Carlos Caso-Rosendi

I have been real busy for the last two or three months. I was specially busy rebuilding the Catholic webzine Fe y Razón (Sp. meaning ‘Faith and Reason’) an excellent collection of slightly over 1,600 articles published in Spanish by the Centro Cultural Católico of the same name in Montevideo, Uruguay. As of today 1,616 articles of diverse lengths were edited and illustrated 100% by yours truly. Less than twenty articles are left to edit, some are quite lengthy and complex. The following step is the production of a real quarterly magazine that will be presented in September both in print and electronic editions, so some of the 500 million Spanish-speaking Catholics around the world can benefit from the excellent content presented there. I am very grateful to those of you who have made this possible by your continuing prayers and donations. I am sure God is already blessing you and will continue to do so. Thank you!

Today’s post 

A strange song I heard for the first time when I was only 13 years old …

We were talking,
about the space between us all
And the people, who hide themselves
behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth …[1]

In the last post we were talking about the so-called Postmodernism. I consider it the glowing end of the Modernist plague affecting the world since the 16th century or so. The latest manifestation of all errors that have bedeviled mankind since we were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

To begin a new post on what is wrong with world in general I will ask you to read these three passages of Holy Scripture very carefully, meditating as you read… notice the important role of the poor in Holy Scripture.

Matthew 26: 6-13 — Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head, as he sat at table. But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Deuteronomy 15:7-11 — “If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take heed lest there be a base thought in your heart, and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye be hostile to your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and it be sin in you.  You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him; because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land.

1 Corinthians 13: 8-13 — Love [agápe,  ἀγάπη, charity][2] never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Apparently some of the disciples objected to the pouring of that very expensive perfumed ointment on Jesus. The teacher tells them that they will always have the poor with them but … wasn’t the Kingdom of God going to end all poverty forever? Of course, the disciples were expecting the Kingdom to arrive soon but Jesus knew better. Plenty of poor people have walked this tired planet since those days. But the Deuteronomy passage gives us a hint. In the model or type of the Kingdom of God, the ancient Israel, God inaugurates the Law by announcing that there will be poor people. God also makes sure to let everyone know that the poor are everyone’s responsibility, the key to God’s heart, so to speak. When we treat the poor decently, God promises to reward us according to our own generosity. Later, Saint Paul reveals that charity will never end. I understand that as a revelation that there is always going to be relative poverty, the same way it happens today: a man who is worth one million is relatively poor compared with someone who is worth ten billion. Perhaps God will allow some kind of disparity to exist after eliminating the miseries of abject poverty. In that way, charity can always flow from Him first, and then from the richest in God’s graces to the poorer. I believe that has always been the case from the beginning of the world: a poor person is a walking opportunity for charity and charity is a sure way for anyone to the generous heart of God. To be charitable to the poor is also the way to ensure God’s good graces towards us. The woman anointing Jesus’ feet was being charitable to the poorest person in the room. For who could be poorer than a man who is about to give up his own life for the benefit of others? That woman was the vehicle used by God the Father to show Jesus a small sample of the coming glorious Resurrection and the glory due to the Son for giving his life to redeem mankind.

In the world we live in these days, relative poverty is important not only economically but also politically. The current economic system has managed to pull millions of people out of poverty. As a result we live surrounded by things that would have been absolutely astonishing to my great-great grandfather Tomaso, the poor orphan serf. The very building where I live, mismanaged and dilapidated as it is, has many marvelous things: water available nine stories above ground level; two elevators, by flicking a switch one can have enough light to read a book even when it’s dark outside; I can order a pizza by making a phone call, I can call people thousands of miles away; and this computer allows me to write for you my readers in many countries around the world. We are certainly richer than most of the people that preceded us in history, even if we are poor by the relative standards of our age, but that is not enough for our Postmodernist party poopers. They do not see how far we have advanced. In fact, they do not see how the principles that Christian thought brought into the world have been able to pull the rabbit of prosperity out the world’s hat.

Matthew 13:31-32 — Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

The Postmodernist equivalent of the parable of the mustard seed would go more or less like this:

“The oppressive system set up by the patriarchy is like a weed that a heterosexual white man planted around every individual to choke the emergence of equality. It has been allowed to pervade all aspects of society and it is impeding the people from climbing to the tree of total prosperity and sexual freedom so that every human being, animal, and plant can express their sexual persona in any combination they desire.”

For the Postmodernist, the Kingdom of God is poison ivy. In their minds no one is free unless they become completely enslaved to their basest passions. To attain that kind of freedom, human beings must abandon logic. See, the word logic comes from Logos, the Word, a Person that St. John identifies in the first verse of his Gospel.

John 1:1-2 — In the beginning was the [Λόγος] Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

After copying this passage of John 1:1-2 I intentionally replaced the translation “Word” with the original Greek term “Logos.” For Greeks, the word Λόγος has a staggering number of meanings. You can check a good biblical dictionary and most likely you will find a dozen pages on the usage and many biblical meanings of Logos. Towards the end of the Old Testament the Logos begins to appear, courtesy of the Jewish communities dispersed throughout the Greek-speaking world in the two or three centuries preceding the birth of Christ. Today, Logos appears everywhere in our language. Words like logic, analogous, and dialogue are echoes of concepts emanating from Logos. Of course, for us Catholic Christians, Logos is the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ, the Truth, the Way, and the Life, the very force of life, the Person that created the Universe and keeps it going.

Postmodernists avoid dialog because in the bottom of their darkened hearts they hate the individual because individuals are made to the image of God, and are the only creature that can “dialog” having the gift of the “word” –observe very carefully– Postmodernists have an Anti-Logos who is the father of lies, who misleads men into perdition, and makes souls perish in eternal death. Lies, perdition, and death are the mirror opposite of Truth, Way, and Life.

Postmodernists avoid believing in logic. For them logic is a ruse, a tool that the patriarchy uses to keep mankind under its sway. For them History is not the story of the love of God for mankind but a dark tale of suffering under the rule of an oppressive patriarchal deity.

In that nonsensical, illogical frame, the Postmodernist does not accept that people of all kinds can exchange ideas and foster good will for their own general benefit. No! they believe the dominant culture controls the terms and conditions of the exchange, and dialog is used to perpetuate the power of the oppressor over the oppressed. From that perverted state of mind come the battle cries of Postmodernism: “white privilege”, “sexual diversity”, “total equality”, “deconstruct hierarchies” and other complaints too numerous to list here. That is the reason why Marx did not propose the dialog between the bourgeois and the proletariat but rather the dictatorship of the proletariat. The spirit of Postmodernism is anti-Logos, anti-individual, and dictatorial.

The Marxists that kickstarted Postmodernism did not succeed in uniting the workers of the world to rise against the bourgeoisie. The combination of the rising standard of living in the organized capitalistic countries and the unspeakable atrocities committed against the common man in country after country by the Socialist-Communist hordes, were insurmountable obstacles to convince the masses to sacrifice their lives to the Socialist State. Faced with a resounding defeat, the old Marxist credo “evolved” into a series of sophisticated tools of societal disruption. Antagonizing workers and capitalists did not succeed but they could still attack everything in society that reminded them of godly order and happiness: babies, families, couples, the concept of art, beauty, truth, love, life … because they wanted to make this Earth a living Hell.

In his Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri reserved the lowest circle of Hell to two groups: sodomites and usurers. Look around you and see if Postmodernism has not opened the gates of the ninth circle (some western USA residents would call it the Ninth Circuit!) of Hell and turn lose the souls of the dammed on our society. Truly our civilization is presently dominated by sodomy and usury, by Moloch and Mammon.

I call those “the two final kinds of avarice” – the avarice of the flesh, and the avarice of riches– but that is the theme of my next post.

[1] George Harrison, Within you, without you, 1967.

[2] Agápe: ἀγάπη, H. G. Liddell, R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, […] means “love: especially charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.” […] Agápe is used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for his children. This type of love was further explained by Thomas Aquinas as “to will the good of another.”