Seek First the Kingdom - The March of Hope - Chapter 2
God Created the Heavens and the Earth
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One of the most remarkable, warming, and contemplative chapters in the Bible is undoubtedly the first chapter of the book of Genesis. To me, this, along with the following three chapters, provide humanity with almost every answer to the philosophical, moral, sociological, and psychological dilemmas that besiege our souls and leave us in a state of quivering imprisonment under the guardianship of the most ruthless of dictators, that is, religious skepticism.
This chapter is freeing to the soul as long as one reads and contemplates it with almost any other philosophical predisposition than that which seems dominant in our modern culture. The first sentence alone should be enough to bring all the desperately goal-oriented masses' activity, commerce, and progress to a complete standstill. Yet, the twenty-four-hour noise, rudeness, and general vulgarity of our modern society cannot be silenced long enough, nor the electronic gadgets turned off long enough, to hear the quiet whisper of the Spirit of God proclaim:
“In the beginning God created heaven and earth.”
This is the whisper heard around the world. It is the whisper that has echoed for centuries in the stories, words, and various traditions in the brotherhood of humanity; it is the whisper that has led men to fight Crusades on the one hand or to choose the freedom of Lady Poverty as St. Francis did on the other. This is the whisper that begins the story that saved the world. That is until we decided that we did not like this story nor the demands it imposed on us, until we decided we could make a better world of our own.
This is the terrible dilemma we face today; the despair of the religiously starved Gilgamesh has been replaced full circle by the depression of humanity's wholesale rejection of religion through modernism and rationalism. In the time between the ancient Gilgamesh and our modern pharmaceutically enhanced cultures, though, we have been given an answer, a point of view, I should say, that truly sets matters in order, into an appropriate and authentic order where God is first, and our comfort, progress, technology, and ambitions are relative and less important than God. This point of view brings about health and wholeness as far as it can be experienced here. It promises the hope of an indescribably glorious and perfected free society elsewhere for the rest of eternity!
I want to first discuss this point of view on The March of Hope. Our point of view is the eyeglass through which we peer into the night, as did king Gilgamesh; it is the foundation for our actions, words, and intellectual development. Our point of view leads us to decide whose footprints we will follow. And hope, that the life-giving inspiration we all desperately seek, begins not just with any point of view but with an authentic point of view.
But can one find an authentic point of view? Does such a thing exist? Who would dare claim to know it? And if you did know it, would it be proper to tell others? Is it more important to affirm others in their own subjective thinking to not offend them in any way, or is it more important to tell others how to save themselves from depression and spiritual imprisonment? The modern-day ruminating, circuitous mental prison that so often depresses us is the result of the terrible dictatorship of skepticism, and cultural and political correctness began as a spark in the Protestant Revolution. The later conflagration grew into a raging firestorm through the French Revolution and twentieth-century atheistic communism.
The Catholic Church is the authoritative Christian institution established in history by Christ. The Catholic Church is the authoritative voice of Christ on earth. Understanding its point of view is crucial to establishing our hope and direction in life. This last proposition may not be acceptable to the reader, but I am only pointing out the necessary logic of taking this next step by one who, like me, does accept the authority of the Church.
The understanding of a different worldview, that of the Roman Catholic Church, was the first movement for me beyond The Freedom Dance and through the great doors at the castle walls of Catholicism to which it led me. This understanding has opened the panorama of an immeasurably large and beautiful mystical universe, one that is ordered in artistic and mathematical beauty, one that is profoundly colorful and astonishing, but one that requires our cooperation to bring it to life in our smaller, material world. We must order ourselves according to God's law and revelation to bring this kingdom down from the very heavens. More than that, we must desire it and hope for it. This viewpoint is the one that led me forward on the March of Hope.
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