But the bottom line here is the reductio ad Hitlerum that we're equivalent to the Nazis if we want to lower the population by educating people about their responsibility to be good stewards on behalf their own future children. Interesting how these arguments always devolve from sane aspirations into eugenic purges with a goosestep.

Sorry, I simply don't believe it's God who tells us to add unlimited numbers of children to an already overcrowded world starved of resources, and exploited to eminent collapse by human excess, it's the church, speaking for God, pretending that it knows what God wants, what God likes, and what God doesn't like, and insinuating that its audience had better like him and know him in the same way if they damn well know what's good for them. You may have noticed from continuously declining church attendance that this tactic, along with the tacit threats of metaphysical doom, doesn't work. It's not God compromising the human family; it's the human family compromising itself, and the church, invoking God as its ever silent partisan, that insinuates it's good that we should do so. Not only do we risk voiding the word of God with our traditions, we risk voiding ourselves in the name of the one who told us not to.

If we listen to God, as Mickler suggests, we are still stuck with what we mean by God, what we mean by listening, and what either of those has to do with acting on what God ostensibly says. If our actions consist of doing nothing but raising larger families and exploiting more resources while waiting for God to work it out, then we are not listening to God, for we are just continuing with business as usual. If we take action without invoking God as our ally, we will also confront consequences, but citing China, Hitler's Germany, and de-humanized humanism will not forestall the need for real change that only people can act on and be effected by, with or without the invocation of deity or human depravity. Just as people who fight wars insist on believing God is on their side, death draws the final card in the equation that trumps our hubris. Multiplying ourselves to extinction in the name of Catholic imprimatur is not good stewardship.