Faith & Politics, Appetite & Desire

Today at Mass I was praying for all on my list, and also praying for the nation, the president, Speaker Pelosi and so forth. I thought to myself: “she strikes me as someone in whom everything has been burned away except political appetite.”

But then I considered that the same statement can be true about so many of us who are “political junkies.” The old nag began within me again: when do our ideologies take over to the extent that they become our idols?

It’s a valid concern.

And then -because God works in Mysterious Ways, indeed- I opened my Magnificat (if you do not subscribe, you should consider it) and found this meditation for the day:

The idea is for us not to control our appetites at all, but to allow them full rein in the wake of an uncontrolled appetite for God.

It is important to take seriously the implication of our beatitude that there really is an appetite for God, and for his righteousness. We too easily speak and think as if righteousness resulted chiefly from the curbing of our appetites, as if our appetites were only for sin. But strictly speaking we have no appetite for sin. What we experience as an appetite for sin is a sick appetite which has mistaken its object. In moments of despondency we may perhaps look around and think that we should be much happier if we gave up trying to be good, if we could enjoy all the vices of the world around us. But that is only a fantasy. The desire for goodness is really a much more robust desire than any alleged desire for evil. . . We must be content to grow slowly toward goodness, taking, if need be, a long to time convalesce. Most of us, maybe, will still be barely at the beginning of our recovery even when we die. But that is better than killing ourselves pretending to be healthy. . .

St. Thomas says desire is the faculty which receives, so that the bigger our desire is, the more we can receive . . . Our part in this life is to learn to want largely and earnestly enough to make us capable of the infinite rightness of God’s Kingdom. . . The more we try to tame and reduce ourselves and our desires and hopes, the more we deceive and distort ourselves. We are made for God, and nothing else will really satisfy us.

So we must allow our innate appetite for infinity to dislodge us whenever we are inclined to settle down and call it a day.
— Father Simon Tugwell, O.P.

Amid all that is going on around us,
lets chew on that, today.

I’m heading out to a niece’s birthday party, and won’t be online much so if you’re commenting and it gets held up in the moderation queue please be patient.

And let us pray! :-)

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Bender

    Sorry, Bender, but for some reason I can’t take you quite seriously as one who has his finger on the pulse of “the left.” Dunno why that is.

    You don’t know why that is? Because you do not bother to inform yourself.

    While the left always loves defeating conservatives, especially when in drags down America, and in that sense was in favor, as to the actual substance of the Senate Bill, many on the left were adamantly opposed, e.g.,
    From Jane Hamsher (Firedoglake founder) at the Huffington Post –
    Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill

    In summary, she states, “Real health care reform is the thing we’ve fought for from the start. It is desperately needed. But this bill falls short on many levels, and hurts many people more than it helps.” Then she lists 18 “myths” about the Senate bill just enacted, to wit:
    1.This is a universal health care bill.
    2.Insurance companies hate this bill.
    3.The bill will significantly bring down insurance premiums for most Americans.
    4.The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.
    5.This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable.
    6.This bill provides health care to 31 million people who are currently uninsured.
    7.You can keep the insurance you have if you like it.
    8.The “excise tax” will encourage employers to reduce the scope of health care benefits, and they will pass the savings on to employees in the form of higher wages.
    9.This bill employs nearly every cost control idea available to bring down costs.
    10.The bill will require big companies like Wal-Mart to provide insurance for their employees.
    11.The bill “bends the cost curve” on health care.
    12.The bill will provide immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition.
    13.The bill prohibits dropping people in individual plans from coverage when they get sick.
    14.The bill ensures consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to challenge new insurance plan decisions.
    15.This bill will stop insurance companies from hiking rates 30%-40% per year.
    16.When the bill passes, people will begin receiving benefits under this bill immediately.
    17.The bill creates a pathway for single payer.
    18.The bill will end medical bankruptcy and provide all Americans with peace of mind.

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