Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Indelible Imprint of the Cross

An anonymous commenter makes a good point in my post about the Anti-Culture.  The gist of his argument is that there never was a golden age in Christian Culture.  The Middle Ages, much vaunted by certain Catholics, were brutal and harsh in many ways.

Of course the flip side of this is that there's more good in the world today than we are wont to admit.  Yes, there's plenty of brutality and harshness, and a litany of anti-christian horrors, from abortion to wage slavery to the atrocities of warfare - but even in a culture where 95% of teen students in Catholic Schools support "gay marriage", one great thing remains.

Somehow we still understand love.

Somehow, even in our secular anti-christian Culture of Death, even in our popular culture where Hardee's and Jack-in-the-Box cannot sell hamburgers without cynicism and sex, even in our increasingly irrational and violent cities and suburbs, we all know what love is.

Love is not a feeling, not a desire, not the hormones that surge through our bodies and make us rut for anyone or anything.  It's not all the stuff we pretend it is.

Love is self-sacrifice for the good of another.  That we know and that we have always known since the first Good Friday, nearly 2,000 years ago.  Ever since that awful day, no one raised in anything resembling a Christian culture - or even in a deliberately anti-christian culture - can deny what love is. 

We know this even when we say that all is Nothing.  We know this when we claim there is no God and we can do whatever we want.  We know this when we excuse away our philandering, our drug abuse, our devotion to success at any cost.  We know this when we lie to one another and say that if we love Jesus, we'll get a new car.  We know this when we lie to one another and say that if we love Jesus, we'd applaud sodomy and celebrate sterility.  We know this, no matter how despicable and self-serving our lives become.  We know this when we sacrifice our children to Moloch.  We know this when we immolate ourselves before Mammon.  We know this when we spill our seed and deconstruct our families on a mere whim.  We know this when the lights are off at night and we lie for a few moments awake, listening to the still small voice that convicts or excuses us (see Rom. 2:15).

We know this great truth - we know that God is love and we know what love really is, and we can either live in accordance with this truth or in denial of it.

The Golden Age is therefore always just around the corner - and the grace is there for the asking.


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