Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Brutal Business

Everybody has to dump on somebody!
Nobody can do it straight, right?
My pa gets dumped on at work,
so he dumps on my mother.
The spics dump on us,
so we have to dump on them.
Everybody's dumping on everybody.
Even the humping is dumping.
 - Saturday Nigh Fever screenplay by Normal Wexler

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men preferred darkness to light - because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

I know of no one who is totally in the light.

We all can tell of darkness, some of us can tell of very black darkness.  Some of us have endured abuse of various sorts.  All of us have been victimized by a lack of love, by selfishness and original sin - our sin and the sin of others.

But that's the point - we get dumped on and we dump on others.  The world or bad people deals us a bad hand, and we visit our fears and hang-ups right back onto the world.

The world is like a concentration camp where the inmates turn on each other.  The cruelty of the Nazis is mimicked by your neighbor.  The Nazi guard torments him and he lords it over you.  Pa gets dumped on at work, and he dumps on ma.  You get dumped on by Sally and you go get even by humping Jane.  But even the humping is dumping.

Of course there are the Maximillian Kolbes and the other unsung saints who let the cycle end with them, who endure great suffering and evil out of love for God and for the sake of their neighbor.  Kolbe replaced another prisoner at Auschwitz by volunteering to die for him, which is as close as any man can come to imitating Christ.

And Christ is the point; Christ is the light.  All around is darkness and sin, and sin is a closed system, closing in on itself and dying in a pointless self-defeat.


Unless we turn to that light, our punishment - our judgment - will be that we start to love the darkness.  The light will come into our lives and we will prefer darkness to light.  We will continue partying while life knocks on our door and we decide to sleep in instead of answering it.  Our hearts will be breaking, but the rock-and-roll will be too loud for us to hear it.  A smile would save us, but we're too jaded and cynical to do anything but sneer back.

  • I know a man who was much loved by a young woman.  They were both born and bred in darkness.  She loved him out of a kind of stupor, and he loved her back by cheating on her, ignoring her, insulting her in front of his family.  As things became darker for her, she turned for a while to darker deeds.  (That's apparently our first choice - that's how we cope.)  Now they are locked in a kind of embrace; she looking away toward the light, he looking inward, as a muffling murkiness overcomes him.  She sees a light and begins to move toward it.  He groans and feels sorry for himself and tries to hold her closer as he sinks.

  • I know a woman who endured horrible, unspeakable evils.  She responded by "acting out", by thinking that the rapes her father visited on her and her sister when she was a young girl were somehow expressions of love, or indications of her worthlessness.  She repressed it all when he died, and bounced into the world sleeping with every man she could find.  When she stumbled upon a man who ended up loving her, she loved him back and married him, but descended into a kind of pit of darkness over the years, turning more and more inward, stuffing herself with junk food and mindless entertainment, lashing out at anyone who tried to help.

  • I know a people who were loved by God, who offered them a way out of the darkness and death they had made for themselves.  Most of them said, "Thanks but no thanks," and turned blithely to humping each other, tormenting each other, cheating on each other, betraying each other.  He hangs on a cross and bleeds for them, and they turn and go about their business.  And it's a brutal business.

There is only one way out.  Revolution.  Pick up your cross and follow him.  Stop cursing your Nazi tormentor and die for his sake.

To the orthodox there must always be a case for revolution; for in the hearts of men God has been put under the feet of Satan. In the upper world hell once rebelled against heaven. But in this world heaven is rebelling against hell. For the orthodox there can always be a revolution; for a revolution is a restoration. At any instant you may strike a blow for the perfection which no man has seen since Adam. - G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

For the light has come into the world, and the darkness has not overcome it.

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