March 12, 2020

"The devil has two strategies: the seduction of worldly promises... self-realization, careerism, and worldly success...."

"... and when this fails... there is humiliation, there is rage.... His pride is so great that he enjoys destroying with rage.... May the Lord give us the grace to be able to recognize that spirit that wants to destroy us with fury and when that same spirit wants to console us with worldly appearances, with vanity.... May the Lord give us the grace to discern the path of the Lord, which is the cross, from the path of the world, which is vanity, appearances, window-dressing."

Said the Pope, in Rome, where the coronavirus rages, though this homily seems to speak to people who are enjoying good times — self-realization, careerism, worldly success, vanity, appearances, window-dressing. But that gives it special effect: Those things you used to enjoy were never good for you, and if you are forced to relinquish them, well, you ought to have given them up on your own.

I don't know if the Pope connected these thoughts to the coronavirus, but I note that the word "quarantine" originally referred to the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert tempted by the devil. There was a temptation to worldly success:
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
So, when you are in your quarantine, you may long for all the vanity, appearances, window-dressing you have given up. The response from Jesus was:
"Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

58 comments:

rehajm said...

Never let a crisis go to waste, says Marxist pope.

Fernandistein said...

I have an excuse to write "superstitious teleology" twice in one day.

henry said...

All those worldy globe trotters are gonna experience quarantine. The virus is not impressed with cash or status.

Dave Begley said...

Away from me Fake News.

narciso said...

Wrong sermon, does he not gospel?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

May the Lord give us the grace to discern the path of the Lord, which is the cross, from the path of the world, which is vanity, appearances, window-dressing

So did he give these remarks while wearing jeans and a tshirt, or did he go for the appearances and window-dressing?

robother said...

Don't know if this connects directly, but just had a conversation with my 30-something daughter, who is pointing to the hopelessness of her generation. Graduated out of college into the 2008 economy, most made do with gig jobs, internships, etc. then just started to get traction on a career, family, etc., and boom! Looking at the second black swan event in 15 years, which could be even worse in terms of loss of jobs, reliable income, bankrupt small businesses and personal bankruptcies..

And for what? To keep people in their 60s to 90s from dying as long as possible. At whatever expense to younger generation's life chances. From her point of view, Wuhan virus is just the intergenerational ponzi scheme on steroids. She asks, is it really coincidental, when you see the power structure in the US: Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell, Trump, Biden, Sanders, H. Clinton.... This is a club you have to be at least 70 to join.

joshbraid said...

"this homily seems to speak to people who are enjoying good times — self-realization, careerism, worldly success, vanity, appearances, window-dressing. But that gives it special effect: Those things you used to enjoy were never good for you, and if you are forced to relinquish them, well, you ought to have given them up on your own."

I think the Pope is not saying "Those things you used to enjoy were never good for you", that you are incorrect in your interpretation. He is clearly saying that the Devil tempts people with "worldly promises"--a very different emphasis. I think your implicit judgement of enjoyment as bad projected onto the Pope is misleading. There is a tendency to portray the Catholic religion as hating enjoyment of good things, where as it is just the opposite.

Ambrose said...

The simple priest who has become Pope is now worried about careerism.

Temujin said...

All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Or Seattle. Or Milan. Attempt no landing there. Use them together. use the in peace.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Maddow's Russia Russia Russia was tailor made by the master of deception.

Nancy said...

I skipped a line so I thought he said cross dressing.

Sebastian said...

All this time I've been keeping Satan at bay, not responding to banned commenters and everything, and this is what I get?

Calypso Facto said...

"So, when you are in your quarantine, you may long for all the vanity, appearances, window-dressing you have given up."

Easy for the securely retired pensioner to label making a living "vanity". For those of us still working and those with equity-based retirement funds, widespread quarantine is almost certain to cause significant economic damage and job, income, and healthcare degradation or loss -- in some cases leading to suicide or death that would not have otherwise happened.

Oso Negro said...

All in all, I would prefer to be quarantined in the brothel in Spain than in the Vatican with that pompous Marxist.

rcocean said...

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

rehajm said...

Looking at the second black swan event in 15 years, which could be even worse in terms of loss of jobs, reliable income, bankrupt small businesses and personal bankruptcies..

The relevant word is capitulation. Surrendering to the panic, then freaking out because you see others that aren't freaking out as much as you...

Tina Trent said...

Ironic that Fashion Week may be blamed for spreading the virus internationally and for the outbreaks in Italy and France, though nobody in the media will say so. Though irony is a vanity.

Otto said...

Your Christian bashing is showing.

Shouting Thomas said...

Does feel a little doom and gloomy, doesn't it?

I retired to meditate upon my mortality and my relationship to God, to keep myself in the best possible physical health, and to follow my own interests as a musician and artist.

The devil is a very clever trickster.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Pure Evil:

The vice president [Biden] is negotiating a bunch of very sensitive issues with the Chinese, including the South China Sea, trade, tech transfer, etc. Biden is criticized on that trip for basically going soft on Beijing. Shortly after they return to the U.S., Hunter Biden’s firm receives a $1 billion private equity deal from the Chinese government [via the Bank of China]. Not from an American business in China; from the Chinese government itself. It later gets increased to $1.5 billion. We have no way of knowing how much Rosemont made on the deal because there are no disclosure requirements.

Biden’s Alleged Financial Ties To U.S. Enemy China Overshadow His 2020 Bid

narciso said...

Certain idols are unworthy of criticism do t you know.

rcocean said...

Its too bad the Catholic Church didn't have a better Pope. His constant political chatter makes it hard to care when he talks about - y'know - actual Christianity.

narciso said...

Does he not understand what his job is. To bring people to christ, not this antimaterial palaver.

Larry J said...

And for what? To keep people in their 60s to 90s from dying as long as possible. At whatever expense to younger generation's life chances. From her point of view, Wuhan virus is just the intergenerational ponzi scheme on steroids.

She should be happy that this virus is killing Boomers. I hear so many Millennials who hate Boomers and this virus is thinning the herd a bit.

Freeman Hunt said...

This is great. He should always talk like this.

traditionalguy said...

As the World Church turns. The Pope is back. Either he has decided to try Christianity again or he had someone else write that for him.

Jesus' 40 day temptation after Baptism in the Spirit is mentioned by Mark, but the conversation with Satan appears in the Matthew and Luke synoptics. So the Bible Study guys speculate that the conversations come from the Q source.

Many linguists like to point out that the translation " get the behind me" can also be rendered as "follow behind me," the sense being that after our meeting Jesus we will also tempted by Satan to give up our faith and return to worldly ambitions.

Crazy Jane said...

When Notre Dame burned last year, I was tempted (perhaps by the devil) to regard it as a symbolic end to the Christian era.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Our hack press is controlled by liars who lie.

Just days after news of the infamous Trump Tower meeting prompted heavy scrutiny from Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the translator present told the FBI there was no talk of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, according to recently released documents.

Buried From Trump Tower Meeting: Translator Telling FBI 'No Collusion'

&

"Natalia Veselnitskaya: Russian lawyer met Glenn Simpson before and after Trump Tower meeting, but Simpson says those encounters were coincidental."

Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS - the Hillary Clinton Lie outfit.

narciso said...

Remember the demon inside the possesed man recognized jesus, the temptation was for jesus to use his power to get out of hardship.

narciso said...

And remember 1 peter 5:8 and proverbs

Ron Winkleheimer said...

There is a tendency to portray the Catholic religion as hating enjoyment of good things, where as it is just the opposite.

I think Christianity often gets portrayed as being against the enjoyment of good things, but actually Christianity is all for enjoying good things, when done lawfully. After all, what is the first miracle of Jesus reported in the Gospels? He creates about 50 - 60 gallons of wine at a wedding party. When God creates the world he pronounces it good.

"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day."

Adam and Eve are told to be fruitful and multiply before the fall. Meaning there was sex in the Garden of Eden. (Blown some Christians' minds by pointing that out.)

"God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Genesis 1:28

The expulsion doesn't happen until chapter 3.




narciso said...

Proverbs 28:5

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Don't know if this connects directly, but just had a conversation with my 30-something daughter, who is pointing to the hopelessness of her generation. Graduated out of college into the 2008 economy, most made do with gig jobs, internships, etc. then just started to get traction on a career, family, etc., and boom! Looking at the second black swan event in 15 years, which could be even worse in terms of loss of jobs, reliable income, bankrupt small businesses and personal bankruptcies..

So she hasn't heard of the Great Depression or WWII?

rcocean said...

I think having open borders is a good way to spread the virus.

But the Pope says that's what Jesus wants.

narciso said...

He had faith, the devil could offer him nothing he needed.

Kevin said...

"The devil has two strategies: the seduction of worldly promises... self-realization, careerism, and worldly success...."
"... and when this fails... there is humiliation, there is rage


Conclusion: Hillary Clinton is the devil.

Tim Wolter said...

Actual etymology of quarantine:
-------------
quarantine (n.)
1660s, "period a ship suspected of carrying disease is kept in isolation," from Italian quaranta giorni, literally "space of forty days," from quaranta "forty," from Latin quadraginta "forty," which is related to quattuor "four" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four"). So called from the Venetian policy (first enforced in 1377) of keeping ships from plague-stricken countries waiting off its port for 40 days to assure that no latent cases were aboard. Also see lazaretto. The extended sense of "any period of forced isolation" is from 1670s.

Earlier in English the word meant "period of 40 days in which a widow has the right to remain in her dead husband's house" (1520s), and, as quarentyne (15c.), "desert in which Christ fasted for 40 days," from Latin quadraginta "forty."
----------
It became firmly established as a concept in the middle ages when there was an island outside Venice where sick people would be parked for forty days. Beyond that point they were felt to no longer be likely to breathe germs on you. For one of two eminently reasonable explanations......

Hotel occupancy in tourist clogged Venice right now is said to be 2%.

T. Wolter

Yancey Ward said...

The blog is quarantined, still?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Looking at the second black swan event in 15 years

The 2008 crash wasn't a black swan event. Plenty of people saw it coming. It was the logical outcome of government policies that forced banks to make bad loans to people who wouldn't be able to pay them back. This caused property values to rise (law of supply and demand) which caused speculation in the housing market. People were buying houses planing to hold on to them for six months and then sell them for a profit. It was a government funded ponzi scheme since they were the ones guaranteeing the loans. The big banks tried to paper over the problem by issuing securities, but since the underlying assets were essentially valueless or a money sink, the securities were also valueless. Once again, anyone who was paying attention and not buying into the bullshit being put out by the government or the banks saw it coming.

robother said...

"So she hasn't heard of the Great Depression or WWII?"

She has (as a history major and daughter of a Boomer male). But those consolations are as remote to her as the Black Plague would be to us. She and her generation are witness to the Boomer economic... boom, and the expectations of more and better have been the promise of politicians and pundits of every stripe since Reagan. We Boomers have been the prime beneficiaries of the Age of Entitlement, but succeeding generations have been equally sold its promises. A debt-financed bubble, of course it has to end badly. But Boomers will not pay a price anywhere near theirs.

Greg Hlatky said...

There is a tendency to portray the Catholic religion as hating enjoyment of good things, where as it is just the opposite.

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so,
Benedicamus Domino!

- Hilaire Belloc

William said...

When things are going well, it is far easier for me to imagine myself a good and worthy person. When my world is crumbling, it is easy to imagine that this is divine punishment for my many sins. I suppose it's a way of thinking you're in control. Life is more luck than providence, but it's pleasant to think that all this crap and splendor is distributed according to our just desserts.

jaydub said...

Robrother: "And for what? To keep people in their 60s to 90s from dying as long as possible. At whatever expense to younger generation's life chances. From her point of view, Wuhan virus is just the intergenerational ponzi scheme on steroids."

Your daughter seems nice. You might want to point out that many of us septuagenarians lost our fathers in WWII or Korea, spent our formative years practicing "duck and cover" in grade school, went from high school or college to combat in Vietnam (some of us came back, 55,000 didn't,) survived the same type of recessions that she is complaining about as well as the more recent ones she calls "black swans", defeated communism, cured innumerable diseases, coped with periodic 18% inflation and double digit interest rates and up to 12% unemployment, and still are leaving her with historically low interest rates, historically high employment and the lowest poverty rate ever, plus the highest standard of living that the world has ever known. And we did all of that while still being respectful of our elders and even taking them into our homes and caring for them in their dotage.

Robrother, take my advice and don't let her pick your nursing home.

Unknown said...

rcocean said...
Its too bad the Catholic Church didn't have a better Pope. His constant political chatter makes it hard to care when he talks about - y'know - actual Christianity.
3/12/20, 9:35 AM
---------------------------------------------

Amen.

gerry said...

For those of us still working and those with equity-based retirement funds

Most retirement funds are equity-based, even those of government employees (teachers, civil service, etc>). The money has to go somewhere to appreciate in value until it is needed.

Calm down. This will pass, likely by the end of Spring.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I'm going to concur with jaydub. I graduated high school in 1981. A quick search shows that unemployment that year was around 7.4 percent (guess that's why I joined the army) mortgage rates were around 18.63%. Inflation in 1980, 13.50%. Gas prices, adjusted for inflation, $3.90 a gallon. In addition a much greater percentage of income was spent on food and clothing than is the norm now. There have always been hard times.

Unknown said...

Bear in mind that it is Lent.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Here's an interesting table. It seems to show that the unemployment rate varies and has been quite high at various times. Who would have thought it?

https://www.multpl.com/unemployment/table/by-year

bagoh20 said...

"For it is written:..."

That really used to mean something back when not much was written. Today it means someone was awake somewhere and had a keyboard.

Gusty Winds said...

Robother - I don’t despise the boomers. They’re my parents. But as a member of Generation X, I agree with you, our kids got screwed.

n.n said...

Adam and Eve are told to be fruitful and multiply before the fall. Meaning there was sex in the Garden of Eden.

The Judaic, Christian line of philosophies advise a separation of logical domains. The prime directive, which corresponds with the only known fitness function is duck dynasties. The behavioral protocols (i.e. religion) serve two purposes: guide functional relationships on Earth, and test the mettle of men and women before ascension. Many people subscribe to God the philosopher. Many more subscribe to mortal gods and goddesses that promise instant and immediate gratification, to aid and abet their indulgences.

bagoh20 said...

Hey, us boomers lived through Y2K! It's a miracle that any of us even survived, let alone took the risk of having you brats.

Roughcoat said...

But as a member of Generation X, I agree with you, our kids got screwed.

Boo hoo. Tell 'em to nut up and try to do something about it.

Calypso Facto said...

"Most retirement funds are equity-based"

Thanks Captain Obvious. Take a second to think about why I would have phrased it that way: defined benefit plans primarily found in government unions are a notable exception, and the Wisconsin Retirement System supporting retired UW professors pays based on an annually adjusted annuity that does not respond immediately to market swings. (The WRS just announced last week a 21% INCREASE in the variable rate annuity payment, for example. Unless there's some mechanism for emergency adjustment, that rate will continue for the next 12 months despite the recent stock market blood bath.)

Jamie said...

Unknown, thanks for the reminder. I failed to choose a Lenten discipline this year. I suppose God has imposed one on me (as well as using this thing - disease and ramifications - that ranges from annoyance through hardship to tragedy, for God's own purposes, as God is wont to do).

Ann Althouse said...

Tim Wolter wrote "Actual etymology of quarantine..."

But you just quoted the material that is at the link that I provided in the post!

The oldest meaning of the word in English is, as I said, and as Etymonline says, Jesus's 40 days in the desert.

The first (oldest) definition in the OED is:

"†1. Christian Church. The place where Jesus fasted for forty days. Obsolete.
c1470 W. Wey Itineraries 14 By yonde ys a wyldernys of quarentyne, Wher Cryst wyth fastyng hys body dyd pyne; In that holy place, as we rede, The deuyl wold had of stonys bred...."

Second oldest is:

"2. Law. A period of forty days during which a widow who is entitled to a dower is supposed to be assigned her dower and has the right to remain in her deceased husband's chief dwelling; the right of a widow in such a case. Obsolete."

jnseward said...

It's good to hear the Pope sounding like a Christian for a change, even if he's pretending.