Thursday, September 15, 2005

Centrality of Christ

Greetings Children,

Please accept my humble apologies for not musing lately. Apparently, Monsignor Ganswein has seen fit to fill up my schedule with audiences and photo-ops. So much for having a summer retreat. Nevertheless, I am quite happy to serve the servants of God.

I have a few minutes before the next audience and while Msgr. Ganswein is out with the press corp, I thought that it might be a good time to get a little musing in. At yesterday’s general audience I spoke about the need for God’s presence in social life. There is so much more to be said about this subject than I was able to address at the time. I will most likely be offering more reflections on the issue, but I am saving a particular aspect for my fellow parishioners at St. Blog’s.

In my audience, I stated, “At the very center of social life there must be, therefore, a presence that evokes the mystery of the transcendent God. God and man walk together in history, and the temple has the task to point out this communion in a visible way.” Not bad stuff, if you ask me. However, I have a parallel observation that quite frankly, fascinates me as much as it irks me.

You see children; there is an element of people who would like to remove Christ from our society and our history. I noticed one particular movement in that direction about fifteen years ago or so. The not-as-clever-as-they-think-they-are intelligentsia devised a scheme whereby they thought they could sanitize history and society of Christ by playing semantics with the delineation of time.

Christ being at the center of all things, we rightfully keep Him at the center of time itself. We record the history of mankind by noting time as being Before Christ (B.C.) or as Anno Domini (A.D.), the year of our Lord.

The enemies of Christ have seen fit to change and propagate the delineation of time to Before the Common Era (BCE) and the Common Era (CE), effectively removing Christ from His place at the center of man’s history – or so they think!

One must ask; in a system of time that is broken down into a before and after (or present), what is the focal point which differentiates the two? The answer, children, is obvious to us all; Our Lord Jesus Christ, creator of Heaven and Earth, and Redeemer of mankind.

In spite of their great efforts, they not only fail to remove Christ, but reaffirm His centrality to the history of mankind. The absurdity of it reminds me of the time that Jerry Seinfeld complained about having to carry his girlfriend, Kari’s things. Elaine suggested to Jerry that he purchase a small men’s carryall from Peterman’s. Jerry rightfully observed that this carryall was in fact a purse, regardless of what name Peterman had given it.

However, Elaine persisted, “It's not a purse. It's European.” As if it being European somehow changed the nature of the thing. Unfortunately, Jerry succumbed to the relativist play on words and ended up carrying the purse - only to have it snatched from him later. Likewise, we see people in our society buying into the false notion of removing Christ from our chronicling of time. Similar to Elaine justification, “It’s European,” the proponents of such a change say, “It’s intellectual.” I think not.

Their ploy fails just as miserably as Steve’s did in Married with Children. As you may recall, Steve proudly came up with a solution to do away with loose change. His theory was based on the notion that if we developed a 99 ¢ piece to counter the marketer’s obsession with pricing things as $ 19.99, $ 29.99, etc., we could do away with loose change forever (save the 99 ¢ piece).

As Al Bundy so astutely pointed out, Steve’s hair-brained scheme, for all its intentions, failed to do what he set out to do. Al asked Steve, “What about sales tax?” That was all Al needed to say to demonstrate that the substance of the issue still remained; as does the centrality of Christ regarding history. Steve relented, but unfortunately, nitwitted television characters are often times more sincere, intellectually honest and have purer motives than modern day intelligentsia.

Let us always keep Christ at the center of our life.