Thursday, June 17, 2021



                                           The trouble about law has always been that it can diagnose the malady but cannot effect a cure…..There is in fact……a kind of terrible paradox in law. It is human nature that when a thing is forbidden it has a tendency to become desirable…..Law, therefore, can actually move a man to desire the very thing which it forbids. [1]

The purpose of law is regulating society for the common good. Since the expansion of cities with dense populations, particularly since the invention of the automobile, laws have been passed which indicate where pedestrians, all things being equal, may safely walk and where cars, trucks, buses are restricted, so the ordinary person out for a walk does not get crushed under the wheels of a vehicle. Traffic lights are law: stop on red, go on green, to avoid every intersection becoming a demolition derby, with human casualties.

Such laws are logical, have purpose for the common good. They are supposed to come forth from democratic governance within the parliamentary system.

Flowing from the establishment of the Estates General in France, [2] which were of no real common good, 98% of the population being uneducated, poor, voiceless in the places of power, revolutions in many countries of Europe, and the United States, the pressure to establish a confederation in Canada, more than two centuries of effort has brought about the era of one person-one vote parliamentary systems, allegedly with the so called “4th Estate” [media] keeping the head of government and the political parties honest.

How fragile and easily manipulated are both democracy and the machinery of government, how loosey-goosey with the truth have the media become, are, facts this pandemic has exposed. Infamously as in the fable, the secular Emperors have no clothes. [3]

People willingly obey laws, even exceptional to the circumstances of a crisis if they are clearly enacted for the common good based on objective fact, and IF the reason for them is explained clearly and they do no harm.

Governments, health officials, media continue to fail on all counts and so populations are seriously skeptical, rebellious, stressed, angry the more governments listen to the banshee screaming of those, in the midst of all this, demanding apologies for historical wrongs, apologies which have as yet, likely will never satisfy anyone, because anger is addictive, and no amount of caving into the screamers will ever end the addiction. The past is past and cannot be changed. Blaming/burdening this generation for historical events in which no part was taken by this generation, or future generations, disingenuous governments, with apologies, cash handouts, chiseling names off buildings, hiding statues, heals nothing, rather such self-serving political statements, such excising of visible historical-cultural memory, only creates new wounds causing hope of cross-cultural love and reconciliation to wither away while the equally disingenuous media feed the fires of gimmee anger to such a degree the majority of the population recoils in disgust, seeing themselves dismissed as irrelevant, then politicians come forth again with spurious declarations we are one society, one people, one country, which we no longer are. They have made us pawns in their leftist games of ineffective appeasement, which guts love and reconciliation out of the common good. 

Two more examples of how leaders are arbitrarily usurping the power of the people to make choices for the common good, not unlike despots around the world: the city of Victoria has decided to cancel Canada Day celebrations to be in solidarity with Indigenous people – this is destructive as it signals our Indigenous brothers are sisters are not Canadians like everyone else in this country otherwise the denizens of Victoria would invite their participation, an authentic act of solidarity for the common good,  plus such heavy handed leftist arrogance increases anger across the country further widening the divide and some Indigenous leaders are urging Roman Catholics to show solidarity by not participating in Holy Mass, while spray painting hateful statements on the walls of Catholic Churches, a truly hateful and diabolical suggestion, both of those examples signaling the death knell for reconciliation.

Even in the secular understanding of reconciliation to reconcile means working towards that mutual attentive dialogue which leads to mutual friendship. In the light of the Gospel the first step on the journey is forgiveness and learning to truly love on another.

Far too many leaders of the banshees don’t want any healing, love, reconciliation because that would mean the end of their alleged fame before the cameras and the shutting of government money spigots.

Destructive earthquakes, within the human family not just those in nature but even more so between human beings collectively and even between individuals, occur when the constant grinding of the plates of hardened positions reach a critical state of being stuck, a state of affairs contraindicate by the nature of tectonic plates as by the nature of the interdependence we have with one another. The result of the subsequent increased pressure is societal destruction, the two plates fracturing along the fault lines between intransigent groups in society, from the left and the right.

It is reality that, like the tectonic plates, we are always, in our personhood, experiencing the grinding of our wounded selves against the being healed by grace self. So long as that grinding indicates movement it is life lived. When the stuck-ness occurs is when marriages tear apart, for example, and worse we become spilt, fractured in our personhood, and start walking beside ourselves.

We need patience and inner reconciliation, which achievement comes from the Holy Spirit, with the real person I yearn to be and the as yet unsanctified person I am, and with compassion to see and understand all our brothers and sisters on earth live with the same struggles, day in and day out as we do.

Reconciliation, true reconciliation, can only occur when those needing reconciliation can meet in the space of mutual respect, attentive listening and understanding, with mutual compromise and that real love which affirms, no matter our histories or wounds, we are all brothers and sisters of one family.

Without going down the rabbit hole of is there or not a pandemic, viruses do not pick sides. They infect people of every race, religion, economic status, age. Untreated they kill. They don’t care because viruses have no heart, no soul.

Unless we rediscover our hearts and souls and live from them, and see every other human being is also endowed by God with a heart and soul, then democracy will be shattered and replaced by a new round of global totalitarianism.

When we hear the jackboots tramping down the street, it will be too late: You will hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place. All these are the beginning of the labour pains. Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name……..[Mt. 24:6-9]

The closer we come to God, the more patient we grow and the more we reflect that infinite respect for all beings which is the proper quality of God. [4]

In these times, beyond the poisoned and ever thickening fog of arrogant anger, the screaming, the self-centeredness of I am right and everybody who does not agree with me is an enemy, where is the hope for the human family?

In one place only, in one person only, IF we open the doors of our being, to Him will we find the source of authentic hope and the template for authentic reconciliation: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. [see Rev. 3:20]

Jesus has awakened great hopes, especially in the hearts of the simple, the humble, the poor, the forgotten, those who do not matter in the eyes of the world. He understands human sufferings, he has shown the face of God’s mercy, and he has bent down to heal body and soul…… Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst; it is born from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! And in this moment the enemy, the devil, comes, often disguised as an angel, and slyly speaks his word to us. Do not listen to him! Let us follow Jesus! We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy, this is the hope that we must bring to this world. Please do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! Do not let hope be stolen! The hope that Jesus gives us. [5]

This is the living in light, truth, hope, joy, with love spread throughout the human family as the penultimate common good, personal good. [the ultimate good is communion of love with the Most Holy Trinity in heaven]: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you. [Mt. 5:3-12][1]


[1] From a commentary on THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS, Revised Edition; William Barclay; p.69; Westminster Press


[3] The Emperor's New Clothes, by Hans Christenson Anderson

[4] GREAT LENT, Alexander Schmemann, p. 37; St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1974



© 2021 Fr. Arthur Joseph


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