Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pains in their death,
And their body is fat.
They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.
Their eye bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart run riot.
They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.
They have set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue parades through the earth.
Therefore his people return to this place,
And waters of abundance are drunk by them.
They say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge with the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked;
And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
For I have been stricken all day long
And chastened every morning.
If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight
Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form.
When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.
PSALM 73 NASB
When I write these blog posts, I have one post in the back of my mind that I don't write because it isn't an essay. It is a list. This list is just a litany of the world's ills that I see today that trouble me. I hesitate on writing it because it seems like so much whining and complaining. If I could sum it all up, it would be this. The wicked prosper while the righteous suffer. But I am going to write this list to get it off my mind. Here it is.
1. College education is unaffordable.
College has always been expensive, but it has entered the realm of the ridiculous now that college grads get to spend a large portion of their adult lives trying to pay down student loan debts for an education that is substandard. Basically, college adminstrators get rich off the backs of their hapless students who get to become indentured servants courtesy of all that federal student loan money. If you are someone who wants to pay cash for college, they make the tuition high enough that you can't get your degree without that debt. Plus, the law says you can't discharge that debt in bankruptcy. Your options in life are reduced to becoming a doctor, becoming a debtor, or becoming a wage slave to the man.
2. Radical Islam is taking over the world one beheading at a time, and you are an Islamophobe if you point this out.
I think the Muslim religion is a religion of pure evil. They kill people. They mistreat women. They denigrate the Christian religion. Yet, the secularists want us to practice multiculturalism and diversity when it comes to Muslims. The same people who decry the lack of ordained women priests in the Catholic Church are the same ones who praised recently deceased Saudi King Abdullah as a "moderate" because he let women work as cashiers in stores. There are no good Muslims. There are only robust Muslims who adhere to Muhammad's teachings or those who are merely sympathetic to them. As for the atheists of the Western world, they are cowards when it comes to defying true fanaticism. I'm a bigot for opposing abortion and gay marriage, but we have to tolerate people that murder and practice female gential mutilation. It boggles the mind.
3. Central banking is destroying the world economy.
They call it "quantitative easing," but it amounts to printing dollars and euros or producing them electronically. This debases the currency for everyone holding paper money and drives down interest rates on savings. The rationale behind this is that it punishes the savers while rewarding the spenders and the borrowers. This "stimulates" the economy in much the same way that arson stimulates homebuilding. The wicked who benefit from this money printing are the fat cats on Wall Street who help create the bubbles with their cheap money, and the governments that monetize their debts. It also inflates house and car prices because the sellers want to soak up all that money. When credit expands, prices go up. The ones who suffer are the thrifty and the poor. It amounts to one gigantic scheme to get everyone on the usury nipple.
4. Lying politicians serve the rich instead of the masses.
The thing that amazes me is how similar Obama has been to George W. Bush. If you are looking to the elected leaders in government for answers, you will be disappointed. Politicians make all sorts of soundbites to win the votes of a foolish electorate that actually think these liars will do at least some of the things they promised. Yet, when elected, they are most active in bailing out their rich friends while ignoring the people that elected them. This is why abortion on demand continues when the GOP gains control and why the rich 1% get the same treatment under Democrats as well as Republicans. Nothing changes because of votes. The only votes that matter are the ones with dollars attached to them.
5. Corporations stick it to workers and customers.
Just yesterday, I heard a story on NPR about how companies are giving less toilet paper to their customers by making the sheets smaller and the cardboard tube bigger. Naturally, the paper still costs the same. As for employees of these outfits, they get similar shabby treatment as companies find ways to deny them benefits or make them work schemes like "flex time" where you work part of the day, are sent home, and then brought back to work again the same day to serve customers just in time. As for worker pay, it has been stagnant since the 1970's when companies broke the back of organized labor. Yet, earnings and stock prices get ever higher even in this lousy economy. How is this possible? It is easy when you cheat customers and employees. Plus, you can borrow cheap money from the Fed and buy back shares of your company which increases earnings per share and drives up stock prices. Who benefits from this deception? The rich, of course. And the watchers of Fox News still believe in free market capitalism. Undoubtedly, they don't use toilet paper.
6. Many Catholic bishops and priests aren't worth a damn.
This is the last item on my list, but it is the one that infuriates me the most. There are many faithful bishops and priests who are good shepherds. Yet, there is a pack of wolves in their midst. This is how you get the sex abuse scandal or Catholic charities that funnel money from the faithful to groups that support abortion or gay marriage. Many priests are closet practicing homosexuals who look out for each other in what Pope Francis admits is a "gay lobby." From the bottom to the top from the pews to the pulpits are scoundrels who give Catholicism a bad name and are all too eager to play nice with a world gone to hell. Much of the evil in the world is allowed because that same evil is in the Church. It is hard to believe that the same church that defied godless communism and won has lost its moral edge when it comes to the material excesses and sexual depravity of Europe and North America.
This list was generated by what I read in the news each day. I could add to the list, but those items are usually single events feeding into these larger issues. I have to reflect on the fact that these things have always been with us for ages. The world has always been in sorry shape. As for the Church, it needs to be worth its salt. It is really hard to be battling on the frontlines when you have those behind you putting bullets in your back. It would also help to not have to deal with whatever loose lipped scandal Pope Francis unleashes on the world everytime he speaks off the cuff to secular reporters on plane trips.
I am tired and grouchy, and I realize that all of this just another trial to offer up to the Almighty. I like reading Psalm 73 because it is a reminder to see the big picture and be patient. The wicked do not prosper forever, and the righteous will be vindicated. Life is more about endurance than enjoyment. I can pray, and I can work. That's about it. The rest I leave up to God.