My Thoughts

Progress has never had much to say for itself, though it has all too much to say for your lack of it. The progressive, no doubt, will complain of the severe inconvenience of pausing long enough to assess the damage his progress has wrought. There is always more progress to be made, so little time to explain its value. It has always been a mystery the necessity of always progressing; what precisely is so wrong with status quo? Why not stop and prune the roses instead of replacing the bush with marigolds or collard greens? My truck will soon be old enough to drive itself, my car, eligible for Medicare; the new are seldom better, just shinier, and a great deal more expensive. If that is progress, I will leave you to it. I am old and old things suit me just fine and dandy; besides they are mine, clear and paid for.

The late great English writer and convert to Catholicism G. K. Chesterton was often referred to as the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine once observed: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” One of his most enduring works Orthodoxy is at once entertaining, enlightening, yet at times difficult to decipher, but throughout there is much grist to grind.

This startling swiftness with which popular systems turn oppressive is the third fact for which we shall ask our perfect theory of progress to allow. It must always be on the look out for every privilege being abused, for every working right becoming a wrong. In this matter I am entirely on the side of the revolutionists. They are really right to be always suspecting human institutions; they are right not to put their trust in princes nor in any child of man. The chieftain chosen to be the friend of the people becomes the enemy of the people; the newspaper started to tell the truth now exists to prevent the truth being told. Here, I say, I felt that I was really at last on the side of the revolutionary. And then I caught my breath again: for I remembered that I was once again on the side of the orthodox.

Christianity spoke again and said: “I have always maintained that men were naturally backsliders; that human virtue tended of its own nature to rust or to rot; I have always said that human beings as such go wrong, especially happy human beings, especially proud and prosperous human beings. This eternal revolution, this suspicion sustained through centuries, you (being a vague modern) call the doctrine of progress. If you were a philosopher you would call it, as I do, the doctrine of original sin. You may call it the cosmic advance as much as you like; I call it what it is—the Fall.”

Chesterton’s point: progressive doctrine fails precisely for its unsustainable belief in the perfection of man; Christianity succeeds by its honest acknowledgment of man’s fallibility.

Wake up America.

Just my thoughts for a Friday, for what it is worth.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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