Amoris Laetitia, Global Greed, and Warming Up

*The Holy Father’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia is now promulgated.  I have only read the first few pages, wherein the Pope advises us to read the document “patiently and carefully”.  At over 200 pages, that may be unavoidable.  There are already a number of commentaries out there, presumably by those who have read it at a rather quicker pace.  Commentators have already remarked that the Pope has advocated that we ‘not throw stones’ at those who fail in living the moral life, and has apparently opened some kind of door to Communion for the ‘remarried’.  Hmm.  I will read it over the next while at a pace moved by the Holy Spirit, I hope, as I plow through essays and preparation for the last classes of the semester.

*Panama papers, Liberal cronyism, riots in Iceland (of all places), political corruption en masse continues to astound, or not, depending upon how inured one is to the daily revelations amongst our governing members of kick-backs, favoritism, financial misdeeds, sheer hypocrisy, lying, obfuscation, avoidance of any scrutiny or oversight, cowardice and the sheer, unbridled love of money, cupiditas which, as Saint Paul warns, is the root of all evil.  Saint Thomas builds on this divinely-inspired insight, teaching that avarice, the disordered desire for money or artificial wealth, is far more evil than greed, the disordered desire for natural wealth like food, cars or clothing.  For there is no natural limit to avarice, and the hoarding of money gives the illusion of unlimited power, with concomitant flouting of God and His laws, if the avaricious even think He exists.  So welcome to a God-less world, in the hands of evil.  But then Christ knew that when the devil offered it all to Him.  And, like Christ, we can live without the baubles and charms of this passing pageantry.

*Well, almost.  People, especially all those good people raising large families, need some property and money to make things go.  G.K. Chesterton’s distributist principles advocate for a wide distribution of wealth, both natural and artificial, but not by socialist, State-enforced tendencies.  People just need access to some of the sources of wealth, not least private property, which, if they are raised and educated properly, they will put to good use in increasing the wealth of the nation. Whenever I hear of a ‘billionaire’, I wonder, why does he have all that money, located in one place, doing not much of anything?  Why should a mediocrity like Mark Zuckerberg have billions?  I suppose the money goes where the people go, and people go to Facebook, offering for free all that personal information to Mr. Zuckerberg, which he in turn sells ‘for billions’ to advertisers and companies quite interested in all that intimate knowledge, written and visual, of you, your life, and your loved (and hated) ones.

*Now we have 20-something Millennials who are famous just for being famous (well, amongst a certain clientele, for I had never heard of them), making millions from ‘Instagram’ pictures of themselves doing things famous people do, like lounge on couches and hang out in restaurants where the price of an entree could feed an African village for a year.

*That said, at least one Hollywood actress is doing something right, by getting married and having children.  I am glad to see the princess of Princess Diaries, Anne Hathaway, has always wanted to be a mother, as I suspect every woman does deep down, so congratulations to her on the birth of her baby boy.  May many more join in her footsteps.

*And, finally on this Easter Friday, the clouds are coming!  It turns out that global warming, or change, or whatever it might be today, is coming far faster than was first thought.  The clouds are apparently trapping more ice, and this will somehow warm the Earth up much more quickly than anyone, or any computer-model at least, imagined.  For all I care, the clouds have all the ice they want from the Ontario village in which I happen to dwell, and, I, for one, could do at least with some heavy-duty local warming.

*So be of good cheer!  Spring is here, at least in theory, and soon in reality.  And, of course, Christ is Risen, the source and basis of all our hope.