Friday, November 1, 2013

Destination: Before the Throne!

I am beginning to suspect that "tolerance" is a bad or even impossible word and except for medicinal purposes to be avoided at all costs. It allows some people seemingly innocuous tweets and even real life comments, which at best lead nowhere and often lead astray. In saying this, I don't think I need fear or dread being accused of being an old Catholic bigot. Tolerance just doesn't aptly describe any virtuous or meritorious sort of relationship between or among people. I tolerate the heat; I have a certain tolerance for alcohol; I tolerate pain. If I tolerate a person, it is because he or she bothers me, but more likely simply because he or she departs from acceptable behavior and can rightly be expected to trouble not just me but also others living within the norm of the acceptable. Tolerance is neither a virtue nor a social grace. 

If I tweet something, then I either want to share it because it is great or worth while or because I want to warn or protest. I guess I could also seek feedback for something which I do not understand or which troubles me. If "Whispers in the Loggia" is signaling approval with his tweet, then well may his donate button freeze in hell. Here's one I woke up to today on Nov. 1, even if the author of the tweet might have still been trick or treating. [Honestly, this is not a rant, for not even “Whispers in the Loggia” can spoil All Saints Day for me, but it sort of got me thinking about appropriateness and proper discourse for myself and others, for having tweeted something which he should have passed over in silence.] I’m talking about his link to articles and glitzy videos celebrating the “gay marriage” of a formerly high profile Catholic priest… Don't go there as it is just plain wrong, there, in the midst of glamour, a cute Yorkie dog, tears and joy, is this bitter line:

“Carl: I feel that nothing or no one can take us away from each other–no church, no state, no federal government, no hospital denying either of us visiting or caring rights… Nothing!”

From the Office of today's Solemnity from the second reading from a sermon for the day from St. Bernard, abbot, illumined by the Beatitudes from St. Matthew’s Gospel, I took these words:

“Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory.”

In the immediate post-conciliar period many of us were deprived of our angels and saints (who all was to blame is not for me to say). I do not know of anyone before Blessed Pope John Paul II who did more with his countless beatifications and canonizations to break down resistance and vanquish the hesitancy to engage in discourse and once again rejoice in devotion to the throngs of the Church Triumphant in Heaven. May we be aided through the intercession and teaching of Saint Bernard to increase our longing to be caught up in the great company of saints before the Throne on high! Clinging to other mortals outside an orderly sacramental marriage should not be tolerated (there's that word!).

Tomorrow on All Souls Day, I hope all will pray and sacrifice for the countless souls in Purgatory, that they might join the heavenly throng. Life's joy and intensity comes from responding wholeheartedly to the Bridegroom when He comes and knocks. 

"Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty." [Psalm 45:10-11]


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