Mandeville, LA – My old radio colleague John Zeigler has a post at Mediaite that posits a theory on Stephen Paddock’s murderous rampage. Zeigler’s post is partly correct and partly inadequate with dashes of Franciscan as in Pope Francis; Overall, John has made some worthy secular observations that can use an ecclesial vessel if they are to be a benefit to the type of fallen man who seeks paradise in Las Vegas. Let me begin where Zeigler goes Francis and writes
“I am someone who grew up in a very Catholic family, but who now considers himself to be an “agnostic” with grave doubts about the existence of an afterlife.”
Sorry, you don’t get a vote on that one and neither do I. If the question weren’t settled for the ancients it was when the Son of God unequivocally stated that there IS an “afterlife”, its called Eternity and we should do all we can in Time (man’s puny measure of milestones in this life) to secure a Holy death that produces a the Blessed version of the “E” word. But don’t take my word for it.
But I told you not these things from the beginning, because I was with you. And now I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou?
Where John, Boston? Istanbul? Pamplona for the running of the bulls? Hint, starts with an “H” and ends with an “n”.
But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:5-9
There He goes again! But where, Lord, where and why!?
And Jesus said to them: And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting. – Matthew 19:28-30, – Our Lord, Jesus , Son of God. [emphasis, mine M.C.]
Note the conditions for gaining that “life everlasting”, items Zeigler references as driving the evil part of the ‘Paddochians’ (I coined that) that remain out there. House and lands were the principle material possessions at the time of Our Lord; today its guns & ammo, fiat currency in a government holding account plus “land’ and its fruits. If Paddock was driven by the sick desire for the world’s most infamous “last tango in Vegas” than pray tell where did he learn the legal parts of that desire from? Christianity? Maybe in the confused world of Pope Francis and his Marxist pal cardinals; but not in the teaching of The Holy Roman Catholic Church e.g. defended by Saint Pope Pius X, the 20th century’s greatest Crusader against the material obsessions that drove Paddock.
“[W]e shall never, however much we exert ourselves, succeed in calling men back to the majesty and empire of God, except by means of Jesus Christ. ‘No one,’ the Apostle [Paul] admonishes us, ‘can lay other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ To this, then, it behoves Us to devote Our care – to lead back mankind under the dominion of Christ; this done, We shall have brought it back to God. When We say to God We do not mean to that inert being heedless of all things human which the dream of materialists has imagined, but to the true and living God, one in nature, triple in person, Creator of the world, most wise Ordainer of all things, Lawgiver most just, who punishes the wicked and has reward in store for virtue.”
OK, I’ll bite, God is not inert, He is real and He punishes them WHERE and where is the “reward in store”? Those practicing the heresy of ‘Muricanism find the store in Joel Osteen’s prosperity heresy and the “reward” is meted out at say, oh I don’t know, The Mandalay Casino’s Craps tables. And here is where Zeigler’s thoughtful argument crumbles.
I have always believed that a healthy fear of an afterlife was the strongest factor keeping us from descending into total anarchy. As this belief/fear has quickly dissipated among significant parts of our country in recent years, I have often predicted that we would eventually see a substantial increase in serious crime among older people who, with no moral foundation, suddenly have nothing really to lose.
Ok John, is there AN afterlife as in 1, singular, shared by all in varying levels of enjoyment – Aunt Petunia at the top-shelf piano bar and Uncle Ray at the Dew Drop Inn or is there “life everlasting” as in the beatific vision version and eternal damnation? Note Our Lord never uses “life” and “damnation” together because to live is to live through the Living Triune God, The Creator. It’s opposite is to be dead to the only being that matters in Eternity. Fr. James F. Loughlin D.D. put it ever so succinctly when writing of un-baptized children’s souls in 1895.
“The heaven of the Christian consists essentially in the vision “face to face” of the Triune God, the True, the Beautiful, and the Good. Any eternal state short of this, no matter how free from torments or how replete with ecstatic joys, is to the Christian theologian a state of perdition, of darkness, of damnation and death. These are beyond doubt very harsh terms; but it needs harsh terms to designate the irreparable loss of an ineffably great though supernatural and unmeritable Good. If it is salvation and eternal life to see God, it surely must be called perdition and everlasting death and tne exterior darkness to be for ever deprived of that beatific Vision… it is rightly called a state of damnation”
If there are millions of Stephen Paddock’s out there, convinced there is no heaven, no hell, then they are convinced there is no soul, no God and no Satan. What a coup d’tat for the Prince of this world who has sought the demise of the object of his scorn since Time began. The remedy to this, as Pius X cited, is a return to the order of God, leaving behind the materialist order of Marx i.e. men and their material obsessions. That order was the fallible, precious order that produced the good, true and beautiful we called Western Civilization. It’s alternative is day-long festivals spiced with hedonism and tragically interrupted by an über hedonist. Zeigler worries over millions of other Paddock’s and their lack of “moral foundation” good, I concur. But the non-murderous “moral foundation” we are surrounded by is producing parents giddy to assist in drugging then physically mutilating their own 5 year old children to “transition” their sex. As actor James Woods observed, these children of child-abusers masked as parents will meet a Paddochian fate. “Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you’ve done,stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage.”
Same outcome, same dismissal of “afterlife”, souls, God and Satan. Different killing field.