Sunday, January 24, 2016

Processions and Marches

The day before yesterday I flew to Washington, D.C. and back to participate in the March for Life.

Later I came across someone remarking that such a march is a waste of time, adding that one would be better off taking more practical actions. The comment reeked of William James pragmatism.

Marches are rather like latter-day processions, which have numerous excellent precedents - e.g. the processions with the Ark of the Covenant in 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Kings 8, the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem.

In the case of Friday's event, for this Catholic the march became a form of public prayer attended by Rosaries and hymns involving numerous co-religionists. This is an old Catholic custom, which has been done for centuries during emergencies to implore Divine aid for all kinds of calamities - e.g. war, plague, famine, storms, drought.

Among the participants the public display of a march also serves as a great reminder that - all the efforts of the popular culture and media to suggest the contrary - we are not alone or isolated in attempting to cure a great evil.

I think a favorable word can be added about a public event that has peaceably gathered hundreds of thousands of people each year for over four decades.

In conjunction with other efforts, a march like last Friday's is a crucial and valuable aid.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Eternal, Not Modern

Time is the measure of movement and change. It is partly objective, partly subjective.
* Objectively, time exists whether or not we perceive it.
* Subjectively, we know time only in its relation to movement or activity.

Attributes of Time
(1) Succession: Time’s parts can be realized only one after the other as the past, the present, and the future.
(2) Irreversible: Time’s order of succession cannot be changed. Past time does not come back.
(3) Continuity: Time does not pause and cannot be interrupted.
(4) Divisible, measurable: Time represents to us a reality only the continuous parts of which can be measured.

Created or uncreated?
Is time or movement infinite - without beginning? Philosophically, there is no problem with the possibility of time being infinite - without any contradiction, God could have created time to be infinite. By Revelation we know that God in fact created time with a beginning; by Revelation we also know that one day, time will end in dramatic fashion.

We moderns are avaricious about time. The notion of time passing without any private advantage is terrible to us; thus, time-misers that we are, we hoard our hours for mercenary activity and fill our days with even frenetic, mindless activity. Before we’ll do nothing, we’ll do anything; pushing irrelevant buttons is preferable to considering the lilies of the field.

Eternal, not Modern
Give time away generously. Bestow it without counting the cost or tabulating the seconds and minutes. Blessed are the poor in time, for theirs is the kingdom of the eternally debonair.