Posted by: Thomas Richard | March 6, 2022

It Has Been Coming to This, From the Start

Augustine (354-430 A.D.), Saint and Doctor of the Church, bishop and teacher of great wisdom, had it precisely right a long time ago.  Today we are seeing much of the world falling into two radically different groups – no surprise at all to Augustine.  He saw it and described it well in his time; we – at least some of us – are seeing the separation accelerate, to our dismay, here and now.  Augustine saw this bifurcation – this separation into the two –  in the light of what is most important in our nature as human beings, namely God Who is, for us, life and being itself.  Division among human persons into two groups, accelerating globally, is not mere politics, not mere personal or national economics, not mere subjective preference: it is religious; it is spiritual.  Augustine saw two cities being built, in a continuing process, from the beginning of human society, within the first human family, between the first brothers Cain and Abel, and destined to continue until the end of time.  Augustine phrased it well, here:

Rome, Italy – December 15, 2017: church of Immaculate Conception, this painting represents the Archangel Michael killing the devil. Painted by Guido Reni in 1636.

Two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self.  The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord.  For the one seeks glory from men; but the greatest glory of the other is God.
(The City of God , St. Augustine. Book XIV, Chapter 28 – Of the Nature of the Two Cities, the Earthly and the Heavenly.)

In the Earthly City, the City of Man, the rulers seek to rule for the sake of ruling itself: they love to rule. In the City of God, both the leaders and the other citizens seek to serve one another in love.  In this city the subjects follow godly leaders in peace with confidence, while the leaders are truly “public servants” seeking the true good of all.  The City of Man exults in its own strength, each seeks his own good, each is concerned primarily for himself.  The City of God rests upon the strength and goodness of God, Creator and Sustainer of all.  In Him is the cause and final purpose of all.  Augustine continues,

And therefore the wise men of the one city [the City of Man], living according to man, have sought for profit to their own bodies or souls, or both, and [even] those who have known God “glorified Him not as God neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened; professing themselves to be wise,”–that is, glorying in their own wisdom, and being possessed by pride,–“they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts,and creeping things.” [Rom 1:21-22]

For they [in the City of Man] were either leaders or followers of the people in adoring images, “and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” [Rom. 1: 21-25] But in the other city [the City of God] there is no human wisdom, but only godliness, which offers due worship to the true God, and looks for its reward in the society of the saints, of holy angels as well as holy men, “that God may be all in all.”
[1 Cor. 15:28]

Reflection will show that a union of these two cities, or a happy compromise between the two, is not possible.  The separation between good and evil, between life and death, are absolute.  Righteous Abel may have been hoping for the good of his brother, but Cain plotted Abel’s death.  Jesus wept over the sins and the sinners of Jerusalem, while the leaders of Jerusalem plotted His death.

In our time, “progressives” are in the ascendency, it seems globally.  Seeing themselves as inherently superior, more intelligent and often more educated in a secular sense, they feel justified and deserving of leadership.  They deserve to be seen as they see themselves, the adults in the room. These – the elite –  ought to have societal and governmental positions of leadership, control, and supervision over the less endowed ones around them, who clearly lack the competence to make important decisions about their own lives.  The lower classes, “clinging fearfully to their guns and Bibles” are like children needing a parent.  Paternalism and ascendency to power is simply good – proper and necessary – for the elite.

This global movement, from liberalism to progressivism to socialism to communism to absolute dictatorship can be seen now clearly, for those who are paying attention.  Progressives in the developed West have found nests for themselves in all the centers of the culture, at all levels – in education, in politics – Democrat, Republican, Independent – in government, entertainment, sports; even in religion.  Yes even in the Catholic Church progressives have infiltrated at all levels in the Church from parish to diocese to the Vatican.

There is resistance to this shifting of power and operating philosophy, from traditional Judeo-Christian standards to the practical Godlessness of man-centered, self-centered humanistic ideals.  There is still a remnant if not a base of citizens of the City of God here and around the world.  But meanwhile the City of Man is growing in numbers, in power and in determined resolve to win this ancient battle.  The City of God is not yet fully awake to the dangers in this moment in history.  Many if not most of her members continue to pretend that pre-pandemic “normalcy” is near and soon we’ll be back to the all-is-wellness of yesteryear.  Perhaps, but I don’t think so.  I think that things have come too far; the earthly city that Augustine saw so clearly, has gotten too close to its dream.  It will do, or it will die, and it will not go quietly or peacefully.  Church, you had better wake up, get serious, find your knees and fall to them. The enemy is dead-serious and committed to destroy us all who are not on-board with their vision, their dream – the dream of satan and his demons which is a nightmare for humanity.

Yes, we need to pray.  This crisis is a spiritual war; it is beyond the powers and capabilities of man; man alone cannot defeat the forces of evil.  We need God; we need to pray in our poverty for His grace, for His intervention, for the legions of angels that we need at our side in the great and final battle that may be very near.


Responses

  1. My dear sweet brother, thank you for not caring whose toes are stepped on when you share with us the truth that God has given to you.

    • I believe there are more of us in the City of God than we realize. What is happening in the Ukraine is a terrible thing. But out of this evil, the good we see is that people are awakening to prayer & wanting to help those suffering from this evil. They are seeing how selfish progressives are & how their policies are not only hurting our country, but so much of our world. The faith of the Ukrainians is an inspiration to us all. Many, who maybe have not prayed for a very long time, are now praying for these people & the world. I hope that God will intervene so that the city of God will win.
      Thank you, Tom. for making us aware that we must try to rid the world of those who are trying to destroy it.
      We must maintain our faith; pray to Mary for intercession & to God.

  2. Dear Janet and Susan,

    Thank you both for your comments to Thomas’s blog.

    When I read it yesterday, I was not yet ready to say all I wanted to say especially about our Mother Mary’s part in God’s Plan, so I prayed to the Holy Spirit last night for Wisdom.

    God willing, I’ll pray today, waiting to hear “with the ears of my heart” what God may want me to say, or keep praying and listening to all God is saying to His Children. Our Mother Mary told us at Cana: “Do whatever He tells you!”


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