Saturday, June 28, 2008

Do you see?

Last weekend at the LPC meeting in Oakland, Fr Emmerich Vogt gave a presentation to the group, and I'd like to see if I can recapture some of it to share with you.

He opened with a picture of St. Lucy which he said he'd bought at a flea market.

She holds in her hand a pair of eyes because as punishment for not worshiping the emperor, her eyes were gouged out. You might also remember that when Delilia learned Sampson's secret and his hair was cut off, gouging out his eyes was the first calamity to befall him.

We today recoil with horror at this; and that is because we live in a world that has been 'civilized' by Jesus Christ. Such a punishment was a common occurance in the ancient world, but it no longer is because Christ has changed the world. Even an atheist would recoil from such a punishment, but he probably would fail to realize that his repugnance to such barbaric practices are the result of the Christian civilization he was born and raised in, rather than anything intrinsic to himself.

Regarding the civilizing influence exerted by Jesus Christ on culture, Father, who was a chaplain to Bl. Theresa of Calcutta for 20 years, spoke of the example of leper colonies; there are no athiest leper colonies; in fact, there are and have only been Christian leper colonies; he said that when the sisters opened one in Yemen, because the sisters would not wear the most extreme head coverings, assassins were hired by an affronted man, and they were all shot.

Because God is Love, the purpose of evangelical efforts like this, is to bring love to those who do not know love at all. Thus the work is for the salvation of the soul by showing God's love in a way that can be recognized and appreciated at a very simple and human level. The response to love from some, is and always has been, hatred and even murder.

Now, Father pointed out that for the most part, the world has a great affection for the corporal works of mercy; the world loves Mother Theresa and St. Francis. However, the spiritual works of mercy are a whole other ball game; instructing the ignorant, correcting the errant; these are harder tasks and unwelcome by a world that wishes to exclude the Lord our God from everthing. But this is the Dominican way, and one cannot set aside the faith in order to win the approval of those without the faith; one can bring love to them, but love really cannot exist without truth, as did St. Dominic who sought to restore lost souls to the faith for their salvation.

Because the world does not wish to hear, and has closed it's collective ears and minds and hearts, Father offered this chilling observation; he said that it is his opinion that we will see the punishment meeted out on St. Lucy happening again in our lifetime. Just as so many are unmoved by abortion, they will soon be unmoved by such things as Christian civilization continues slipping away. Think not? Abortion was once the horror that gouging out eyes remains; for now.

This is too short a recounting and I appologize for that, but the memory is too weak. Next time, I'll bring a recorder (if I remember).

1 comment:

  1. You captured his reflection at the LPC assembly beautifully!