An Epistle in Light of Liberty
My Dear Fulton,
I was rather unsurprised, those years ago, when I discovered the truth of the facts behind your charismatic and award winning television personality. What else but that which is so often restated (and, therefore, so often taken for granted) could lay behind the brilliance of your oratory? Recorded at the end of an era of great orators, what do we hear from you, but the brilliance of light itself? Who else but light could be behind your description of arriving to the revelation? The culmination of your studies and writing at the Louvain? You were not greeted by the faculty reception to anything but a champagne celebration: the honor above and beyond the institutions conferral of the Doctoral rights and privileges, the Agrege en Philosophie avec la Plus Grande Distinction, which received its recipients without delay into the University’s list of faculty…the 13th recipient of the distinction in the 31 years since its establishment, there having been precisely 12 preceding you.
Since that reception, not a few souls have been impacted by your orations, be they from the pulpit or the radio, or then, within the century of the harnesing of the light emissions of the, to-date, still mysterious electron itself, your orations upon the television. In that explosive century of the light of man, in the wrestling against the pride of scientific progress, so apathetically and yet commonly decried for its overcoming the fortitude of human liberties, there were not one but two Emmys Awarded to you for Most Outstanding Television Personality. Despite such dignities, you remained ever so vigilant at decrying the dangers of pride as though reminding your audience of such objectively moral vices were all you needed to remind yourself of He to Whom you are subject. In such wise as your vocal platform in such years, it was not so dangerous a time but the most dangerous of the globe’s history to which human progress had by then regressed, when you rattled away in public broadcasts against Stalin and the errors of Russia, raging vociferously against any doubt that the demise of Stalin’s reign was inevitable. He was dead within days.
In the time since the century of the lights and darknesses of man, the fine art of oration, of which some think you were so final a culmination, have succumbed to the giving way of yet more electrons, so uncertainly fleeting in their duality, lighting screens in nearly every home in every industrialized land. The proclamations of oratory are not now so prized as the flashing of false explosions. The salesmen of the screen, now, having been payed to come in the door, are in so many homes and pockets and hands, where once was the place of daily times when the family once dined together in what was up to now all of humanity’s singularly common ritual. These false lights of man, still so misunderstood by the brightest of scientific researchers, have tricked so many souls into looking upon them instead of seeking the brilliance of the light Whom you know that they no longer search. They no longer wonder. They not only no longer seek to know what questions to ask, but no longer seek to ask at all. And they are not at fault at all for these electrons doing so; they are not at all responsible for not so much at all choosing to feed upon flickering lights while feeding not at all among each other, not at all, not at all. And who are they, so many though they be? Just who do we mean by they? Are they not at all we?
All that having been presupposed, I propose that three suppositions need be recovered to restore to the obscured culture of man’s need to persevere in pseudo-light of progressive regress, man’s intellect having been so dimmed by the artificial lights of a century of the calculating darkness of man: first is a hope to wonder, second is the liberty of will to search, and third is the humility of unknowing so as to be impressed upon. All three of these are so immediately suppressed by that passive reception of a deluge of irrelevant information carried on the flickering of wavelengths flying so slowly into proud man’s senses that the cherubim are, these days…still…lit with that harmonious laughter of guidance, as we lose ourselves in how rapidly advancing we think our own self-trappings are moving us forward. I propose, and I am not alone in this, that only with a combination of revitalizing rest and inspiring of motivations, that is to say in quiet daily quiet time, will souls again begin to discover a recovery from their unceasing activities–so disguised as recreation–the value of the courage to reaching toward these three human virtues beyond the volume of the visual noises and distractions of so much shine and flash and flicker that any large number of we so imperfect peoples, now so in denial of our imperfect natures, might again discover the solid weight of that real and true light, so goodly calling from beneath these shallow false lights of man, in hope that its oratory, pulsing from the very heart of these matters, will be heard again.
So Fulton, all polemics aside, I have to ask you a few questions. First, now that Stalin has been dead for some time, how do we restore a sense of the undeniability to the obectively observable reality of moral guilt? What card need we pull from beneath the century of darkening by the subject of man’s pride? By the seductive behaviors of socially constructed and only-ever destructive pseudo-meanings of the age, barricading with so loud a stone the way to the whisper of conscience? And, of course, second, is to ask how it could be that you hurled the stones at me, from wherever you are beyond the Cathedral in which you are presently interred, such that in my despair over the plight of men so burdened by so many false yokes, you have introduced, like your other readers, to the books in which you have already exposed to us exactly which cards need pulling?
And third, just how can I help you restore the sobriety of the light of Justice and Mercy, Whom you know so well, to the courts in which your cause is stalled amid the tangle of land and Church you so prayed for through the coldest war to date? How will you remind the court justices for whom you always prayed, and whom have these days failed to recognize their own land’s precedents of freely dismissing its secular adjudications in light of its free admission that this land has not rights of authority to intervene in matters of the freely unfettered policies of the freely authoritative liberty of religious institutions so freely here gathered in light of their free self-governance? All moral failings in these days–arising to the stages of new show trials amid the in-cooperations and dis-integrations between State and Church–presently flickering across the screens being acknowledge and recognized with need for due consideration, of course.
In the Name
above every other name,
A Sermons of Saint Anthony of Padua Devotee