Saturday: Holy Week–a Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy

Friends,

“Viewing the mutilated body of the beloved is the most grief-ridden experience of human existence. It is incontrovertible evidence that evil rules. It is an unambiguous testament that in the end it is not the gentle, the nonviolent and the meek who inherit the earth but the cruel, the violent and the tough. Death and the dark side of reality are always the final victors.

The dead body of Christ lying wide-eyed and open-mouthed upon the ground seems to be not only incontestable testimony that all this is true, but also the most conclusive evidence that the cross of nonviolent love does not save—that the Sermon on the Mount is at best clearly wrong, and at worst, a socially irresponsible misleading of people into paths of total destruction.

It is all over! Period. The person is placed in the grave never to be seen nor to see again, never to speak nor to be spoken to again, never to love nor to be loved again. Never! Never! Never! He or she won’t be back. In the end those who choose the way of the of nonviolent suffering love end up like all others—food for worms. Their molecules randomly are irretrievably spread throughout an infinite and indifferent ocean of time and space. Hope of being again is pointless. Personal existence is lost forever.

One last moment. One last touch. One final kiss. A whispered, “I love you— Good-bye forever,” and then the rock is placed over the tomb. Nonviolent Love, like hedonism, Aristotelianism, stoicism and all other philosophies, is ultimately an illusion without real power to save, a faith without any eternal potential or possibilities.

An occupied sepulcher is no more a symbol of hope than a Nazi crematory. The dead body of Jesus, the Jew from Nazareth, is a stark and irrefutable statement and memory of what violence and enmity do to a life, and that a life of Nonviolent Love is not the Way to overcome violence and enmity, evil and death. There is no more to be said and no more that can be done. There is only memory and unbearable suffering to be endured.

(Excerpt from The Stations of the Cross of Nonviolent Love)

The following video, viewer discretion is advised, contains disturbing and graphic images of real casualties of war.

Friday: Holy Week–A Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy

Friends,

With what magnitude of overwhelming certainty must the truth—that the will of the Father was to nonviolently love (agape) all human beings always—have been in the mind and heart of Jesus on that first Good Friday, that He would choose to be tortured and murdered rather than live some other truth. It was a truth of the Father’s will, which was so beyond doubt that He would choose to die living it rather than to live by abandoning it. 

And yet, almost universally the institutional Churches of Christianity, their leaders and most Christians are indifferent towards that same truth of the Father and Jesus. They are breezily dismissive of it, or superficially critical of it, or mindlessly mocking of it, or aggressively hostile to it.

For popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, ministers, pastors and Christians, who follow the Christian custom of rejecting this teaching of Jesus and raising up as a moral equivalent a contradictory teaching, e.g., a Christian justified violence moral theory, Friday of Holy Week is a dangerous memory, if permitted to be remembered fully and accurately. But, it is not as dangerous to soul and body, to self and humanity as forgetting this truth that the Word of God Incarnate explicitly and concretely revealed for all to see that Friday for their redemption—revealed at such great cost in the currency of nonviolent suffering love. Take Jesus’ nonviolent love of all, friends and enemies, out of Good Friday, and replace it with one of the customary Christian substitutes justifying violence and enmity that Church leaders and Christians now hold and teach as an equivalent way of faithfully following Jesus, and Good Friday and all that it reveals of God, His power and His wisdom does not exist.

One would think that something so irremovable and essential for a phenomenon to exist would be equally irremovable and essential whenever the phenomenon and its consequences are referred to or remembered. But, again, almost universally such is not the case in the Churches of Christianity, in the teachings of their leaders or in the minds and hearts of most Christians. Yet, what Jesus knew with certainty was the will of the Father and therefore essential for Him to live on Good Friday in 33 AD, what was equally essential for the Evangelists to record in the Gospels, and what was essential for Good Friday to even exists, is a non-thought in the minds of  95% of Christians today, regardless of their Church or the place they hold in their Church.

Dangerous indeed is the memory of Good Friday for any institution, religious or secular, built and maintained by the brick and mortar of violence and enmity and all the spiritually destructive spirits that they release into that institution. Even more dangerous is the memory of Good Friday for any human life, Christian or non-Christian, built and maintained by the brick and mortar of violence and enmity and all the spiritually destructive spirits they release into the mind and heart of that human life. Dangerous but potentially salvific. For in obliterating all hope that there is any such spiritual reality as redemptive violence, it unambiguously reveals wherein the hope for redemption lies—the nonviolent love of all, in trusting communion with and in trusting imitation of God Incarnate.
 

Monday: Holy Week–A Dangerous Memory

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel McCarthy

An accurate remembrance of Jesus’ torture and murder during Holy Week and of His response of nonviolent love to the violence directed against Him is a very dangerous memory.
It is dangerous first of all because it is a memory that ends in Jesus’ told destruction, with His friends betraying Him, running away and hiding in fear for their lives. All hope that Jesus, the incarnational paragon of nonviolence and nonviolent love was going to bring about significant social, political or religious change in things as they are and as they always have been was—as of three o’clock in the afternoon on  Friday of Holy Week—as dead as Jesus. Jesus was dead wrong, the meek never have and never will possess the earth. The violent rule. The default option of all ruling power comes from the barrel of a gun. The violent may tolerate the likes of the nonviolent Jesus for a while but can and will do-him-in if ever they feel the need to do so. As of Saturday of Holy Week, Jesus changed nothing socially, politically or religiously in Israel or in the world. That is a dangerous memory for any Christian who espouses any species of Constantinian Christianity—conservative, liberal or radical.

Holy Week: The Triumph of the Spirit of Cain

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel McCarthy

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

Milan Kundera

For Christians, Holy Week is the most meaningful and most significant week of the liturgical year—most meaningful and significant because the events of that week actually took place some two thousand years ago, and most meaningful and significant because they are every year somewhat liturgically remembered. But for the vast majority of people alive during that week two thousand years ago—or, indeed, for most living during any Holy Week since then—it is just another week, no different from any week before or after: Just another week filled with births and deaths, joys and tears, hopes and fears, loves and hates, mercy and violence, quiet and not so quite desperation, empathy and enmity.

The primal spiritual encounter of Holy Week—between Satan and God, evil and good, the lie and the truth, death and life, total destruction and total salvation—takes place on the historical plane as an encounter between violence and nonviolence, violent hate and nonviolent love, violent justice and nonviolent righteousness, violent retribution and nonviolent forgiveness, violent mercilessness and non violent mercy, violent wounding and nonviolent healing, violent power and the power of nonviolence, violent holy men and a nonviolent Holy Man, violent people and a nonviolent person, the violence of the secular and the religious kingdoms of this world and the nonviolence of the Kingdom of God, the violent Prince of this world and the nonviolent Prince of Peace, violent monotheism and nonviolent monotheism, the violent Cain and the nonviolent Christ, the violent sword and the nonviolent cross. Jesus does not suffer and die quietly, in bed, from medical problems associated with old age—and there must be a reason in the Redemptive Plan of God through Jesus Christ for this.

Holy Week is situated and saturated in a life-and-death battle between violence and nonviolence. Take the violence of humanly planned and executed torture and murder out of Holy Week, and there is no Holy Week. Take Jesus’ Nonviolent Love of all, of enemies and of friends, of His torturers and of His murderers, out of Holy Week and there is no Holy Week. If we do not choose to accept His Word as He communicates it, then we have no access to authentic revelation, which means we have no access to its power and wisdom.

So why do bishops, priests, ministers, and pastors refuse—almost universally, and almost universally in the spirit of willful obstinacy—to talk about, much less focus on, nonviolence, or its derivatives, e.g., nonviolent love, in their sermons about Holy Week during Holy Week? Is it for the same reason that they have reduced the torture and murder of Jesus to the mere words “suffered and died” in their Eucharistic Prayers? The same reason that they selectively forget to include Jesus’ response of Nonviolent Love towards His torturers and murderers in those same prayers?

Is it for the same reason that the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed are employed as the two fundamental public creeds of their Churches—two restatements of individual and communal beliefs that fail utterly to mention Christ’s Way of nonviolent love of friends and enemies? Why is it that these Creeds jump, non-stop, from the cradle to the crucifixion, ignoring the crucial revelation and teaching of the nonviolent love of all—always—which is the will of the Father done in heaven that Jesus comes to proclaim, by word and deed, must be done on earth as it is in heaven (Mt 5:38-48; Lk 6 27-36; Mt 6:10; Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2822). “[B]orn of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried,” reads the Apostles’ Creed. “He came down from heaven, and by the power of the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered, died and was buried,” reads the Nicene Creed. Is it a matter of ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ in order to leave unquestioned and unquestionable the status quo which is already in view and in the mind?

Nowhere did the authors of these Creeds deem it necessary or worthy of mention that Jesus did not just die. He was murdered. An act of violence was responsible for His death—that’s what the word murder communicates. Murdered means someone is intentionally killed by another person or persons. In this case, Jesus was intentionally killed by the violent religious and political rulers of His time and place, and by people who accepted to live in their spirit and according to their direction. Jesus is a victim of religious and state violence. More precisely, He is a victim of those human beings—whether they be a Pilate or a Caiaphas, a soldier or an armed servant— who buy into the violence and enmity justifying myths of a religion and/or of a state. Jesus came to free every human being and all humanity from being enslaved by the hypnotic spell of these mythical, non-existent, idolatrous, hideous and hellish gods of violence and enmity made in the image and likeness of fallen man. He accomplished this Divine Task by revealing in His words, and deeds, life and death, the true image of God, namely, God as Father of all, God as Nonviolent Love (Agape) of all —always.

Is it even rational to believe that the manner of Jesus’ death and the Spirit in which He dies are irrelevant to the salvific truth and saving grace that God desires to communicate about Himself, His Will and His Way to humanity through Jesus? Is it possible to honestly hold that Jesus’ steadfast response to violence—nonviolent love, and nothing else—demonstrated throughout His entire ordeal during Holy Week, is not essentially significant? That it does not reveal to humanity the knowledge of the power that saves from every form of evil and death, including, most pointedly, all species of violence and enmity?

As of Saturday of Holy Week, the spirit that seduced and possessed Cain has triumphed, as it has triumphed throughout all of human history. As of Saturday, Holy Week is just another week glutted, at every point of longitude and latitude on this planet, with anonymous, countless victims of violence, largely forgotten, except in the hearts of those who loved them, where the memories often become the motivation for perpetuating that same violence. As of Saturday of Holy Week, violence rules.

As of Saturday of Holy Week, nonviolence and the nonviolent love of all, even lethal enemies, are again incontestably verified by the world as an express ticket to the grave and to doormat status in history. Nonviolence can speak the truth with love—as Jesus did—to those who live by the power of violence, and those who live by the power of violence can snuff that word out like a bug—as Jesus was— if that is what they want to do.

There is nothing in the torture and murder of the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels during Holy Week to suggest that He intended harm, in the short, medium or long-term, to anyone, including His lethal enemies. His steadfast nonviolent love toward both betraying friends and murderous enemies has no motive other than the intention to do the Will of the Father in heaven, to which Jesus wholeheartedly desires to be faithful. He knows that the Will of the Father is that all human beings be saved, and He knows the means by which they will be saved. On earth Jesus loves (agapé) as He knows the Father in heaven loves (agapé), because He knows this love (agapé) is the Will of the Father that must be faithfully and ceaselessly incarnated on earth in order to release the power—the only power—that can save each and all. He knows this love must be made visible by living it, so that each and all can imitate it (His new commandment), not only because it is the Way to Eternal Life but also because that Way—the Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies is the Way to participate in the Eternal Life of God “who is love” (agapé), here and now.

If ever there was a moment when we could see what the Love of God looks like, if ever there was a moment when we could see the Way of “God who is love” in action in the flesh, if ever there was a moment to clarify and solidify for ourselves what the imitation of Christ entails, what Jesus’ new commandment—Love one another as I have loved you—means and calls for, prescribes and proscribes, Holy Week is that moment par excellence.

But, if we do not remember Holy Week accurately, if we do not remember the torture and murder of Jesus accurately, if we do not remember that the historical battle two thousand years ago was the battle between the evil of violence and the Nonviolent Love of all, at all times and under all circumstances, then to that extent we will be unable to follow Him properly, ‘to love one another as He loves us’ correctly. A fuzzy, euphemistic by omission, emaciated, watered-down, poorly articulated remembrance, whether during Holy Week or during the anamnesis narrative of the Eucharistic Prayer recited every week, results in the loss of grace otherwise available to a person, to a Christian community, and to all humanity through Jesus’ sacrifice of self —an act of self-sacrifice that made the invisible love (agapé) of God supremely visible to human beings trapped in the impenetrable spiritual darkness of disordered desires and passions.

Jesus is indeed a sacrificial victim, but not of some blood thirsty God who demands His ounce of blood down to the very last drop to avenge a wrong done to him, before he will forgive. He is a victim of violence, of humanity’s uninterrupted history of, and nurturing in, violence. He is a victim of individual human beings living in and out of the spirit of violence. But He is a victim of that violence precisely because He refuses it: He knows it and calls it what it is: lie, sin, the means and method of Satan, never an activity of God. He refuses to stop loving the violent ones as their Father in heaven loves them. He refuses the option of violence and chooses instead the option of Nonviolent Love because He knows that only choosing the Way of God—agapé—can impart to those murdering Him, and to all humanity, the gift of the very Life of God—that same Divine Nonviolent Agape—that can save them, and everyone, from falling forever into an eternally inescapable black hole.

Jesus is a sacrificial victim to human violence and for human beings because He chooses nonviolent love of all—even lethal enemies—as His option to confront violence, in order to reveal to humanity the only Way out of the wickedness and snares of otherwise unconquerable evil. The sacrifice of Jesus is a sacrifice of Love.

But as of Saturday of Holy Week, the book on Jesus’ life has been closed by the victorious violent ones. It is now entombed, seemingly forever, in the bowels of the earth, together with all the books on all the lives of all the billions of victims of violence—never to be read by anyone. And as far as His opening the gateway to salvation for all humanity, well, He couldn’t even save Himself, could He? His unrealistic, impractical, foolish, idealistic Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies was powerless before the power of violence. Wasn’t it? It bit the dust and, as of Saturday of Holy Week, was returning to dust. As of Saturday of Holy Week, the power that Cain released into the human condition continued to reign in human existence—with no way out even imaginable. The law of violence and its seed—fear—and its most destructive fruit—also fear—simply continue to rule human life, as they have done from time beyond recorded memory.

Station XII: Jesus Dies on the Cross

Consummatum est. The death rattles, the open eyes, the limp, heavy, breathless body, this is how it ends, on a small piece of dirt on a small planet in a small solar system, which is only one of a hundred billion solar systems in a small galaxy, which is only one of billions of galaxies in the known universe. On this little space, life, personality, and possibility expire.
Hydrogen continues to turn into helium on the sun; people in China and Finland and Angola go about their business; microscopic life eats microscopic life in a drop of water; politicians and their moneyed friends continue to connive as usual; fear seizes the hearts of millions; romance fills the hearts of millions of others; boredom and fatigue empty the hearts of billions; meals are cooked and eaten; dreams are dreamt; revenge is planned; games are played and tens of thousands are buried each day. All this and more continues to happen oblivious to the fact that a person has just freely chosen to give up His life on the cross of nonviolent love. Does anyone know? Does anyone care? Was it worth it? Was it really the right course? What difference does it make?” (Stations of the Cross of Nonviolent Love)

So ends Holy Week. Another in the succession of unending unholy weeks of violence has concluded. A life of Nonviolent Love, the life of a human being who believed that through living this Way He was being unreservedly faithful to the will of God and serving humanity has also to an end. The results: another week of total triumph for the spirit of Cain.

Palm Sunday Entrance of the Nonviolent Jesus into Jerusalem

Guest article by Fr Emmanuel Mccarthy

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.

He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
The warrior’s bow shall be banished,
And he shall proclaim peace to the nations.

His dominion shall be from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.”

-Zachariah 9: 9

“Although Mark does not mention the text, the entrance into Jerusalem (MK 11:1-11) is such a clear echo of Zechariah 9:9 that hardly any interpreter doubts that a reenactment was deliberately intended. The Messiah king appears as meek and lowly, riding upon an ass, without the trappings of royalty and the panoply of war; he is the very antithesis of the conquering political and military hero.”
Light on the Gospels: A Reader’s Guide, Fr. John L. McKenzie p. 95

Guest Article – FrECM on “Who is the aggressor?”

by Fr Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Friends,

Here is a letter to the editor by a friend,  Ben Jimenez, S.J., to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 3. Plus a brief commentary by me.

-ECM

Marine should quit the fight

 

I express my sympathy for brother alumnus Kevin Midgley and his parents. Despite our best efforts at St. Ignatius High School to teach Gospel values, some insist on picking up the gun and delivering ”a high volume of firepower” (”Former St. Ignatius football player on duty as a Marine in Afghanistan,” Sept. 11, Cleveland Plain Dealer). Instead of imitating the gentle and meek Lamb of God, our brother has joined the wolf pack.

 

Pope Francis recently said, ”Where there’s an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor. I underscore the verb ‘stop.’ I’m not saying ‘bomb’ or ‘make war,’ just stop.”

 

Brother Kevin, and all brothers and sisters in the military, remember you are under no obligation whatsoever to obey an order contrary to the laws of God. I urge you to put your weapons down and use your considerable talents to promote life rather than destroy it.

 

Ben Jimenez, S.J.

Ben,

Excellent letter!

Of course we always have to first make an accurate determination with the highest degree of moral certainty regarding who exactly is the aggressor*. For example, if the U.S., in a divide and conquer middle east strategy aimed at procuring de facto sovereignty over the land, water, oil and people of that region, were supplying ISIS with the money and weapons to kill and maim  (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/Global+Research+on+ISIS/148931411f5a412f) who would be the aggressor?** Does one have to consider the level of order and stability this region knew before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 in order to determine who the aggressor is? Does one send the child abuser to rectify a situation of child abuse which he is responsible for and which he is perpetuating? Who is the aggressor is?*** I would submit it is all but impossible to honestly and truthfully determine, even with a low degree of moral probability, who is the aggressor in the activities in which nation-state are involved, that are pathologically deceitful and have such organizations as the CIA, NSA, the Moussad, MI6, etc. clandestinely interfering in the life of any nation they want to use or conquer for their purposes. I think this would be an important question to ask your fellow Jesuit, Pope Francis: “How can one determine with the necessary moral certainty required where homicide is involved, who is the aggressor before deciding who is to be “stopped?”.

Think of the poor misguided, or U.S. Government stooge, Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta, Georgia, who led his Catholic flock into war, death and murder in 2003 by telling them that they do no have to wait to invade Iraq and to kill, and maim the people of Iraq, until Catholics in his diocese wake up some morning and see a mushroom cloud in their backyard! In a society with a long history of the government, the military and the mass media chronically lying whenever it serves their interests to do so, in order to deceive the public by saturation propaganda, it is either stupidity, gross negligence or chosen complicity with evil to even suggest that in matters of homicide the government, the military and the mass media be given even the slightest presumption of truth, regarding who is at fault or who is the aggressor in homicidal activity. Of course, this issue is mute if a Christian is following the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent of Love of friends and enemies, who is the only Jesus there is to follow. But, “Who is the aggressor?” is an axial moral issue where any application of Christian Just War Theory is the moral validation for a Christian participating in a war. Personally, I am still waiting to hear how it is possible, if—as is universally known—truth is the first casualty of war, the presumption of truth can be given to any king, queen, dictator, president, prime minister. parliment or government once war is on the horizon. They all lie with abandon, saying whatever is necessary to get innocent young Christians, whose brains are not even fully developed yet, like Kevin Midgley, to kill, to die and to be maimed for them. If you are not killing the aggressor in a war, you are engaged in in unjust war and hence the unjustified killing of human beings. he proper name in Catholic moral theology for the evil of the intentional unjustified killing of another human being in war or in the womb is the same: murder. I can only assume that the Jesuits at St. Ignatius High School thoroughly apprise their students of the level of evil they are entering into if they participate in an unjustified war by Catholic Just War Standards. If they have not, then they themselves are engaged in grave evil.

Keep up your good work for the Good News, Ben.

Charlie

http://www.globalresearch.ca/isis-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-trained-by-israeli-mossad-nsa-documents-reveal/5391593

**http://www.globalresearch.ca/bidens-admission-us-allies-armed-isis/5406539

***http://www.globalresearch.ca/isis-made-in-usa-iraq-geopolitical-arsonists-seek-to-burn-region/5387475

Is love blind?

We all know the great treatise by St Paul on love (Greek: Agape, Latin: Caritas)

If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

Epistle of St Paul to Corinthians 13

Is love blind though? The problem is rooted in the modern misconception that love is a feeling. Love is not a feeling, love is a doing. Love is an action, a “do” verb. The root of the misconception comes from the problem of translating the Greek (and even Latin) word for “love” into English. There are some people who will read Saint Paul’s great treatise on Love in the sense of “eros” reciprocative love, or the emotional feeling that the mainstream media propegandises as “love” (as represented by the Cupid, or the lovey-dovey couple or whatever the media throws at us in this regard).

The emotional feeling, is often blind, because it can be more powerful than reason. “Eros” is also often blind, because the reciprocal satiation (pleasure) is very “more-ish” (addictive). But neither these are the “love” that saves, neither of these are the “love” that Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ talks about. In fact neither of these forms of “love” are actually used in the New Testament, at all.

The love of the New Testament is in Greek; “Agape”. Agape represents the willingness to serve without the desire for reciprocation and the willingness to suffer without the desire for retaliation. This kind of love is never blind. It is summed up in this symbol


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