This is a gloss on the last post. It should be placed after the following phrase:
… the only real culture that evangelizes the poor, for it is friendly to repentance.
And, evangelization of the poor is the only real evangel. Church is only for those who want salvation: to desire this requires a desperate recognition of one's own poverty.
Yes, the tangible poor -- they whose stomachs are wracked, whose bodies waste away from industrial toxin, whose organs and limbs fail from disease, who are strangers and orphans and without boundary stones to protect them from destroyers and raiders (the Midianites these days wear logo's on their tats and homepages) -- must not be conveniently dismissed from a cowardly linguistic evasion.
I mean no such shyness: I intend to take the word in its greater, more frightening aspect: the poor in their tangibility stand as a sign of the impoverishment of all Adam's children.
Marx and Adam Smith and all who scrabble in base materialism prefer to stop the meaning of "poor" and "poverty" at the edges of skin and roof and bank account.
But you and I know that the bankruptcy of human existence and ability go far beyond the obvious. Indeed, one of the indubitable proofs of immortality (even by grace) is ironically tragic: every passion, especially despair, carries within itself inexorable witness that at death, it will persist and prevail …
… that is, if not cleansed by Traditional Light, and displaced by supersubstantial Bread.
I say all this to displace the usual clichés.
Church is only for those who fear damnation enough to repent, and to believe enough to beg for sacrament and work to pray and hope for theosis. Church is the precinct of salvation, not mere intellectualized sublimation.
It would be good to know that ecclesiastical efforts are couched in this same fear, and are dedicated to the same hope.
What I worry about is that in many quarters, the poor are shortchanged by a diminution of their substance. Their status is truncated to a mere sociological materialization.
And in such a context, damnation is only mentioned, like an indecorous Freudian slip, as an expletive, with nary a reference to dogma.