Monday, November 12, 2012

Seek the One Truth

Decision 2012 is finally over.  Or is it?  What if our daily decision for the rest of 2012--and beyond--is just as pointed now as it was before the distracting state and national elections?

Indeed, what if two paths remain set before us:  either Radical Secularism or Daily Discipleship?  Of course, as we have seen so clearly in recent years, radical secularism is the "default" option which we unknowingly embrace anytime we shy away from daily discipleship; a so-called "neutral" or "lukewarm" middle position is, in fact, a choice for radical secularism.  Check out some of the more striking contrasts between these two paths:

Radical Secularism
Daily Discipleship
Key question
"What is truth?" (Pilate)
"Who do you say that
I am?" (Jesus)
Truth claim
The only universal truth is that there is no truth.
Jesus reveals that he is the "way, and the truth, and the life."
Support for truth claim
N/A; it is a presupposition which ironically must be assumed to be true; many atheists claim that their experience justifies taking this leap of faith.
Jesus' physical Resurrection from the dead, as witnessed by the Apostles and countless disciples down through the centuries.
Driving Philosophy
The Law of the Self: true freedom consists in doing what I feel like doing ("my will be done"), and imposing this on others as necessary.
The Law of the Gift: true freedom is found in self-giving and self-sacrificing for the good of others ("thy will be done"), and inviting others to see that in giving we receive.
Vision of the Human Person
Isolated individuals whose worth is linked to productivity and whose rights are granted, or revoked, by governments.
Children of God, created in his image and likeness, whose rights are inherent and whose dignity is not defined by governments.
Vision of life or
Ultimate horizons
Merely material:  finite and temporal.
Sacramental: spiritual in and through the material; infinite in and through the finite; eternal in and through the temporal.
Way of Life
The war of the powerful vs. the weak: competing rights are resolved in favor of those with more power.
The way of the Cross:  freely embracing daily difficulties and suffering as the path to authentic compassion and transformation of the world.
Social program
Dictatorship of relativism
Kingdom of God
Ultimate goal or end of life
Resurrection and Eternal Life
Scriptural Slogan
"You can become like gods" (Gen 3:5).
"Today you will be with me in paradise" (Lk 23:43).

Salvador Dali's image of the crucified and risen Lord shown above reminds us of Jesus' closing words at the end of Matthew's Gospel:  "Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age" (Mt 28:20).  So as we continue marching forward through the Year of Faith, let's pray that all baptized Christians will recognize the fundamental choice between "walking with the secular world" or "walking with the incarnate Word"!