Skip to main content

The Never Ending Disquiet of Man: Are we all exiles? Aliens in a foreign land?


 I've taken up again my dear friend, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus' (RIP) last book American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile. I was sitting in the sun and quiet of my cottage  enjoying a  few hours of relaxation  when my attention was captured by an ad from the radio playing in the background. It was one of the ubiquitous jingles promoting a national lottery announcing some mind-blowing prize for an upcoming draw. The conjunction of these two thoughts (RJN's discourse on what it means to be an exile; thoughts of fancy about what I would do if I won such an obscene amount of money) led me to ask myself whether there was  ENOUGH wealth and power to  satisfy that human innate desire for wanting 'more'.

One might think of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett who have given away the majority of their money in pursuit of causes such as the elimination of malaria, the amelioration of poverty. Yet it is pertinent to note that they still kept to themselves sufficient funds to ensure that they and their progeny will never lack for anything they desire. Further, the funds that they have given away are still being spent in accordance with their direction as it is controlled by the 'Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation'. I appreciate the generosity of their actions, but it is not entirely altruistic nor complete.

RJN connects this innate human desire for 'more' to the thoughts of St. Augustine in his famous City of God in which he speaks of Christians being 'dual citizens' of both 'Babylon' and the 'New Jerusalem'. His  famous quote about our hearts being 'restless' until they rest with God is Augustine's answer to this question. Only if we surrender our will to the sovereignty of Christ as Lord and Savior (at least for Christians) can true peace and happiness be found. Neuhaus points out that this 'dual citizenship' is  our true state of being.  Christians are called to be 'in the world' but not 'of the world' as our focus  remains fixed on that eternal city in which we hope to stay when Christ returns in glory.

So, how did I respond to all of these thoughts? I now have one ticket for the upcoming mega-prize in my pocket and a prayer in my heart that I would not permit such a prize cause me to take my eyes off the ultimate goal of the New Jerusalem should that ticket I hold bring me such abundance. God's promise gives me  more comfort of soul than could possibly come my way, no matter how much money I won.

What would you do if you held the winning ticket? Would it be a boon or bust in helping live faithfully as a citizen of the world that is and the world to come?

Wouldn't it at least be neat to have the opportunity to find out?

Comments

  1. "...the funds that they have given away are still being spent in accordance with their direction as it is controlled by the 'Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation'. I appreciate the generosity of their actions, but it is not entirely altruistic nor complete."

    So? That's a very strange sort of criticism about people who are under absolutely NO obligation to share ANY of their wealth. As for their not being "altruistic," there really is no such thing. All sharing comes with strings. All of it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lady Janus: That is exactly the point I was trying to make. You said it better than I could.

    Fr. Tim

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Sisters of Life

Here is an excellent website for any and all interested in the pro-life cause. The Sisters of Life are a religious order than began in New York City under the authority of Cardinal Jon O'Connor (RIP) in the 1980's. Their traditional religious lifestyle and clear charism have led them to grow much faster than many other orders. As a result, these wonderful women are moving beyond the boundaries of NYC and have opened a convent in Toronto. Here is a link to a news account from LifesiteNews which explains in greater detail their history and mission in Toronto. The Sisters of Life count among their numbers a woman from our Parish here in Mattawa who is soon to take her final profession. This is one of the greatest blessings that we have received as a parish. Anytime a religious vocation comes forward from a parish community, many graces flow back to the local church. I can only pray that as the Sisters of Life establish their ministry in Canada that more and more women will join

Canadian Euthanasia Information

The May 2010 Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Newsletter can now be found at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/Newsletters/Newsletter108(May2010)(RGB).pdf Bill C-384 was soundly defeated by a vote of 228 to 59. Check how the Members of Parliament voted at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/HowTheyVoted.pdf On June 5, 2010, we are co-hosting the US/Canda Push-Back Seminar at the Radisson Gateway Hotel at the Seattle/Tacoma Airport. The overwhelming defeat of Bill C-384 proved that we can Push-Back the euthanasia lobby in the US and Canada and convince people that euthanasia and assisted suicide are a dangerous public policy. Register for the Seminar at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/2010SeminarFlyer(RGB)(LetterFormat).pdf The Schindler family are being attacked by a Florida television station and Michael Schiavo. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is standing in solidarity with the Schindler family. My blog comments: http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2010/05/att

A Neurosurgeon's Profound Near Death Experience Completely Changes His Views on the Afterlife