To Life and Living Simply

A blessed feast of the Apostles Philip and James, the latter called ‘the Lesser’, to distinguish him from James ‘the Greater’, the writer of the Epistle (which here, likely means just ‘older’), whose feast is on July 25th. Philip is the one who asks a number of leading questions in the Gospels, such as ‘how can a few fish feed so many?’, and, in reference to our discussion of the homo-ousios yesterday, ‘show us the Father, and we will be satisfied’.  As Christ replies, ‘He who has seen me, has seen the Father’, for the Father and the Son are one, in essence, in nature, in being, distinct only in their relation one to the other. Philip and James eventually saw that, and both lived and died for that truth, with their witness standing to this day.  Their voice has indeed gone out to all the earth.

The CBC had a lachrymose podcast the other day on an aged couple in a nursing home, who recently entered eternity together, hand-in-hand, by voluntary euthanasia.  In other words, to follow John Paul II’s advice to call things what they are, they committed suicide by allowing themselves to be murdered by physician-assassins. Oh, their three grown children, all living comfortable Canadian lives, went on about the full life their parents had lived, and how as the end neared, they wanted to choose the time and method of their own demise, with their family surrounding them, grandchildren all included. No one batted an eye, or seemed to have any qualm of conscience that Granny and Grandpa were being put down like a pair of unwanted dogs.

For the next step in all of this moral morass, of course, is involuntary euthanasia, when dear old Granny has Alzheimer’s, or is in a coma, or just a bit dotty, and cannot make her own choice to live or die.  Or just too much of a burden. And the children do ‘what is best’. It will certainly save costs, but at what cost?

And on costing a lot, the Ontario Liberals have been caught with their financial pants down, cooking the books, and hiding the apocalyptic deficit and debt in which this province is drowning. We are in for some interesting financial times, and the current floodwaters at either end of this country signify in some analogical way what may happen economically. Most Canadians are already ‘underwater’ on their mortgages, cars, student loans and all the consumer goods with which we surround ourselves, with just a small rise in interest rates spelling near-certain doom for all-too-many. And gas prices, inflated by the rapacious carbon tax, well, I will let them speak for themselves. It’s $1.60 in Vancouver, and we’re all headed the same direction, and beyond.

My advice? Live simply, and enjoy all the free, or mostly free, things in life, not necessarily in any order: Friendship, sunshine, blue sky, light rain and mist, long walks, sitting by a lake or river, with some good books, the Holy Mass, prayer, time with family, and breaking bread together (quite literally, if meat prices continue). We Catholics should always be filled with a supernatural joy, even if tinged with some sorrow, regardless of circumstances.  As Belloc wrote so truly:

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,

There’s always laughter and good red wine.

At least I have always found it so,

Benedicamus Domino.

Amen to that.

Saints Philip and James, orate pro nobis!