Of Trillions and Youth Summits

Another milestone for progressive Canada: We will soon hit the trillion dollar debt mark, not quite up to the 20 trillion south of the border, but we’re proportionately catching up. Like the U.S., interest payments alone are playing havoc, and there seems no end in sight, as the Liberals, NDP, well, let’s just say all the political parties realize that the votes are in money, and money in votes, and the only debate is how quickly we are headed towards insolvency, unless cooler and more prudent heads prevail. But these are rare on the ground, and even more rare in politics.

The upcoming Vatican Youth Summit seems sadly already fraught with ideology. Matthew Schmitz at First Things has a telling, commentary on the build up to the Synod, whose working documents bespeak a bygone era of liberal Catholicism, unhinged from tradition and sacredness. The story of the young priest’s cassock airbrushed into jeans for a vocation photo-op is telling, and it seems a large and influential number of Vatican prelates have little idea what young people really want, lost in dreams of their own youth, or perhaps dreams of what they think youth dream about. What should seem clear is that all generations from Adam onwards want tradition, solidity, something to live for and by, and, most of all, they crave truth, and Truth, which takes discipline and work to appropriate for oneself. The easy way out, false freedom, banality and mediocrity, complaisance and complacence, are not attractive, and have emptied our churches. Christ always calls us higher, to strive for nobility and grace, for we are supernatural and immortal beings, called to no less than divine life with God.

And while we’re on bad choices, the midpoint of Holy Week is traditionally called ‘Spy’ Wednesday, when Judas took the easy way, making the fateful decision to betray Christ to the Sanhedrin for a bag of silver. We all have decisions to make with our free will, from the big to the small, and all of them impinge in one way or another upon our eternal destiny, for good or ill. A bit more self-reflection is always requisite in this life of absorption in the external and the ephemeral.

Yet here we obsess over alleged affairs of the President and Justin Trudeau’s awkward affairs of State and Mark Zuckerburg’s mercenary interest in all our affairs, licit and not. One can scarcely avoid all the inanity if one is within fifty feet of the internet, or, as I keep discovering, in a grocery store queue.

So find what refuge you can, whether that be interior, as Saint Theresa of Avila and her ‘interior castle’, or, in addition, exterior, some place to which one may go, to find God and His Christ in a ‘lonely place’, where we may ‘rest a while’, to ‘be still’, so we can hear in the silence the voice of our Maker and Redeemer.

A grace-filled Holy Week to one and all.