“Remember , Your Soul Is More At Stake Than His”.
And it came to pass the well-known blogger priest wrote a (beautiful) blog post about the alcoholic who drank himself almost to the point of self-annihilation, but this time knocked at the priest’s door not to ask for money – which I am sure Father would not give him, lest he fuels the other’s addiction – but to care for his own salvation, proceeding afterwards to produce a serious, and very beautiful, prayer effort according to his lights.
We are, I am sure, all pleased for this change of mind and wish the chap all the best, and a future without alcoholism to the point of self-destruction. I am reminded of Lucia’s words in the Promessi Sposi: “Dio perdona tante cose per un’opera di misericordia!”, “God forgives (so) many things for a work of mercy!”.
All fine up to here. A good priest, this one, who inspires drunkards to spend half an hour kneeling in prayer.
What seriously angered me immediately upon reading the post is the comment of an obvious V II ultra, who then proceeded to say to Father: “Remember your soul is more at stake than his; God loves Poor Lazarus”, clearly stating that his (the priest’s) own soul is more in danger of damnation than the soul of a possibly terminal alcoholic who has managed a beautiful feat of faith, once. As I write this blog post, no other commenter has questioned these words.
Let me make a couple of observation on this, then, because I can’t read such crap without saying a word or two; and no, don’t give me any of the usual sensitive, PC bollocks, because I have enough of it and won’t even read your comment to the end.
It is a strange, and rather perverted Christianity in which a man who consecrates his life to Christ – and, I am sure, makes a very good job of it – is considered in graver danger of damnation than a self-demolished alcoholic. It is the result of an orgy of goodism that is so worried of feeling good with itself that it forgets goodness in the process.
According to such perverted Christianity, it is better – and as a result, more advisable – to waste one’s life drinking oneself almost to death, and then spend half an hour in prayer in front of the altar, than to dedicate one’s life to Christ and to the salvation of the sheep. The stupidity of this thinking boggles the mind: it devalues – nay: it humiliates – virtues at the same time as it positively encourages to sin. In fact, it makes of sin – of very grave, constantly repeated sin – the best and surest way to Jesus’ love.
I know, it sounds oh so fine. Much of the populist V II crap does. As if Jesus would love the sinner in proportion to his sinfulness. “Blessed the child rapists, because theirs is the Autobahn to heaven?” But you see, in these egalitarian and very stupid times it seems the Gospel’s prodigal son is the better son and the better soul; which is nowhere to read in the Gospel; but boy, it sound sugary enough for nowadays’ saccharin addicted.
And let us talk of Lazarus the beggar, too, the specific man mentioned in the comment. Last time I looked, Lazarus is described as destitute and either a leper or one with huge health issues, but not an alcoholic. And he doesn’t go to heaven because he is a beggar, but because he is good in the eyes of the Lord. Similarly, the rich man is not damned because he is rich, but because he is not good in the eyes of the Lord.
We live in a world that has so much lost the sense of sin, that it even puts the alcoholic above the priest at the price of half an hour of prayer. Then we complain about vocation crisis. Ah, those stupid people of our Christian past, who considered the priest, and not the alcoholic beggar, the example to follow, and the good soul! They should have reserved their esteem and consideration for the drunkard instead! Hey, he has spent half an hour at the altar, has he not! You see, this clearly puts him in a better position in Jesus’ eyes than the one who spends an entire life for Him, because the best triggers of Jesus’ love are just not there: like being an alcoholic, say; or a whore, or a child rapist, or a professional killer. Jesus loves a sinner! Alleluia! That Padre Pio, who was obviously so boringly good… one wonders whether Jesus loved him in the first place. I bet the man never even got drunk once in his life! So sad.
Happily, Christianity tells us exactly the opposite, though this isn’t heard much nowadays: those who are better are those God loves more, and His great saints – many of them, of course, unknown to the world – are those whom He loves most. Christianity also tells us that to be good is good, and we must strive to live a life as devoid of sin as our energies – which we, again, train by living a good life – allow. We do our part to earn Paradise – or rather: to earn Purgatory – by living well, not by living badly; by staying near to the sacraments, not by becoming alcoholics; with fear and trembling, not with utter disregard of God’s laws. I though it was “if you love me, keep my commandments”, not “if you want to be loved more by me, trample them”.
And yes, thankfully for all of us, the Mercy of the Lord is always there just for the asking – which goes with the repenting, of course -. There is always hope, even for the alcoholic, the whore, and the child rapist. We pray that everyone may be saved, as we hope for salvation ourselves; and we are consoled by every show of God’s mercy, because we are also in great need of it. Therefore, we try to walk through life in the fear of the Lord, but we also trust on His mercy when we stray, as we all do. We stay near to the confessional, because we know that in the same way as we rely on God’s mercy, God demands of us that we work towards it; & Co., & Co.
Or perhaps we should forget all this: the Mass, the prayers, the confessions, and the struggles with sin, and become stupidly drunk and, in time, self-demolished alcoholics instead.
Hey, upon a single act of faith our souls would be less at stake than the one of a good priest.