PARADOXICAL

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

 

Lenten retreat reflection: Day 38 - There's nothing in the world like Christianity.


Fr. DuBay: "Among all worldviews, it is the gospel alone that produces the beauty of the saints."

This quote instantaneously reminds me of a CLP talk I heard in the past. Let me copy-paste it here to remind myself:

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Concepts of Man Greatly Affecting the World Today

Oriental view: Man doesn't want to be locked up with himself. He prefers communing with nature.

Hedonistic worldview: Life is all about indulging in pleasure. Pain is evil.

State-is-supreme (Statist?) view: Man is the measure of all things. But when the state decides what is best for man, man accepts the decision even if it is against his values. (I am reminded of the "Feuerbach heresy," which is defined as "the re-creation of God in the image of man.")

Life-signifies-nothing (Life is meaningless?) view: Life has no meaning. There is absence or vagueness of objective truth. Man can do anything on his own.

Pharisaic mentality: There is rigid adherence to rules (letter of the law) and man depends on his own strength (instead of acknowledging that there are certain things he can't control on his own, like his fallen nature).

Running-out-of-cope mentality: Life is a matter of surviving all the brickbats/curve balls it throws your way one after another. (? - not sure if my paraphrasing is accurate)

Do-it-yourself mentality: Life is what you make of it, everything realized through your own effort. (?)

**

Effects/Profound Repercussions

The oriental view is protective and nurturing of the physical environment, but results in an impersonal concept of God, instead of a loving God.

Hedonism has a twisted concept of freedom. In the process, respect for others (or others' rights) is affected.

The state may have good intentions when it comes to freedom, equality, social justice, and the common good, but what if the means (of change) is not right?

Other people are viewed as a threat (not a brother, sister, or a fellow child of God). Relationships are transactional. There are no norms and values, including hope and patience. There is only cynicism.

With these worldviews, these philosophies mean nothing: "No man is an island." "I am my brother's keeper."

There is impersonality in our daily transactions.

Hopelessness/perceived inability to cope results in drug addiction, alcoholism, depression, neurosis, insecurity, low sense of self-worth, disturbed people.

The name of the game is "Survival of the fittest." "What's in it for me?"

There is also status quo mentality.

**

We are all afflicted somehow with all these negativisms. One alternative to these belief systems is Christianity. However, Christianity, which is often thought to be mainstream, is in fact a resoundingly rejected belief everywhere in the world, at all levels of society.

Ironically, Christianity teaches man to have self-worth, a (healthy-RSO) sense of importance in this world. It inspires people to "give loving service," and not merely out of a sense of emptiness or a shallow desire to feel better. There is a sense of purpose. It inspires equality in the context of a loving community, with an appreciation of the diversity of gifts/talents and various levels of ability.

Alas, we all have rejected the Christian thought in various degrees. Europe, most especially, has rejected its Christian roots, favoring atheism in its place. (I have somewhat a vision of Europe turning Muslim once again. Note: Islam teaches that man is a slave of God, instead of the Christian "child of God." -RSO)

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Reflective points for the day:

How have I been infected by the worldly, non-/anti-Christian views above? How may I be purified of them? Which parts of my belief is nature-worshipper, hedonist, pharisee, DIY, statist, Buddhist, Stoic? Hmm, I feel uncomfortable with the line of questioning. Sign of guilt? Haha. Later.

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