"Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the LORD intends? For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans. For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns." Wisdom 9:13-18
Human history runs like a heavy metal band, and not a good one! We are noisy and savage and brutal and rude. But our Creator is a symphony conductor, intent on refining our music in the theological virtues of faith, hope and Love. For centuries, as Revelation tells us, man (and woman) banged away on his crude instruments in an out of tune rock concert from the fall of Adam to the birth of Christ. Truly, the Great Conductor gave us 'the Law' of true music in the first testament, but He delayed the Great Symphony of man until the crescendo of the Cross.
"You turn man back to dust, saying, “Return, O children of men.” For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night." Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17
Religion, nowadays, is disrespected, and placed second to the ever popular 'spirituality' of our times. But 'spirituality' sans Divine Wisdom is nothing but meditative self-admiration. Religion, though it tempts many of us to act poorly in rigidity, brings out the best of people in the Wisdom which transcends all human ingenuity and insight. To put it quite simply, humble, pious religion is the lowly sinner emptied of self, and filled with God; in effect, becoming the 'handmaid of the Lord,' and the saint of the Holy Spirit.
"Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother..." Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Without God we put brothers and sisters into slavery. Not just in the past...but even now, in our 'progressively enlightened culture.' Without God, we continue to enslave people in racial and socioeconomic distinctions, and in utilitarian roles for the sole purpose of self-gratification. Only in God can we appreciate that a brother and sister far outweigh the joy of having a slave.
"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:25-33
'Be all that you can be' as an 'Army of One.' Borrowing a slogan from out great and heroic military, we can appreciate the bold audacity of the human person in enshrining themselves as self-sufficient conquerors of life. Then reality, sooner or later, punches them in the nose and sits on their chest like a 400 pound gorilla. Then, and only then, does the two-thousand year old Jewish dude hanging on the Cross have any significance. But, mercifully, and Eucharistically, Jesus hangs patiently, awaiting our repentant cry for help.
And we are saved!
P.S., Pray for Syria!