Jabez Stone: What does it mean here, about my soul?
Mr. Scratch: Why should that worry you? A soul? A soul is nothing. Can you see it, smell it, touch it? No. This soul, *your* soul, are nothing against seven years of good luck. You’ll have money and all that money can buy.
The Devil and Daniel Webster 1941
10th DOCTOR: Come with me. You’ve seen the warehouse, you can’t agree with all this. You know this place better than me, you could help.
SOLANA: They’re over here! Guards! They’re over here!
Doctor Who Planet of the Ood 2008
“You see Mr. Simpson, a man, well, he’ll walk right into Hell with both eyes open….”
The Twilight Zone The Hunt 1962
Yesterday I was reading the Anchoress’ piece on Andrew Cuomo and the link to Deacon Greg. I found it extremely depressing but for reasons you might not suspect.
Not for the concept of the new abortion regulations, I’m resigned to democrats pushing for such things.
Not for the potential slaughter, The current slaughter is already depressing and frankly the world is full of slaughter from Africa to China to Mexico to Chicago, there is never a shortage of innocents murdered to be upset about.
Not even for the cheers as he made the proposition. I’m into history, the idea of a mob cheering evil as if it’s good has a long and distinguished pedigree.
No what depresses me about Andrew Cuomo is the same thing that depresses me about the Monsignor Kevin Wallin story.
They both knew better or at least should have.
It’s not like they have the youth of a Lindsay Lohan or a Amanda Bynes to explain their behavior, or the ignorance of many of those born in the last few decades who have never been taught differently or exposed to the word and came of age in a culture that mocks it at every turn.
Andrew Cuomo was born in 1955 eight years before me, His father Mario was born in 1932 11 years after my own. Both were raised Catholic, Andrew being sent to a Catholic High School. Both have been clearly taught the precepts of the Church and of Christ. Being Italian Catholics it is impossible they did not have one or move strongly devout relatives or in Mario’s case devout parents who set an example of faith and what it means.
Likewise Wallin at 61 not only came to age in a different era but as a Catholic priest would have had formal training and teaching in the Gospels, in the faith. These are not things that would be abstract to him, these would be things that would be understood.
Additionally both Cuomo’s and the former Monsignor (he left the church in 2011) by virtue of their place in society would have direct access to superiors in the faith, people of vast knowledge and understanding able to give them advice and guidance, access that an average Catholic simply doesn’t.
Yet they have discarded it like the wrapping of a gift at Christmas. Tossed it for pride in the case of Cuomo, lust in the case of Wallin and greed in the case of both.
The question is why?
Well the easy answer, the one that is most comfortable and least challenging is simple human weakness. These are sins, all people are vulnerable to sin. It is tempting to look at Mr. Cuomo and Msgr Wallin and say to ourselves: “They have given into sin, we are all sinners so rather than critique we should simply pray for them”, Indeed we should pray for them, but that answer while comforting to us permits us to ignore a most uncomfortable reality.
Both Mr. Cuomo and Msgr Wallin are intelligent and educated men. At ages 55 & 61 they both understand they at the very least a decade closer to death than to birth and like all of us are marching relentlessly toward it. This being the case, what do their choices tell us?
They tell us when it comes to Christ, they simply don’t buy it.
They don’t buy God, they don’t buy Christ, they don’t buy the idea of heaven and hell and they certainly don’t buy these words from the Gospel:
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few. “ Matt 7:13-14
They simply see the world in front of them as the only end and a supposed faith as a means to those ends. As Elizabeth Scalia bluntly put it concerning NY’s Governor:
“Yeah, well, he’s not seeking heaven, just now,” I shrugged. “He’s seeking the White House, and power.”
Of course he’s not seeking heaven Elizabeth, he doesn’t believe it’s there! For such a person Mass is a formality for electoral purposes or more likely a comfortable habit akin to Sheldon Cooper knocking on a door three times.
As I said on the air on the Money Matters Radio Network in my first broadcast as a guest host yesterday. The only reason to be Christian in general and Catholic in particular is because it’s true. If it’s not true the we are an Elk’s club that meets on Sundays and the rules of morality that take away from your wealth or comfort are the rules of fools and no amount of belief will make it otherwise. If it’s not true I’m a sucker for not walking across the bridge to Water street and buying every EBT card I can for .50 on the dollar and doubling my available grocery money in seconds.
But the converse is also true. If Jesus Christ is the Son of God, if the Gospel is the word of God, if the bread and wine are transformed at the altar into the body and blood of Christ and if heaven and hell exist, then no amount of disbelief, doubt or laughter will change it.
The tragedy of Andrew Cuomo and of Kevin Wallin is not solely in what they have done and choose to do driven by either the lust for power, sex, money or even drug addiction in Wallin’s case.
The tragedy of their actions is they knew better and were taught better and are intelligent enough to understand better, yet are still walking toward the open-pit. Watching them walk toward it is like watching a Lindsay Lohan or a Amanda Bynes self destruct. It’s a waste, it bothers me, it doesn’t have to happen.
But Andrew Cuomo and Kevin Wallin have one thing going for them, one card still in play:
And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. (So) cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'” Luke 13:6-9
Cuomo, Wallin, myself and anyone who is reading this still has that one vital ingredient to avoid the pit in front of us. We are still alive. I’ll do my best to steer clear of it, you do the same and I hope and pray that Mr. Cuomo and Wallin do too. They have the rest of their lives to do so….
…after that, they’re on their own.