On Suffering and Disillusion

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Then:

No action destroys evil, but only the apparently useless and perfectly patient suffering of it.

Simone Weil, Gateway to God, p. 51 quoted in my diary entry on 10 October, 1984.

My belief in the above to be true, while never total, was stronger over three decades ago, when I was a Christian. The example of Jesus, given by a well-known Jesuit, seemed to confirm Weil’s intuition:

The power of the human person, his secret weapon, is his power to suffer and die.

From The Two-Edged Sword by John L. McKenzie, S.J., from page 25 of the same diary.

Now:

I look at the way the world has been increasingly dominated by a single political entity since I read the above statements, with, seemingly, little but pain and destruction for any peoples whether they dare to oppose it or not.

This dominion has been achieved by a combination of overwhelming military might, the absolute and wanton waste of Mother Earth’s natural resources on weaponry and, since the Reagan years, the gradual extreme control of the West’s mainstream media to the point that, among the smartest of us, there is a dismal, widespread lack of awareness.

I am now far from convinced that there is much hope for the approach of “turning swords into ploughshares.”

By the way, we Christians might be forgiven for thinking that Jesus used this phrase somewhere in the New Testament, but we would be shocked (I was!) to find that this everyday, so hopeful expression comes from the name of a statue completed in 1959 by a Russian sculptor named Evgeny Vuchetich and presented at that time to the United Nations, where it still stands. But New Yorkers may well be aware of this…

Yes, a Russian from, er, Russia! Go figure! The same Russia that is now increasingly, and I am convinced unfairly, vilified on the front pages and TV headlines of all the major organs of the “free press” for doing things that the planet’s paramount hegemon has been doing for just as long, albeit with greater success.

Hmmmm….

 

 

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48 Christmases Ago…

Living in Vancouver, cash-strapped, in 1968 I wanted to get home to Montreal for Christmas. My sister had a brand new son born on December 10 and my parents lived on Queen Mary Road.

I and another young fellow named Don traveled with Dave and Kathy B. from Vancouver to Toronto in their VW station wagon. Don and I had answered a posted ad offering a ride if gas costs and driving were shared. Only Dave and Kathy knew each other prior to the trip. The drive East to Toronto was completed in just 61.5 hours!

On the way there Dave wanted to avoid the Trans Canada Highway north of Lake Superior and suggested crossing to the American side and going south of Superior through N. Dakota and Duluth, Minnesota crossing into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie. Don argued that the road would be hellishly icy either way – and he was right but Dave was the boss. It was a white-knuckle ride all night. The VW had tires with metal studs, still allowed everywhere in Canada in those days. This did not make it safer – the studs simply allowed us to drive fast without facing certain death.

Dave dropped off Don and me, both from Montreal, at Union Station. The two Montrealers then rode together on a CN train from Toronto to Montreal. On that part of the journey Don told me that he was carrying marijuana. He then revealed that, during our two border crossings and our time south of the border, I had been carrying it in my left jacket pocket! Continue reading “48 Christmases Ago…”