What you do in this world matters. What you do has consequences: what happens to you also has consequences. Mundabor here is too bleak in his moralising, because he is trying to say something about the parlous state of the Catholic church. I would say that you can always change and undo some things physically, and ameliorate the damage you have done.But this reuqires something challenging: you need to own what you have done and change your behaviour.
There is an old word for this. Repentance.
How does God’s world actually work? The wicked can go on thriving for decades, and at times they die without any exterior signs of earthly punishment. However, on a huge number of occasions God actually allows a sinner to experience at least some of the consequences of his sins during life. Gluttony creates obesity, which creates diabetes, or heart issues and heart attacks, or destroys one’s knees. Alcoholism destroys the liver to the point that the person is immediately marked, visible as a drunkard. Marijuana clearly makes of one a pothead. Heroin and other heavy drugs destroy him in a far more devastating way.
Nor does it stop at the sinner itself, then the sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons. The bastard is accompanied, without any fault of his, by a stigma all his life, and he will likely have less chances and less guidance in life than the one born in a wedlock. The wicked, or faithless, wealthy man may be punished with a lazy, greedy, grasping, scrounging son, or by a drug addicted, gambling, degenerate one. The progressive mother “affirming” the same sex relationship of her son will be further punished by the deeply troubled, shellshocked nephews those two will “adopt” and, alas, raise. Wherever we turn, we see this law at play.
All true. I have seen, however, those who keep short accounts with God be troubled with ill health and grasping relatives. Immaterial. Our propserity or lack of it varies as this fallen earth hast times of famine and plenty. What really matters is how God sees us. Which is as children he is training and teaching as a wise father would. This at times requires letting the kid go and do something badly, then learn himself how to recover
9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”, for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
The biggest temptation may not be at present wrath, or lust, or greed, or gluttony — or even despair. It may be the quiet silence one uses to get along with people. I am not talking here about operational security and noting who are those Karens who will condemn you. I mean accepting the programme of converging with evil because that is the default position: as Bruce Charlton says, converting to leftism because that is where all the worldly praise is: the only cost is your soul
Frances Berger has an answer to this,well worth considering. As someone who was inoculated against leftists early (fourth internationalism tried to get me while I was still at school) I can confirm.
Upon encountering Dr. Charlton’s question, I took a few moments to conduct a little thought experiment and and attempted to imagine myself surrendering – willingly, wholeheartedly – to leftism.
I found I couldn’t do it.
Not because I’m a saint, or sinless, or pure, or perfect, or righteous, or holy, or elevated, or what have you.
I know what leftism is.
For many years – too many to mention without feeling pangs of shame – I did say ‘yes’ to the conversion question to a certain degree. I was at best a tepid convert, but a convert all the same.
I mostly went along to get along. I deliberately said things I knew to be insincere and untrue; did things I recognized to be immoral and ugly; believed things I knew to be false and evil.
And I was able to do all of it because I had tricked myself in thinking that I was still a true Christian and that none of it really mattered – not in the present, not in the end, not ever.
I won’t bore you with a prolonged digression of how I reverted back to being a more sincere Christian, but suffice to say the process involved the joyous acceptance that all of it – my words, my actions, my thoughts – really does matter. Nay, more than really matters – more like nearly all that matters, in the present, in the end, and forever.
As I thought back to my own conversion to leftism years ago, I simply could not imagine doing it again. Yes, I still struggle with sin, and I still scrub away at the leftist residue that stubbornly sticks like tar, but I can no longer imagine not being a Christian.
Especially not today. What would I be turning toward? What would I turn into?
Seriously . . .
I find it impossible to imagine not being a Christian because without Christ all I would have is the world, but with no means of overcoming.
I find it impossible to imagine not being a Christian because without Christ I would not know Truth, appreciate Beauty, understand Virtue.
I find it impossible to imagine not being a Christian because without Christ I know I cannot really, truly, deeply love.
And if I could not really, truly, deeply love, I would not be able to find purpose and meaning.
And without purpose and meaning, I would once again become a slave to fear, to comfort, to convenience, to lies.
I would live in complete darkness, yet remain convinced that my life was somehow bathed in light.
That part of me that is divine would diminish, perhaps even die.
Been there. Done that. Never doing it again.