As we look forward to Ash Wednesday – which falls on Wednesday this year – oops, I mean, March 1st – we look at how LOVE engages Hate in the war for our souls and the rules of our own engagement with the Enemy. If you don’t think you have a soul or any need to engage in ‘warfare’ you need read no further! It was a saintly priest who so clearly set forth the path for the Christian.
Blessed John Henry Newman wrote in one of his sermons (#162 Sermons bearing on Subjects of the Day):
“Such is the rule of our warfare. We advance by yielding; we rise by falling; we conquer by suffering; we persuade by silence; we become rich by bountifulness; we inherit the earth through meekness; we gain comfort through mourning; we earn glory by penitence and prayer. Heaven and earth shall sooner fall than this rule be reversed; it is the law of Christ’s kingdom: and nothing can reverse it but sin.”
C.P. Jones, O.P.
Today, for the first time, our junior cat, Dominic, aka Nickey, settled in to sleep on the counter next to the computer I was working on. I turned on a cat video just to see how he would react. The birds on the screen chirped, moved, fought and fed. Nickey’s eyes flew open, he watched intently. He crept nearer. He sniffed the screen. He drew back and thought it over. He crept forward again and gently patted the screen. He sat down again and watched. Then, giving me a look of contempt, as only a cat can do, he stalked across the keyboard shutting the program down and left in search of a quieter place to sleep.
I wonder. Am I as smart as Nickey? Are any of us? To the cat, what was on the screen had no smell, no body warmth, no texture, no reality, no soul. Can we be so caught up in the illusion of desirable things that we forget that there is no true reality in entertainments and advertisements, that they do not truly feed, do not feed our soul?