In this past weekend's editorial we talked about food - namely the dairy product of ice cream. Today we shift the food group to the meat category. "Whoa," you might say, "this isn't a food column. It's supposed to be a spiritual column." True, but Jesus used food often to convey a spiritual point and so we follow suit. You see today is the 98th anniversary of the staple of Americans everywhere - the hamburger. On this day in 1900 in Connecticut a Louis Lassing threw together ground up beef and formed it into a flat circular puck-like substance and voila - the beginning of billions, upon billions of burgers served. What we can't understand is why they were dubbed hamburgers since there's seldom any pork in ground beef...or is there? Over the years there has been plenty of ham in those who govern our lives - especially politicians who regulate laws that tend to curtail man, rather than encouraging him to use his God-given talents for good. The present administration is a sad reminder of this malady.
The same goes for the Church where, since the Second Vatican Council, many clerics and lay leaders leaned heavily to the left in trying to cook up something that was never intended. It has taken the master chef -Pope John Paul II - to rid the clerical kitchen of those whose agendas are not palatable to the Almighty. Over the years he has slowly prepared recipes of common sense, loyalty to God through loyalty to His Vicar on earth, and a return to reverence in presenting a repast that is most pleasing to the Triune Divinity. While the tastes of most are universal, to modernists the Holy Father's menu is sour and inedible to their minds and hearts. Sad, because as reviews go, the Pope's spiritual potables are a meal fit for a King - Jesus Christ - the King of Kings. His Holiness is serving filet mignon and grade A steaks, while some want hamburger or sausage with a mixture of dangerous ingredients. But the Pope is ferreting out these bad elements with numerous encyclicals, a new Catechism, and a rash of Apostolic Letters that lets everyone know exactly what is on the table. His latest - Apostolos Suos on regulating Bishops' Conferences - has been received enthusiastically by many prelates. It's a good barometer to see who stands with him and who doesn't by listening over the next few weeks to comments by each bishop on the repercussions of this. If it is criticized, then beware of your bishop. If it is praised, then be assured you probably have a good one and pray that you can keep him. Over the past ten years the landscape of the bishops around the world has changed considerably to the good. Many of the modernists who have died or retired have been replaced not by their choices, but by much more conservative bishops often times hand-picked by the Pope.
This very intelligent move by the Holy Father indicates we are close to that time known as the harvest as Jesus talks about in Matthew 13: 30, "Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers: Gather up the weeds first and bind them in bundles to burn; but gather the wheat into My barn." The Holy Father is one of the Lord's "reapers" who is binding the bundles together by forcing the bad fruit to show their hand in the manner Christ says in Matthew 12: 30, He who is not with Me is against Me and he who does not gather with Me scatters." The Pope is making sure that those within the ranks of official ministers of Holy Mother Church are with Christ. Those who are not, are not with the Pope either. Ergo: they will be scattered to the winds, disgarded in the great bin of spoiled components. This unappetizing scenario should be enough to shock the liberals back into conformity with what the Church expects and demands.
Hamburgers are the fare of those who are on the go. Quick, but not totally healthy. It's interesting to note that heart disease, high cholesterol and cancer increased dramatically after the invention of the beef pattie. Not that the burger is the main culprit but it is indicative of man's lifestyle where he has placed more emphasis on things of this world than God's world. And that's no bull! The culinary habits of America vastly coincide with the decline of family life, values and morals over the past several decades. Where once our grandparents prepared meals made from scratch, fashioned by the sweat of their brows in the gardens, fields and ovens, today we pop something into the microwave with no thought as to what harmful ingredients are in these often-times inedible "dinners." We're as guilty as the next. Don't know how many times we've gone to the supermarket and the kids bring to the cart a frozen meal and this editor's first question: "Is it microwaveable?" Spoiled by convenience we are! All of us. One reason, of course, is cost. Who among us can make a steady diet of restaurant food when raising a family. It costs $30 to $50 just to take a family to dinner at Denny's. Imagine what it costs to take them to an expensive restaurant? We wouldn't know, we can't afford it.
But each and everyone of us cannot afford not to listen to the Pope and follow his directives faithfully. If we do, we can be assured we're well on the way to feasting at the eternal banquet forever. If we don't, then we have no reason not to be surprised when we find ourselves scattered and disgarded, ground up like leftover entrails in the devil's meat grinder. That is no way to go! If you think it won't happen - look at the flaming neon sign on the arches of the entrance to hell: Billions refused to serve!