There is clearly a false humility. One species in the genus is spite or despite for life itself. We can see where it begins. Dead sand is "clean"; living humus is "dirty." Which would you rather have on your hands, SAE-30 motor oil, purified and dead, or snot? Who among us has escaped the humiliating experience of being pooped on by a bird? Ah! Life! NOT!
Human life can be seen as more of a plague than the occasional avian insult. While cities should be monuments to creativity and civility, yet they too have their excretory functions, and it takes planning and discipline for humans in cities to avoid fouling their nest.
And in this we can see not only our ambivalence, fallen as we are, about the burden and delights of our animal life, but the fell hand of the enemy, and his disastrous thoughts seeping into our minds. "Too many children!" is the cry. Diapers in landfills. Children squalling in restaurants. Babies yowling in church. Parents "punished with a baby," as our president once said -- worried, frustrated, unable fulfill their potential, their dreams.
We must, we are told, prevent fecundity. We must make our beds sterile, while we impose no obstacle to orgasm, however achieved. For the good of life, they tell us, we must adopt the practice of death and snatch, scrape, and tear the pre-nascent human from the place ordained, "appointed" as the Bible charmingly says, for it. Otherwise our lives will be ruined.
But they are not our lives, not OURS, not really. As Lewis says, to pretend this is MY life, MY body is ludicrous. Imagine a prince, the young child of a king. In love the royal father makes him lord of some small principality. He receives the honor, the title, the coronet. But still the principality is really governed by the king and his counsellors.
How foolish would that child be who wanted to exercise for himself the princely power! Before his subjects could hear, laugh, and possibly rebel, the kingly sire would send him to his room without any supper! Yet we claim sovereignty over ourselves, our 'persons' as the old language has it, and seek to extend that sovereignty over the mystery of ensouled life around ourselves, and even in ourselves, all in the name of our dominion.
And the outcome? When we set ourselves against the Lord of Life and Love, what can the outcome be but death and misery? We humans have been given the titles of dominion and many powers. Beguiled by our seeming majesty we exercise this lordship but in pride and disobedience, not in the wonder which Life, mucus, smells, and all, should compel -- does compel when our eyes are open and our hearts alive.
What false charity to destroy our own kind! What false humility to despise the miracle of our life! What sorrow and wrath we bring down on our own heads, and those of our children, when we, as our pagan forebears did, sacrifice our children to ensure our ease!
May we be forgiven. May we be given new hearts. May we bear life-giving Love, the Son of Love, into a world where we are so lost that to many of us the way to joy is through the death of our heirs.
Lord have mercy upon us.
Christ have mercy upon us.
Lord have mercy upon us.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Following meditation comes from one of the vigil volunteers