“Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)
Thinking about the divinity of Christ and stewardship. There seems to be some controversy around the Amazonian Synod these days, a certain resurgence of the 60’s beliefs that place man subordinate to Nature in the cosmic scheme of things.
There are flavors of pantheism, and animism, and priestesses of Gaia and a little wiff of Arianism and even the return of Liberation Theology, and the Green-Vegan assertion that perhaps mankind should not be seen as the guardians of mother earth but rather as her “house-guests”.
In fact, reality is that we were created as the Stewards of God’s Creation … it is our assigned task … God is our employer so to speak in that role and it is not up to us to decide that we are not up to the task, or that we are only “house-guests”. It is God’s role to chastise us if we are not good and faithful stewards. and we are truly experiencing a chastisement these days, are we not? How are things going in the world where you are?
Recently Robert Royal, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., wrote the following in an article: “… We discovered that we had each just come upon, independently, a passage in Lord of the Rings, where Gandalf is speaking with Denethor, who is steward, but not king, of Gondor. Things look bleak. Sauron is about to attack. Denethor is trying by any means he can to hold on to power.
Gandalf speaks to him of the predicted return of the true king:
. . . my lord Steward, it is your task to keep some kingdom still against that event [the king’s return], which few now look to see. In that task you shall have all the aid that you are pleased to ask for. But I will say this: the rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. [Emphasis added.]
In short, in times like these, if we are wise, we too all become intentional stewards; we take care to preserve or grow whatever we can, even as the large forces of history and culture stagger around, and the large schemes to control them seem mostly to make things worse.
And there’s another large benefit of realizing you are a mere steward: you also come to understand how much we always need the King of Kings to guide his Church.“
Now my post is mostly made up of verses from scripture … verses which I believe are particularly applicable to our modern day and age. I wrote in the previous post:
“It seems that whenever mankind has things good, the first thing mankind does is thumb the nose at God or some even flip Him the bird, God doesn’t exist, God doesn’t care, I don’t know about God but I am definitely gonna worry about me first and have fun right now. 4000 unbroken years of “Things are great, God doesn’t matter! WHOOAAAH! Things are BAD! “You and me Lord, You and me!”
Prosperity, Peace, Babylon, Prosperity, Peace, Persia, Prosperity, Peace, Rome, Prosperity, Peace, Islam, Prosperity, Peace, Nationalism, Prosperity, Peace, Communism, then came the 20th century and WWI, WWII, and WWIII, Prosperity, Peace, ISIS, now into the 21st century, … are things looking better or worse than last century?
Does anyone notice a pattern here? Where do we feel that we are on the Prosperity, Peace, Disaster, Downfall cycle? We can look at what is actually going on around us and, in spite of what out leaders and the elite of the intelligentsia tell us, all those happy Brights do things seem OK to you?”
Your mileage may vary, but my gut tells me we are approaching a major correction … again. So every day is a day for praying and reading scripture, but especially Sunday, and Joshua has some things to say about the behaviour of people which are still applicable to we the people in this day and age, especially applicable in this day and age I think.
Scripture speaks of this … four millennia of up and down … seems like the folks have always had a short attention span, an event horizon only a few inches in front of their nose, and a pathological abhorrence of studying history, to at least try to learn from what went before … the magisterium of experience so to speak. for what really matters is recounted in scripture, not in the politically correct social studies texts which are the indoctrination instruments of the current generation of pond scum at the top of the stagnant pool, the pool of worship
1And when a long time was passed, after that the Lord had given peace to Israel, all the nations round about being subdued, and Josue being now old, and far advanced in years: 2Josue called for all Israel, and for the elders, and for the princes, and for the judges, and for the masters, and said to them: I am old, and far advanced in years: 3And you see all that the Lord your God hath done to all the nations round about, how he himself hath fought for you:
4And now since he hath divided to you by lot all the land, from the east of the Jordan unto the great sea, and many nations yet remain: 5The Lord your God will destroy them, and take them away from before your face, and you shall possess the land as he hath promised you.
6Only take courage, and be careful to observe all things that are written in the book of the law of Moses: and turn not aside from them neither to the right hand nor to the left:
7Lest after that you are come in among the Gentiles, who will remain among you, you should swear by the name of their gods, and serve them, and adore them: 8But cleave ye unto the Lord your God: as you have done until this day.
9And then the Lord God will take away before your eyes nations that are great and very strong, and no man shall be able to resist you. 10One of you shall chase a thousand men of the enemies: because the Lord your God himself will fight for you, as he hath promised.
11This only take care of with all diligence, that you love the Lord your God. 12But if you will embrace the errors of these nations that dwell among you, and make marriages with them, and join friendships: 13Know ye for a certainty that the Lord your God will not destroy them before your face, but they shall be a pit and a snare in your way, and a stumbling block at your side, and stakes in your eyes, till he take you away and destroy you from off this excellent land, which he hath given you.
14Behold this day I am going into the way of all the earth, and you shall know with all your mind that of all the words which the Lord promised to perform for you, not one hath failed. 15Therefore as he hath fulfilled in deed, what he promised, and all things prosperous have come: so Will he bring upon you all the evils he hath threatened, till he take you away and destroy you from off this excellent land, which he hath given you,
16When you shall have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which he hath made with you, and shall have served strange gods, and adored them : then shall the indignation of the Lord rise up quickly and speedily against you, and you shall be taken away from this excellent land, which he hath delivered to you.
1And Josue gathered together all the tribes of Israel in Sichem, and called for the ancients, and the princes, and the judges, and the masters: and they stood in the sight of the Lord: 2And he spoke thus to the people: Thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: Your fathers dwelt of old on the other side of the river, Thare the father of Abraham, and Nachor: and they served strange gods.
3And I took your father Abraham from the borders of Mesopotamia: and brought him into the land of Chanaan: and I multiplied his seed, 4And gave him Isaac: and to him again I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave to Esau mount Seir for his possession: but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. 5And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I struck Egypt with many signs and wonders. 6And I brought you and your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea: and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen, as far as the Red Sea. 7And the children of Israel cried to the Lord: and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them. Your eyes saw all that I did in Egypt, and you dwelt in the wilderness a long time:
8And I brought you into the land of the Amorrhite, who dwelt beyond the Jordan. And when they fought against you, I delivered them into your hands, and you possessed their land, and slew them.
9And Balac son of Sephor king of Moab arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and called for Balaam son of Beor, to curse you: 10And I would not hear him, but on the contrary I blessed you by him, and I delivered you out of his hand.
11And you passed over the Jordan, and you came to Jericho. And the men of that city fought against you, the Amorrhite, and the Pherezite, and the Chanaanite, and the Hethite, and the Gergesite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite: and I delivered them into your hands.
12And I sent before you hornets: and I drove them out from their places, the two kings of the Amorrhites, not with thy sword nor with thy bow. 13And I gave you a land, in which you had not laboured, and cities to dwell in which you built not, vineyards and oliveyards, which you planted not.
Choose Whom You will Serve (also see Deuteronomy 10:12-22)
14Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him with a perfect and most sincere heart: and put away the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
16And the people answered, and said: God forbid we should leave the Lord, and serve strange gods. 17The Lord our God he brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: and did very great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way by which we journeyed, and among all the people through whom we passed. 18And he hath cast out all the nations, the Amorrhite the inhabitant of the land into which we are come. Therefore we will serve the Lord, for he is our God.
19And Josue said to the people: You will not be able to serve the Lord: for he is a holy God, and mighty and jealous, and will not forgive your wickedness and sins. 20If you leave the Lord, and serve strange gods, he will turn, and will afflict you, and will destroy you after all the good he hath done you. 21And the people said to Josue: No, it shall not be so as thou sayest, but we will serve the Lord.
22And Josue said to the people: You are witnesses, that you yourselves have chosen you the Lord to serve him. And they answered: We are witnesses. 23Now therefore, said he, put away strange gods from among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord the God of Israel. 24And the people said to Josue: We will serve the Lord our God, and we will be obedient to his commandments.
25Josue therefore on that day made a covenant, and set before the people commandments and judgments in Sichem. 26And he wrote all these things in the volume of the law of the Lord: and he took a great stone, and set it under the oak that was in the sanctuary of the Lord. 27And he said to all the people: Behold this stone shall be a testimony unto you, that it hath heard all the words of the Lord, which he hath spoken to you: lest perhaps hereafter you will deny it, and lie to the Lord your God. 28And he sent the people away every one to their own possession.”
I guess that would be enough for one day. The parallels with our day are startling if one takes a moment to consider, if one has eyes to see and ears to hear. Are we, as a culture and society, really THAT sure that we are right about God … the last 4000 years of history do not seem to be on society’s side in that bet …