mi-cristo-echado

Carlos Caso-Rosendi

The Crucifix in the photo belonged to the Departmental Inspection of Schools of Colonia, Uruguay. The Government of President Batlle ordered its removal. The Provincial Jesuit of Colonia gave it to the Déniz Irurueta family, and the last survivor, a teacher Pepita Déniz gave it to a lady called María Rosa who, in turn gave it to Fr Horacio Bojorge, S.J. The story, In Spanish, can be read in Mi Cristo echado. The article by Fr Bojorge was published in my blog a few years ago.

Earlier today, The Catholic Thing published a brief report on the pro-life march that took place last Palm Sunday in Buenos Aires. After I sent the article for publication, I had a dozen ideas that I should have included, among them why I am quite frustrated because it is nearly impossible to discuss actual history among Argentines. I remember very well that beautiful set of stories that I had to learn in school. In the sanitized history books of that age, all the ugly parts of the country’s history were conveniently distorted or erased. I always say the true heretics always alter history and Scripture. The Argentine heresy does not need to alter Scripture. They simply ignore the Sacred Heritage while they adroitly falsify history. Woe to those who expose the sham, they will be execrated and exiled.

The conditio sine qua non to be considered a great Argentine is first and foremost, to suffer exile. Jorge Luis Borges, and José de San Martín died in a self-imposed exile. That simply means that they were rejected, like Christ in the Crucifix depicted in the top photograph. Often they tell us that Christ was rejected by his own people. I disagree. Not every Jew rejected Christ. The Church was almost completely Jewish in her early years. Christ was rejected by Jews and also accepted by Jews. Christ came to divide the sheep from the goats, and that division does not happen at the end of the world but from the very beginning of Christ’s ministry on earth..

Those who saw him as the Messiah continued in the Catholic Church the mission that God had prepared for Israel: to save their souls by conquering the world. Those who rejected Christ as their Messiah, decided to conquer the world themselves by any means necessary. Those competitors of Christ forgot the principle expressed in Matthew 16:26,:

“For what does a man profit, if he should gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Christ was rejected, cut off from among the people he had served all his earthly life. On the day Christ was condemned to the Cross, a troublemaker was liberated instead: Bar Abbas (Son of Father.) No one noticed the similarities between that situation and the scapegoat of Leviticus 16:8, “And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats: one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for Azazel.” Azazel is either the name of a fallen angel or it can be translated as “total removal”. Of the two goats selected, one was sacrificed (symbolizing Christ) and the other was set free in the desert. Christ went to the Cross but the revolutionary Bar Abbas was set free in the now spiritually deserted false Israel.

When someone decides to abort a baby for reasons of convenience, that ancient drama is played all over again. Someone goes to the illusory freedom of the desert, someone is sacrificed. One soul is lost and one soul is safe.

This reminded me of one of those one-minute stories by Jorge Luis Borges, the one about the two kings:

[…] there was a king of the isles of Babylon who called together his architects and his priests and bade them build him a labyrinth so confused and so subtle that the most prudent men would not venture to enter it, and those who did would lose their way. Most unseemly was the edifice that resulted, for it is the prerogative of God, not man, to strike confusion and inspire wonder. In time there came to the court a king of Arabs, and the king of Babylon (to mock the simplicity of his guest) bade him enter the labyrinth, where the king of Arabs wandered, humiliated and confused, until the coming of the evening, when he implored God’s aid and found the door. His lips offered no complaint, though he said to the king of Babylon that in his land he had another labyrinth, and Allah willing, he would see that someday the king of Babylon would be acquainted with it. Then he returned to Araby with his captains and his wardens and he wreaked such havoc upon kingdoms of Babylon, and with such great blessing by fortune, that he brought low his castles, crushed his people, and took the king of Babylon himself captive. He tied him atop a swift-footed camel and led him into the desert. Three days they rode, and then he said to him, “O king of time and substance and cipher of the century! In Babylon didst thou attempt to make me lose my way in a labyrinth of brass with many stairways, doors, and walls; now the Powerful One has seen fit to allow me to show thee mine, which has no stairways to climb, nor walls to impede thy passage.” Then he untied the bonds of the king of Babylon and abandoned him in the middle of the desert, where he died of hunger and thirst. […] (From Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Andrew Hurley, Penguin Books, 1998, p. 263-264.

This era may be known one day as the era of abortion. Not only because millions upon millions of babies have been aborted in the last century of so. Not only because abortion has been made legal in country after country. This will be called the era of abortion because society is expelling, aborting Christ from all the places where He can be found. This is a society enamored with death. This is the first society bent on planning its own extinction. One more time,  remember that prophetic quote by T. S. Eliot:

“The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide.” – T. S. Eliot, Thoughts After Lambeth, 1931.

That is our mission: to leave the company of those shouting: “Crucify Him!” to join those who will be the seed of a better world that is about to be born. Receive Christ in your home, receive the baby in your family, make room in your town for those returning from exile.

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