When we infuse our actions with a focus on God and on the many blessings we receive in even the most mundane moments of our lives, we create sacred rituals that bring a sense of holiness, a sense of wholeness, to what we do and who we are. Like the Eucharistic feast that nourishes our heart and soul, every meal we eat with mindfulness[,] each bite we take with gratitude, has the power to transform us inside and out, for all time.
If there is a true measure of a person's soul, if there is a single gauge of real divinity, of how beautifully a fellow human honors this life, has genuine spiritual fire and is full of honest love and compassion, it has to be right there, in the eyes. The Dalai Lama's eyes sparkle and dance with laughter and unbridled love. The Pope's eyes are dark and glazed, bleak as obsidian marbles. Pat Robertson's eyes are rheumy and hollow, like tiny potholes of old wax. Goldman Sachs cretins, well, they don't use their own eyes at all; they just steal someone else's.
When Benedict dies, he will have the pleasure of standing before whatever furious God he believes in, to answer for how it was that he knew for undeniable fact that one -- if not dozens -- of his priests repeatedly molested, abused and/or raped young children for decades, and he did nothing to stop it. How much does God believe the pope's argument that Vatican PR trumps pedophilia? Joe Ratzinger, 82, will soon find out.
Why, observe the thing; turn it over; hold it up to the window; count the beads, long, oval, like some seaweed bulbs, each an amulet. See the tint; it's very old; like clots of sunshine, aren't they? Now bring it near; see the carving, here corrugated, there faceted, now sculptured into hideous, tiny, heathen gods. You didn't notice that before! How difficult it must have been, when amber is so friable! Here's one with a chessboard on his back, and all his kings and queens and pawns slung round him. Here's another with a torch, a flaming torch, its fire pouring out inverted. They are grotesque enough; but this, this is matchless: such a miniature woman, one hand grasping the round rock behind, while she looks down into some gulf, perhaps, beneath, and will let herself fall. 0, you should see her with a magnifying-glass! You want to think of calm satisfying death, a mere exhalation, a voluntary slipping into another element? There it is for you. They are all gods and goddesses. They are all here but one; I've lost one, the knot of all, the love of the thing. Well! Wasn't it queer for a Catholic girl to have at prayer?
The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person every person needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces.