Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Lewis on the Welfare State

March 29th, 2011, Promulgated by b a

no – he doesn’t actually use the term “welfare state”, but I believe that’s what he’s hitting on:

If tribulation is a necessary element in the redemption [he’s already unpacked the idea that pain is necessary.  An alternate title of this book could be “No Pain- No Gain”], we must anticipate that it will never cease till God sees the world to be either redeemed or no further redeemable.  A Christian cannot, therefore, believe any of those who promise that if only some reform in our economic, political, or hygienic system were made, a heaven on earth would follow.  This might seem to have a discouraging effect on the social worker, but it is not found in practice to discourage him.  On the contrary, a strong sense of our common miseries, simply as men, is at least as good a spur to the removal of all the miseries we can, as any of those wild hopes which tempt men to seek their realisation [gotta love English spelling] by breaking the moral law and prove such dust and ashes when they are realised.  If applied to individual life, the doctrine that an imagined heaven on earth as necessary for vigorous attempts to remove present evil, would at once reveal its absurdity.  Hungry men seek food and sick men healing none the less because they know that after the meal or the cure the ordinary ups and downs of life still await them.  I am not, of course, discussing whether very drastic changes in our social system are, or are not desirable; I am only reminding the reader that particular medicine is not to be mistaken for the elixer of life.  [Problem of Pain pp 114-115]

“elixer of life” – I love it!  btw – if you are a priest (inside or outside DOR) and would like a copy of this book, I will personally mail you one.  Just email me and let me know.

Speaking of this topic, Gretchen over at SavingOurParish posted something quite interesting.



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