Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bread and Kings

this excerpt says it all about how I feel about this election...thanks Lisa for typing it up!


Bread and Kings

People talk most about their health when they are sick, and most about liberty when they are in danger of losing it. Despite all the pleas for liberty, it must be remembered that every flight from responsibility is a flight from liberty and every denial of personal guilt is also a denial of freedom. Cabbages cannot do wrong, though they have heads, calculators cannot commit sin, thought they can do many things which seem to emulate human thought. Perhaps it is the very burden of responsibility which flows from free choice that makes so many human beings ready to surrender their great gift of freedom. This also explains the search for someone to whom they can commit their choice, who will do their thinking for them and relieve them of the awful burden of the consequences of their free decisions. This search for someone to whom neurotic minds can commit themselves explains the comparatively facile surrender of so many to totalitarianism in our day and age.

Two Russian writers of the nineteenth century foretold that this state of affairs would come to pass in the twentieth century; one of them predicted that the leaders of whom free minds would surrender themselves would come from Russia. Soloviev said that the leader who would captivate souls in our generation would be the author of a book on “Peace and Security for the World.” Millions would submit to him as the supreme authority in the political and economic sphere for no other reason than because he promised bread. Dostoievski also foretold that Russia and the world would fall to the “temptation of bread and power.”

One cannot help but contrast this search for a dictator or an economic king with Our Blessed Lord when He fed the bread to the multitude in the desert. Having fed the hungry masses, they “sought to make Him king” (Jn 6:15). It is ever in the human heart, when it loses its love of the spiritual, to worship those who promise full stomachs or economic power. They wished to make Jesus king in opposition to all the kings of the earth; instead of surrendering themselves to Him and His sublime doctrine about sin and redemption, they willed to have Him submit to them. They did not want to be drawn up to Him, but to draw Him down to them. However sincerely and enthusiastic they were, they were, nevertheless, bent on pulling Divinity down to the level of the human.

Though He Who was rich became poor for our sake, yet He would not be an earthly king by force. A poor blind man could stop Him on the roadway to be cured of his blindness, but not all the masses with their universal acclaim and suffrage could make Him king. Then He laid His finger on their error: “You seek Me not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were satisfied: (Jn 6:26). They sought Him not for the higher part of their being, but for their stomachs; not for His morality, but for the economics; not for His saving grace, but because of the dormancy of the spiritual in their souls.

When loaves are more valued than the Divine Power which multiplied them; when streams are more admired than the fountains that produced them, the world will accept any kind of a king who promises bread and plenty. Nor let it be forgotten that He Who promised the spiritual did not deny bread to the poor. Our hopes and liberties are sold cheap when they are bartered away to him who feeds the body and leaves the soul unsatisfied. This is the problem: The whole world is dying of hunger – the Eastern world is dying of hunger of the body; the Western world is dying of hunger of the soul. The first will be fed, but not by those who hate liberty when they give them flour; the Western world will be saved by feeding the East while recognizing their own hunger of the Spirit and by seeking again the true King of Hearts Who alone gives “The Bread of Life.”

Taken from “Way to Inner Peace” by Fulton Sheen (pgs. 72-74)

To gain more guidance from our Church, please read more from Fulton Sheen, who was an amazingly inspirational church leader and media giant. He has many books to choose from and any of them would be great for what we are going through in our country.

No comments: