Sunday, November 3, 2019
Review: The Day is Now Far Spent
On one level, Cardinal Sarah’s latest book is a philosophy of life, a broad look at history, current events and faith, about how they have shaped man, and how he has shaped them. But on another level, Cardinal Sarah gets down-to-earth blunt: things have changed in our culture, critical changes that are not being critically considered.
The book is divided into four sections: 1)Spiritual and Religious Collapse --- crises of faith, the priesthood, the Church and identity, 2)Man Belittled --- hatred of self and life, 3)The Fall of Truth, Morality and Politics --- events in the news; and 4)Hope --- God is still here. In every section I have underlined sentences in my book which beautifully summarize Cardinal Sarah’s conclusions, summarize events, and the feelings in his heart. There are many underlines. For anyone who would wish to prayerfully understand the status of the world, man, God’s presence in our crises, and what SHOULD BE our status, this book is a good place to start. For some, Cardinal Sarah’s words may feel blunt, but they are conclusions based on facts studied in faith, not rants of his opinion. They are something, for those who say they wish to know the will of God, to consider.
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Some of the words I have underlined in my book:
§ This book is a cry of my soul. The Church is dying because her pastors are afraid to speak in all truth and clarity.
§ If you think that your priests and bishops are not saints, then be one for them. Do penance, fast to make reparations for their defects and cowardice.
§ Modern man has made himself the prisoner of reason that is so autonomous that it has become solitary and autistic.
§ Priestly celibacy anticipates what we will be in God in the fullness of life in the heavenly Kingdom. Celibacy is in anticipation of eternal life with God.
§ The renewal will come from the monasteries. I invite all Christians to share for a few days the experience of life in a monastery, (where) they experience the primacy given to the contemplation of God.
§ Wisdom begins with wonder, Socrates said. The inability to wonder is the sign of a civilization that is dying.
§ In the West, God has become like those elderly parents in the nursing home whom the children forget to visit.
§ Tomorrow, who will say where the boundary is between what is human and what is non-human? If human beings become manufactured products, who will be able to measure their fundamental dignity?
§ I think that the reason why there is a debate today about euthanasia is because we who are well cannot bear the presence of the sick and suffering. They are begging for our love and compassion. We no longer have enough love to give to them. Our society is experiencing a drought of love, and so it wants to get rid of those who need it the most.
§ A river that is separated from its source continues to flow for a time. But it will ultimately dry up.
§ The European crisis is essentially a spiritual crisis rooted in the rejection of God’s presence in the public life.
§ Everyone can do what he wants. Everything is possible. We have entered into a civilization of the chaos of desires --- the dictatorship of unbridled freedom.
§ Do not pray the Divine Office with your mobile phone. You cannot manipulate a machine on which there are all sorts of apps and pray at the same time. … I think we ought to inaugurate a great media fast during Lent. Christians should set the example of complete abstinence from the screen for forty days.
§ By not living as one believes, one ends up believing as one lives.
§ A parish in which there is no adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a dead parish or a sick one.
§ We are like the disciples. After the crucifixion, they no longer understand. They think everything is lost. We, too, see the world delivered over to the greed of the powerful. The Church seems to be overcome by the spirit of atheism. The sheepfold is devastated. We walk without understanding and without knowing where to go. Nevertheless, (as on the road to Emmaus) here is a man walking with us. We tell him our sadness. Then He speaks again, reproaching us for our lack of faith: “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory? Was it not necessary that the Church should suffer in order to be faithful to her Master?” He rekindles our faith…. Stay with us, Lord, for it is evening and the day is now far spent.