instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Friday, May 14, 2004

O brave new world

Athanasius suggests a thought experiment:
[T]he next time you walk down the street or see a crowd in a store, think to yourself that more than half of these people think that, at some time or other, it is appropriate to kill the child in the womb.

We are a nation of killers. God help us.
That's one thing you might think to yourself. Another is this, an intercessory prayer addressed to Jesus, from the Liturgy of the Hours:
You gave life to the dead, and led mankind from death to life; give eternal life to all those we shall meet today.
The people we meet: great sinners all. The people we meet: beloved by God all.

It's said St. Catherine of Siena was able to perceive the state of other people's souls. That's not a charism I'd want for myself, tempting as it is to someone as filled with the vice of curiosity as I am, for fear that I might be able to perceive the state of my own soul.

I suspect, though, that it's my dullness regarding my own relationship with Christ that makes it so unnatural for me to even consider that the people I meet each have their own relationship with Him, whether they know it or not. If I were suitably aware of and concerned with my sins, and so suitably eager to ask Jesus to give me eternal life, then I bet I'd be more honestly concerned with the sins of others, not in a holier-than-they sense, but out of a zealous (St. Catherine might say burning) desire they too receive eternal life.