Pulling the lever, praying the psalms

More wisdom for this particular moment from my blog neighbor Elizabeth Scalia, who opines at First Things:  

When I cast my vote today, I will do so while pondering ten years worth of praying the Divine Office and those psalms that so perfectly reflect the human condition. As we read them, pray them, we encounter ourselves and the world around us, over and over again. We come to see that while everything seems fresh and fiendishly important to us, there is truly “nothing new under the sun”. Everything happening around us has happened before. Civilizations have come and gone and yet this relationship with what is divine continues, and God’s hand is always present within all that occurs, if we stay alert to it.

We believe that we are the cleverest, most advanced, and therefore most blessed society that has ever lived, and that may be true. But it was true for all of the cleverest, advanced, and blessed societies that passed before ours, usually in tumult. We think that what is before us, solid and material, is real but in fact it all fades away in an instant, should the atoms cease to move. And those spin by the intention and will of God alone, not by anything we do.

As is all too demonstrably true in my own life, spending time with the Divine Office does not prevent us from getting overly caught-up in what is trending before us, but when passions take hold, or anxieties, and the steam begins to arise from our own bullish snouts, the Office helps. We regain our equilibrium when Vespers or Lauds comes around and their psalms—uncannily as they so often do—show us how the hopes and despairs of a single day have come before, and dissolved like dew before the constant reality of Christ.

You’ll want to read the rest.  She makes some great observations about the cynical mess which has now become our political system.

Someone suggested elsewhere that it may be time to bring back the monarchy, and let them self-destruct from syphilis and in-breeding.

I wish that motion were on the ballot. It would get my vote.


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