Our absence from the weblog for the past month has been a result of the vicissitudes of aging as well as the yearend busyness on the backend here at The Cornerstone Forum office. Chores, these days, seem to take longer than they did a decade ago. As technology advances, I feel I fall further behind. Both Gil Bailie and I find we can only do one thing at time, which usually means we now only have one spinning plate on a stick. And even then, it’s a challenge to keep it from shattering on the floor.
There is a feeling in the air that something more disturbing than an airborne virus is circulating around us. The cumulative effects of two years of wearing masks, lockdowns, isolation, and the sense of uncertainty about the waves of Covid variants, along with the emergency use of novel vaccines and medications whose long-term effects are unknown, have produced a wariness as well as a weariness as we trod this pandemic path. I discussed aspects of this a year ago in my reflections on “Everything is Broken” in which our fallen and sinful human nature is offered the grace of mercy and repentance.
René Girard’s thematization of the sacrificial crisis, or crisis of undifferentiation, that results when we no longer have recourse to the cathartic resolution of the scapegoat provides a way to understand our current situation. But this intellectual understanding does not bring about the healing of our broken world. Rather, it points to the ultimate futility of placing our hope in a particular political or socio-economic solution when a religious response is called for. It was the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that exposed and overthrew the sacrificial basis of human solidarity. And it is the same Jesus Christ that calls each of us to faith in the transcendent God ensconced in the Trinity and revealed in the Judeo-Christian scriptures.
We are facing difficult days. We will need resources of faith and hope that can sustain us in times of adversity. Such can be found in the sacramental graces offered in the Eucharist. Each person is called to find and follow a path to the Eucharistic table. And Christ seeks each lost sheep. Here is a song that may help along the way: