Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

More Thunder

A storm is brewing, according to Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Today he opened the 23rd plenary assembly of the council with a speech warning participants of the many dangers besetting the Church - both its leaders and its laity. Chief among them he drew attention to what he described as a well-advanced and widespread effort to remake man in a new mold, other than in the image of God, and to form this new man independent of God and the Judeo-Christian tradition. For us Christians, he said that a chief danger is not becoming a minority, but becoming a mediocrity; not so small a group that we cease to matter in civil society, but so timid and pallid a group that we cease to be relevant. He said that this is the hour of the laity to rise up, strive for holiness, and impact the world for Christ.

Read a report about his speech by clicking here.

2 comments: said...

I saw your article in the link "The Seventh Day: Work and the Sabbath" and I thought it was interesting.

We are fortunate in this country that government is restrained from enacting "blue laws" that seek to impose the religious view of the majority on Sabbath keepers. Part of that is because of our constitutional guarantees as well as a culture that claims to value tolerance for different ideas. Yet, realistically, part of the culture in our country that restrains Sunday-keepers from imposing their will on everyone else is a culture of materialism. Materialism is not good, yet it plays a part in allowing religious freedom for Sabbath keepers.

Sabbath keepers in Europe and other countries are not necessarily so fortunate, especially in the future. Constitutional guarantees in Europe are not as strong as in the United States.

I think the world is heading towards a time of trouble, and at some point religious fanaticism will grow and secularism will decline. Atheistic evolution and materialism is probably the number one deception in western nations at this time, but in the future I think false religion will become a greater deception, and there will be more danger for the Sabbath keeper when that happens.

His Handmaid's son said...

Glad you enjoyed my paper on the Sabbath.

Actually, the central argument of my paper was that the principle of the Sabbath, though it is articulated in religious texts, is not primarily a religious principle, but a human principle. We all need time off together, and businesses want money, and won't respect our desire to relax with our family unless we compel them to do so with laws. The blue laws were not imposition of religious mores on innocent, helpless businesses. That's the way chambers of commerce portrayed the situation in the 1960s-1980s when they were advocating the repeal of blue laws. Blue laws were to protect families' and communities' ability to share and relax together, and to enable people to make religious observations in an unhurried way if they so chose. With the repeal of blue laws, it is very hard for families, let alone whole neighborhoods, to relax together and to share - essential ingredients for social unity and peace.

When I was a kid, my neighborhood had a number of celebrations together, mostly civic/secular, like the 4th of July or Veterans Day, but always fun. Those are gone now because nobody has time to get to know each other. A large part of that is because people must work more irregular schedules.

Additionally, the blue laws provided a sort of social equality. (Almost) everyone got a day off. Now, wealthier people with professional positions get Saturday and Sunday off, and working class people without such family backgrounds and educations have to serve them, often in jobs that pay little enough that they must have two, and work 6 or 7 days weekly. This causes further unnecessary, and ultimately unhealthy, undemocratic social stratification, social division by class.

"Yet, realistically, part of the culture in our country that restrains Sunday-keepers from imposing their will on everyone else is a culture of materialism."

See, and materialism IS a worldview, and an ideology - you cannot prove it, after all - and some people believe it, and are imposing it on the rest of us. Materialism will never promote freedom because it is the ideology in which there is no belief in soul or spirit or personal freedom - only matter and energy, cause and effect. Someone who believes in immaterial souls might care to discipline or punish a wrongdoer, but a materialist acts as if such people are robots that only need retraining. It does not respect the human person, but only stuff; and that is the reason that it hates the sabbath - the sabbath is about a day of the week when people are free from work to just relax and be; materialism does not believe that humans are anything more than animals or robots, ultimately, and so it sees no problem with making them work more to produce more stuff (for their bosses/owners).

"Constitutional guarantees in Europe are not as strong as in the United States."

You are right about that - because in Europe materialism may be even more advanced than it is here.

"and at some point religious fanaticism will grow and secularism will decline."

Perhaps in the Middle East, but that is very opposite the trend that we witness in the West. I think secular humanism, the cult of man independent of God, is going to become more and more entrenched, and finally established as the religion of the West, at least.

Let's keep watching and praying, as our blessed Lord asked us to.