“Kojo No Tsuki” (Rentaro Taki), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Michio Mamiya, & Patricia Zander, from the album “Japanese Melodies” (1990)
Why do we suffer? In the movies the hero usually wins in the end, albeit occasionally dying heroically for others, as in the movie “Armageddon”.
But it does seem that in the “real” world, outside of the story teller’s fantasies, it is usually the bad guys who seem to always end up on top.
Why does this seem to be the case? In this world, at least, no good deed goes unpunished. All the ruined castles of our dreams are stark testimony to this sad fact.
I have observed this and wondered about it for decades, once it became apparent that there were good guys and bad guys and good causes and bad causes outside my own narrow personal concerns.
In my teens I left the church of my birth and headed out into the wide world on my own. In my attachment to my own intelligence, my human imagination, my pride, I couldn’t conceive of a God who created the whole universe and everything in it, that still had time for a person called Joe, some lonely grain of sand on the beach of life.
The idea of being loved personally by God was “inconceivable”. I measured everything in human terms, my own yardstick. Now, at 66 years young, I find myself with a completely different point of view. I have seen enough and read enough, and thought enough to understand that although it “seems” that the bad guys always win, in fact this is a never ending story.
After the entire history of the world, the bad guys are still trying their best to overcome “good” in their own narrow interest, no matter how big it appears to be to those of us experiencing it personally in the here and now.
Still trying, never actually winning, no matter how loudly they brag, or threaten, no matter how often they declare victory, no matter how often they declare the case closed, the matter settled, that “all right thinking people” know the truth … they never actually win.
Just witness Child Justin’s recent embarrassments concerning splash-back about “groping” and pedophile friends getting arrested. Paraphrasing Jesus “virtue signalling is its own reward”.
Total victory always eludes the bad guys, and this story, through all of historical time, this entire struggle, is but a split second in eternity … The Angelic creatures, the Heavenly host, exist in God’s eternal now and their choices are instant for eternity and irrevocable.
But we, we mortals are truly blessed, mankind has been gifted by our Divine Father with a lifetime, an existence within time, a time for rousing, a time for choosing, a time for conversion, a time for repentance.
Someone famous and holy once remarked that “our entire life is but a single night in a bad hotel”. Another remarked “What does it matter in the light of eternity, “Quid hoc ad aeternitatem” in Latin.
Our default condition is love of self, this is our “natural state. And uniquely amongst all the created, we are gifted with intelligence, free will and time, time enough for change, for conversion, for repentance.
I am reading a book right now called:
“THE MYSTICAL CITY OF GOD, THE DIVINE HISTORY AND LIFE OF THE VIRGIN MOTHER OF GOD MANIFESTED TO MARY OF AGREDA FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF MEN.
Translation from the Original Authorized Spanish Edition BY FR. GEORGE J. BLATTER under his nom de plume Fiscar Marison COMPLETE EDITION CONTAINING ALL FOUR VOLUMES WITH GENERAL INDEX AS WELL AS SPECIFIC TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR EACH VOLUME ILLUSTRATED
Edited by Paul A. Böer, Sr. VERITATIS SPLENDOR PUBLICATIONS et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos (Jn 8:32) MMXIII
I have a hard copy in 4 volumes and also an eBook on my Kindle. It was heavy going at the start but I have reached chapter 13 in volume 1 now and it is much easier. And it is very much to the point regarding why things are as they are in the world as we know it.
Mary of Jesus of Ágreda (Spanish: María de Jesús), OIC, also known as the Abbess of Ágreda (2 April 1602 – 24 May 1665), was a Franciscan abbess and spiritual writer, known especially for her extensive correspondence with King Philip IV of Spain and reports of her bilocation between Spain and its colonies in New Spain (now New Mexico and Texas). Also known as “The Blue Nun”, she was a noted mystic of her era.
She is an “Incorruptible” and her body is on display at her Abbey in Agreda. The skeptics of this world have no rational or scientific explanation for the documented fact of multiple cases of “Incorruptibility”. The Communist Party of Russia (a few of the modern “Bad Guys”) tried to replicate it with the body of Lenin using modern embalming and makeup techniques.
Anyway, I would not have given her book a second glance at age 16, I knew everything already back then. But now it sings a True song. I am going to quote at length from it, and also from St. Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians, because I watched the new movie “Paul, Apostle of Christ” a couple of days ago and was much impressed.
So if that sort of stuff is not your cup of tea then just give it a pass. When and if you are ready for it it will sing to you as well … here goes: from volume 1 pp 109 vs 112 thru 113
“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)
” … the eternal Father conferred with the other Persons of the blessed Trinity in regard to this petition. He also partly revealed to the holy angels the decree of this divine consistory, saying, in regard to the sacraments resolved upon: “Lucifer has raised the banner of pride and sin and will persecute with all his malice the whole human race.
With cunning he will pervert many men, availing himself of their own passions for their destruction.
In the blindness of sin and vice men will prevaricate, heedless of danger. But his lying pride, his sins and vices, are infinitely distant from our nature and wishes.
We will therefore bring out the triumph of virtue and sanctity; for this purpose the second Person will assume human nature; He will exalt and teach humility, obedience and all the virtues, and thus will secure the salvation of mortals.
Being true God He will become humble and submissive. He will be the Just Man, the Model and Teacher of all virtues. These alone shall be accredited before our tribunal and shall always triumph over vices.
We will raise up the lowly and humble the proud (Math. 11, 28) ; we will make labors and endurance praiseworthy in our sight; we resolve to help the afflicted and the sorrowful. Let them be corrected by afflictions and thereby advance in our grace and friendship and, according to their capabilities, reach salvation in the practice of virtue.
Blessed will be they that weep (Math. 5, 3), and happy the poor and those that suffer for justice sake and for Christ, their Chief; and the insignificant ones shall be magnified, the meek of heart exalted.
The peaceful shall be loved as our sons. Most dear shall those be to us, who forgive and suffer injuries and love their enemies. We will assign to them copious benedictions of our grace and an immortal glory in heaven.
Our Onlybegotten will put in practice these decrees, and those that follow Him shall be our chosen ones, our cherished ones; they shall be refreshed and rewarded by Us; their good works shall be engendered in our own mind, which is the first cause of all virtue.
We give permission to the bad ones to oppress the good, thus helping them to gain the crown, while for themselves they increase the punishment. Let there be scandals (Math. 18, 7) for the common good; unhappy be those that cause them, and blessed they that are proved by them. The vain and the proud will afflict and despise the humble; the great and the powerful will oppress the lowly and abject ones. They will give benediction instead of curses (I Cor. 4, 12).
While they are pilgrims, they shall be rejected by men, but afterwards they shall be ranked with the angelic spirits, our sons, and they will enjoy the seats and crowns, which the unfortunate and unhappy apostates have lost. The stubborn and the proud shall be condemned to eternal death, where they will recognize their foolish proceedings and their perverseness.
113. “In order that all may have a true model and superabundant grace, if they wish to use it, the Son will descend, capable of suffering and as a Redeemer, and He shall save men (whom Lucifer defrauded of their happy state); and He shall raise them up through his infinite merits.
We have resolved and determined upon the salvation of men, through a Redeemer and Teacher, who shall be able to propitiate and to teach, who shall be born and live poor, shall die despised, condemned by men to a most ignominious and frightful Death; who shall be esteemed a sinner and a criminal, and yet shall satisfy our justice for the guilt of sin.
On account of his foreseen merits We will show mercy and kindness. All will understand, that those who are humble and peaceful, those that practice virtue, that suffer and yet forgive, are the followers of Christ and our sons. Nobody will be capable of entering by his own free will into our kingdom, unless he denies himself, and, taking up his cross, follows his Chief and Master.”
Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations. Veritatis Splendor Publications. volume 1 pp 109 vs 112 thru 113.
” … As soon as Lucifer with his followers entered hell, they assembled in general council, which lasted to the morning of Thursday.
During this time Lucifer exerted all his astuteness and diabolical malice in conferring with the demons and concocting plans to offend God so much the more deeply, and to obtain revenge for the chastisement, to which he had been subjected.
They came to the conclusion and resolved that the greatest vengeance and injury against God would be to impede the effects of the love, which they knew God bore toward mankind.
This they hoped to attain by deceiving men, and persuading them, or even, as far as possible, compelling them to neglect the friendship of God, to be ungrateful toward Him, and to rebel against his will.
123. “This we must strive to do,” said Lucifer, “toward this end we must apply all our forces, all our solicitude and knowledge. We will subject the human creatures to our influence and will, in order to destroy them. We will persecute this race of men and will deprive them of the reward promised to them.
We will exert all our vigilance, to prevent them from arriving at the vision of God, which was denied us unjustly. I will gain great triumphs over them; I will destroy them all and subject them to my designs. I will sow new sects and errors, and set up laws contrary to those of the Most High in all things.
I will raise up from among men false prophets and leaders, who will spread these doctrines (Act 20, 30) and I will scatter this seed through them and afterwards I will assign to them a place in these profound torments. I will afflict the poor, oppress the afflicted, and persecute the timid.
I will sow discord, excite wars, and stir up nations against each other. I will raise up proud and haughty men to extend the dominion of sin and after they shall have executed my designs, I will bury them in this eternal fire, and in so much the greater torments, the more faithfully they followed me.
This is my kingdom and this is the reward which I will give to those who follow me.” 124. “I will wage fierce war against the incarnate Word, for although He is God, He is also man, and therefore of a lower nature than mine.
I will exalt my throne and my dignity above his; I will conquer Him and will humble Him by my power and astuteness. The Woman who is to be his Mother shall perish at my hands. What is one Woman against my power and greatness?
And you, ye demons, who were injured together with me, follow me and obey me in the pursuit of this vengeance, as you have followed me in disobedience I Pretend to love men, in order to destroy them; serve them, in order to ruin them and deceive them; help them, in order to pervert them and draw them into these my hellish regions.”
No human tongue can explain the malice and fury of this first council of Lucifer and his hosts against the human race, which although not yet in existence, was to be created. In it were concocted all the vices and sins of the world, thence proceeded lies, sects and errors; all iniquity had its origin in that chaos and in that abominable gathering, and all those that do evil are in the service of the prince of this assembly.”
Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations. Veritatis Splendor Publications. Volume 1 pp 117-119 vs 122 thru 124.
And St. Paul has something similar to say:
The Light of the Gospel
We refuse to practiceth cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Treasure in Jars of Clay
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
11For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you. 13Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak,
14knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 4
I suppose that is pretty much enough inner struggle for now …
So, more cancer stuff to follow, as I make more progress in my new Cancer book.
Pop Quiz! “Science” Good Guys or Bad guys?