The Body Politic

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.”  But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord,  and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.  Just as they have done to me from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only, you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:4-9

In Scripture we see how the People of God, Israel, ask God for an earthly King. God makes in clear that in doing so they are actually rejecting Him, as they have time and again.

The People of God have but one King, when they asked for an earthly King, they were handing their God given domain over to an earthly authority and rejecting the heavenly one. It seems they were surrounded by other nations who had Kings. It was not enough for them that God had shown them he was the best King by freeing them from the slavery of Egypt. It is here that they chose to go back to a form of slavery. The subsequent lines in Samuel is a listing of what the King would take as his. Despite all of this, they wanted a King who would;

….go out before us and fight our battles. 1 Samuel 8:20

And thus, we see that the People of God, whom God himself had fought for –

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

choose time and again the earthly way of fighting instead of the Godly way. They didn’t trust God and were afraid to fight battles without an earthly King. It is here that the People of God became members of the body politic, a body which, rather than being subject to the purity and charity of a God who loves them, is instead subject to the whims of the ideology of the leader or even the people who asked for the leader. An ideology which we know is not God’s way. How do we know this? Because God’s ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts. And God told His people through Samuel this is not what He wanted. But being the gentleman that He is, God did not force His Way on the People of God. The decision of the People of God thousands of years ago, put us in the situation we’re in now. It isn’t bad for us to participate in this body politic, so long as we know it isn’t the highest authority, nor the way that is best for us.

We must realize that God in His fathomless love wanted us back as part of the greatest body, of His Body. His body is Mystical and it elevates human nature to be incorporated into His Divine nature. And so He sent Himself in the form of the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, to earth, humbling Himself in the Incarnation through the Blessed Virgin Mary, to bring us back to unity, as part of His Body; the Church is the bride, the Mystical Body. The trajectory is to be one as Jesus and the Father are one. How we get there depends on our cooperation, or lack of it.

For generations we have had trouble cooperating though of late it has gotten precipitously worse. It seems most of the world, including some inside the church, are not cooperating. We get afraid when we see the earthly structure collapsing. As individuals we need to make sure we know God will fight for us by being in alignment with what He asks and doing what He commands. But it isn’t enough to do these things because we are afraid, we must do them because we love.

He left us a church with it’s 7 sacraments that provide real sacramental grace to elevate us. And he told us to “Baptize all nations,” and promised to be with us until the end of the age. Do we believe He is with us now in this current world crisis? Are we listening to him and cooperating with what He left us? Are we actively seeking to be part of the Mystical Body and inviting others to do so?

The way to healing is through right worship, not right voting, though voting rightly is important! Yes, we are living within the confines of the worldly structures of government; but the body politic is a mere reflection of the idolatry of the People of God and the mess of our worship. We must listen to His commands and worship the way God asked in order to be healed. When we continue to fight against Gods ways, or look only for the earthly solution to a problem, we miss how big God actually is. When we try to force unity in an earthly way, we actually end up only with division, because it becomes devoid of truth. We make idols of ourselves and reject the one true God.

It is He who corrects and blows over our institutions when they become so corrupt, just as happened over and over to the People of God. But He does so only so that He can bring us back to true love. Just as He gave the Israelites what they asked for, an earthly King, so too He will give us what we ask for, which is essentially our own demise. We are on the precipice;

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those who by their injustice suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. Ever since the creation of the world God’s eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been seen and understood through the things God has made. So they are without excuse,  for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools,  and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. Their females exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the males, giving up natural intercourse with females, were consumed with their passionate desires for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to an unfit mind and to do things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of injustice, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents,  foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die, yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them. Romans 1:18-32

Here in this passage from Romans we see our own idolatry. We can see by examination of our own conscience and through conviction of the Holy Spirit if we are a member only of the body politic, or if we truly seek the Mystical Body. We cannot control our governments, nor other people, but we can control what is listed in that passage by being obedient to God. For if we love Him we keep His commandments. And if we ourselves are in right worship of God then we are participating with great love in the Sacraments, praying ardently for Holy Mother Church and for her Priests and for our own families. The Mystical Body elevates you beyond the bickering of politics. The Mass is the Center of the World, from it will actually flow the body politic, when we worship rightly the systems He allowed us to have at our own request work better, when we don’t it becomes total chaos. When the chaos overwhelms, God intervenes.

We have the answer;

  1. Prayer from the heart, especially the Rosary
  2. Mass, receiving the Eucharist in a state of grace
  3. Reading Scripture Daily
  4. Fasting
  5. Going to Confession

We can make sure by participating in things with great love that we are an open vessel of God’s grace so we aren’t filled with sexual impurity, malice, murder, slander, gossip, or haughtiness or boastfulness or any of the things listed in that passage from Romans. If the church herself, in her structure, forgoes any of the things we need, as she did during the pandemic by removing the Sacraments from her people, we must keep doing the things within our control to rightly align ourselves in worship as best we can. God’s grace then becomes sufficient in our weakness and the things we cannot control. God can operate in ways we don’t understand to bring the greatest amount of healing.

God is bigger than every single thing that is happening in this moment. Rest in that knowledge because it is true. Consecrate your tongue to the Blessed Virgin Mary so that when you speak you speak love in truth.

About veilofveronica

I am a mother and wife as well as an RCIA and Adult Faith Formation catechist at a parish in the south. I have 3 children and a great husband.
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7 Responses to The Body Politic

  1. Finnian-John says:

    This article is wonderfully written to describe the “human” condition. The thought that came to me in reading it is the proclamation that is made every Easter vigil: “Oh sin of Adam”…that lead to the birth of the greatest King of All, the King of Kings!

  2. colleendrose says:

    It is comforting that the Lord leads as we allow, and I appreciate your summing up what has become clear to me over the last few decades. We don’t trust in princes, or horses or goods. We trust in the Lord who made us.
    Looking forward to the trust retreat…and have several joining with me.

  3. colleendrose says:

    Comfort, comfort to know and to hear the friends of the Lord say so! This is a good explanation of why we are not to trust in princes, horses, goods, etc, but in the Lord.
    Looking for to the trust retreat!

  4. colleendrose says:

    Oops, posted twice cause I didn’t think the first went through.

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