For some reason, there is a theme recurring on this blog, not by intention. A while back I wrote this piece, which jumped off of a remark by Hillary Clinton and mused on how a “big” idea like communism can work well when executed in a “small” way but utterly fails on the large scale, mostly because of free will and intention.
There is an enormous difference between a few dozen people voluntarily giving up their worldly goods for communal living, and forcing people to participate in such a society against their will. The first brings freedom for those who choose it. The second, historically, has brought tyranny, poverty, slaughter and the gulag.
I’d thought no more on the issue until I re-read a copy of The Right to be Merry by Mother Mary Francis, PPC and read her thoughts:
One has to be very spiritual-minded to grasp the true meaning of the cloistered contemplative vocation, very convinced of the supernatural values to understand its supreme significance for the universal Church. Those who hold power in communist-dominated countries have a very comprehensive grasp of it. They understand its significance quite perfectly. If they sometimes draw red herrings of “national churches” across their atheistic paths, they dare not deal even in half-measures with cloisters. We shall grow old and die waiting for Russia or (Communist) China to set up “national cloisters.”
My Auntie Lillie had a few words of advise for me, growing up. One was to tilt a glass 90 degrees before pouring the lager, and to let a Guinness “build” before drinking, another was to talk to St. Michael the Archangel when dodging nightmares, and the third was to “pay attention to anything that keeps being put before yer eyes; it’s the Holy Spirit calling you to prayer or action. Pray to know which.”
I’m paying attention. I’m praying. And I still say socialism doesn’t work.