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Saturday 25th of June 2022
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God created the Universe for His glory, i.e., for the full manifestation of His attributes.

God created the Universe for His glory, i.e., for the full manifestation of His attributes. Among those attribute is Justice, but there is another one: Love, or Mercy. And Love wants the beloved to be happy. God wants men to be happy, in this world and/or the next. Moreover, God’s love is understood as prevailing on His justice and His attributes are subordinate to Love. Hence this Law must also be an expression of God’s love.

And, indeed, the real first commandment of the Law consists precisely in its reward: “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.”(Dt 30:19). God’s glory (happiness) depends on man’s happiness – by definition of love. But this happiness is contingent upon man’s own choice of happiness. And this happiness is not a given, it must be chosen by consistently following God’s Law and, more generally, God’s Will. That Law brings happiness is found in most religions. The Rig Veda reads: “For one who lives according to Eternal Law, the winds are full of sweetness, the rivers pour sweets. So may the plants be full of sweetness, the rivers pour sweets. So may the plants be full of sweetness for us!"(I,90,6-7) and in Islam: “Whoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, We will make him live a good life, and We will award them their reward for the best of what they used to do.“(16:97)

§11. God’s Love is active not only in giving Law its end but also in the very process of retribution. Law can bring destruction if applied too harshly. Here, God’s love appears as Mercy – not paying back sins their exact price and giving men more than they deserve: “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities”(Ps.103:10), especially if one sincerely repents. The Quran begins each surat by invoking Allah the Merciful and says: “whatever misfortune happens to you, is because on the things your hands have wrought, and for many (of them) He grants forgiveness.”(Q42:30). It was also revealed to Sister Faustine, a Catholic Nun, that Mercy was God’s greatest attribute. Indeed, mercy helps us following the Law and becoming the beings of Love God wants us to be.

Hence, Law, as a spiritual mechanism, is subordinate to Love, to the point that every measure of justice is at the same time a measure of mercy. The Spirit of Law reveals itself as Love. The Spirit of Law is Love: Love is the First Commandment: to love God, to love one self, to love the others. This is the Teaching of Jesus: “Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."(Mt.22:37-40)

That’s why justice must be delivered with love, even if the sanction is harsh, and must be conscious of its true purpose: to educate sentient beings to true love. This educational purport of Law is underlined by Saint Paul, who describes Law as a guardian and a trustee(Gal.4:1-2).

Love grounds and transcends justice. Indeed, in the eyes of God, a single powerful act of love has much more worth than mere external compliance with the Law. Love can redeem a life of disorder, as did Mary Madgalen: Pr.10:12: “love covers all sins”. And we Christians believe that mere Love for God, especially focused on the person of Christ, informs us in His image and perfection, and thus helps us to follow the Law.

Second part: Law at a global scale

§12. The current world order has a purely secular basis and is bound to fail since the latent and open conflicts plaguing mankind cannot be resolved but by true justice. The spiritual meaning of Law and Justice has been lost, and the spiritual roots of those conflicts are ignored by those who could solve them.

There also exists a state of conflict between mankind and God, as a result of sin and the neglection of God – the first commandment, indeed, is to love God and most don’t. The only way to solve it is to recall God’s exigencies to mankind and promote repentance. It is likely, however, that many tribulations - judgments from God, will be needed to reestablish bonds of love of trust between God and mankind.

Besides, the very idea of the unification of mankind in a single political body is spiritual. According to most traditions, the first man, Adam, was a universal soul including all the future diversity of mankind: all the kings, all the nations, all the prophets and all the religions. Thomas Aquinas says: “all were in Adam by origin”(S.T.15.1.2); the Jews define Adam as a universal soul (neshama klalit); and the Quran reads: “O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another.“(Q49:13) A political unification of mankind must take this idea into account. That’s why the person of Jesus, the New Adam, is so important; it serves as the focal point of this unification “to gather together into one the children of God who are scattered away”(Jn11:52). ”Unto Allah ye will all return”(Q5:48).

The future era of peace will certainly rest on spiritual basis. Law will be recognized in its spiritual dimension and as belonging to God’s plan for mankind. The diversity of nations will no longer be conflictual. The common spiritual ground of all religions and legal systems will be acknowledged, and perhaps will they subsist so that each individual be judged according to her religion: « judge between them by what Allah has revealed.»(Q5:49).

This cannot be done now because the spiritual meaning of Law and Justice has been lost; a genuine global political order must be founded on God’s Laws and on God’s Love, as the Catholic encyclical Pacem in Terris (1963) makes it clear. But this is not possible for now. The Era of Peace will be difficult to establish, and might be preceded by violent conflicts: the ‘birthpangs of the Messiah’ in Judaism and Christianism.

§13. But something prevents this era to appear: the very nature of the civilization in which we are living. This civilization, with all its material benefits, is indeed spiritually blind, especially in Europe. To understand its secular tendencies, it is necessary to understand its origin: Rome. The Spirit of Rome has so much imbued the Western World that it could be considered as the continuation of Rome under another form. Strikingly, the Romans developed Law and Politics as no other people before, so we could appreciate those realizations. But the problem is that Roman Law and Politics are submitted to the Spirit of Rome.

What is this Roman spirit? Montesquieu, in his Dissertation sur la politique des Romains dans la religion, remarks that all nations subordinated the State to religion, except one, Rome, who subordinated religion to the State. They had “no divinity but the genius of the Republic”, and no other prophet than Romulus, their king, God and lawgiver. Every effort had a single aim: to promote Rome’s power and glory.

Roman power was associated to religion from the very beginning. The first kings of Rome had the imperium, that is, the power to consult the oracles to know the will of their gods concerning Rome’s development. The ritualistic tendencies of the Roman religion reduced it to a set of formulas whereby everything could be magically obtained, and Rome began to think in purely secular and utilitarist terms, far from any true spirituality. There were many admirable men in Roman history for sure, which were almost worshipped by European thinkers for many centuries, but this was a secular heroism, subordinate to the Glory of the State. Likewise, Rome’s most remarkable intellectual achievement, Roman Law, expressed this ideal of mundane glory and political control.

Etymology helps to understand the secular nature of Roman politics. A French scholar, George Dumézil, has convincingly shown that the indo-european root *yeu(e) for JUS (=right) had a dual meaning : (1) spiritual grace (2) area of action granted by the public authority. The root evolved towards (2) and secularization in Rome and towards (1) and mysticism in India and Iran. Likewise, *kred-dhe, the root for CREDO and its verbal substantive fides, acquired a profane juridical and ethical meaning in Rome, but maintained its original religious signification in Indo-Iranian cultures, with sraddha means devotion, sra being the heart (e.g. “to put one’s heart in somebody or something.”). As we see, the Roman worldview evolved towards secularism, while the Indo-Iranian worldview evolved to something more spiritual.

Roman Law, indeed, has no transcendent foundation and is purely secular. Law is ‘what the people approves and establishes’: Lex est quod populus iubet atque constituit (Gaius, Institutes, I, 3), a definition which is so incomplete that it clearly misses the mark. Stoicism, much later, gave Roman Law a more spiritual content, but not enough to make it comparable to Jewish Law, for instance.

The materialism of Rome shocked the Jews and the Christians alike, all the more as it took the form of a predatorial Empire. The Ancient Jews saw in the Roman people the instantiation of Edom/Esau, Jacob’s twin and rival, Jacob being a type for Israel, and, more deeply, Edom standing for the forces of Evil, and Jacob for the forces of Good. The Jews much resented the Roman occupation of Judea, and eagerly awaited their Messiah to come, a king who would deliver them from the Romans and usher a new Golden Age.

Actually, modern orthodox Judaism still believe in this situation, and see the Western World as an offspring of Rome. They understand this age as a painful exile within the Roman civilization. For them, the true foe is the Spirit of Rome, the Spirit of Edom, which has taken over the whole world, and especially the Western World. For them, the Muslims are not the real enemy, and they believe that someday the Jews and the Muslims will be reconciled.

§13. The first Christians held similar views towards Rome, and believed that the Roman materialistic power was the external expression of a mystical, evil power, the ‘mystical Babylon’. This is how St.John depicts the Roman Empire in his Revelations. St Augustine saw in Rome “the daughter of Babylon”(De Civ.Dei, XVIII,22), identifying the Spirit of Rome with the Spirit of Babylon, a move which is not historically unsound, since there exists a connection between Rome and the Middle East through the Etruscan people. For instance, the legendary foundation of Rome by Romulus and Remus was performed with Etruscan rituals close to Babylonian ones.

Contrary to the Jews, the first Christian claimed that the apparent failure of Jesus’ Christ was actually a victory – albeit a spiritual one, and that He was the Messiah. For them, the battle against Evil had first to be waged on a spiritual plane, with spiritual weapons, against the Babylonian Spirit of Rome. And those weapons were gained through Christ’s atonement and were freely available for all his followers. They expected Jesus to return very soon at the head of the celestial armies to destroy the Roman Empire, to break the power of evil on mankind and to usher a new golden age.

Nothing such happened, but, instead, something unthinkable occurred: the Roman Empire became Christian (313, 380) and became the main vector of christianism! While the structures of the Empire remained intact, their negative features were more or less neutralized. The imperial office became intrinsically Christian and the legal structure of the Empire began to change.

The harsh roman laws then became somewhat milder: more freedoms given to the slaves; protection of families, orphans, and marriage; better treatment done to prisoners; interdiction of cruelty in death indictment, interdiction of wizardry; elements of human rights rooted in the spiritual dignity of the human being . The change affected the vocabulary: the old roman fides and credo began to have a less juristic and more spiritual meaning. As Dumézil remarks, those notions became closer to their Indo-Iranian counterparts, indicating a spiritualization of the old Empire.

Later, the Canonical Law of the Catholic Church formulated the theory of vote in chapters, of representative delegation, distinguished a person and its office, thus opening the road for the most positive feature of modern civilization, under the influence of the true Spirit of Law.

However, as it is known, this spiritual influence receded, and the Church lost its authority: the XIIIth century exalted reason as an autonomous source of knowledge, especially in the ethical and political field, and the roman legal legacy was discovered in Northern Italy. A rationalist and naturalist intellectual tradition appeared and tried to found political modernity on purely secular terms, based on the distorted remnants of traditional catholic theology. And, slowly, little by little, the pagan Roman Empire reemerged, under the guise of a purely secular European Union, in spite of the efforts of some Christian politicians who dreamed of a new Holy Roman Empire – but their plans were thwarted. The Catholic Church in Europe, unaware of the new threat, now stays isolated as one of the last beacons of light in an ocean of darkness.


Third part: Law, eschatological

§14. Most traditions describe the end times as a time of utter lawlessness: Greeks and Romans expected an Iron Age, Islam speaks of fasad, Hinduism and Buddhism await a decline of the Dharma (God’s Law). Jesus has taught that in the end of days “many will turn away from the faith and hate each other, many false prophets will appear and deceive many people, because the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold”(Mt 24:10-12). Falsity, apostasy, hatred will prevail, as the outward manifestation of a deeper phenomenon: ‘lawlessness’ (anomia) - St Paul says: “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work”(2Thess2:7). 1 John 3:4 identifies Law with sin: ‘sin is lawlessness’. Lawlessness then epitomizes the end of times. Its core meaning is departure from God’s Law, and, more deeply, from the Spirit of Love hiding behind Law: “the love of most will grow cold.”

Indeed, Lawlessness means essentially “without Love.” With regard to political laws, lawlessness can take two forms: 1) generalization of behaviors contradicting just Laws (crime, corruption, conflicts). 2) Misuse of Law by soulless politicians who want to implement agendas of political and military repression and domination covering hidden goals, like the installation of an antireligious world order. Without the Spirit of Love, Law can degenerate into blind harshness and become destructive instead of instructive and redemptive. Lawlessness is not only the absence of Law, it is also Law without God and without Love.

The Biblical Book of Daniel describes those godless political orders as a gigantic statue made of fourth parts, the lowest one – the feet, being a mix of iron and clay (Dn 2:31). Most commentators have identified those feet with the Roman Empire , the last evil Empire before the advent of the new era. The feet mixed with clay symbolize its division in its later historical stages. Indeed, the Roman Empire did not die in 476, at the fall of Romulus Augustulus, but, as a legal-political structure, slowly regained preeminence amongst the barbaric kingdoms which were to become the European Nations and later took over the whole world.

As we saw, stoicism and christianism positively affected this structure, but, unfortunately, their influence receded through time. Their remnants are found in the incomplete doctrines of human rights and democracy, which become more and more nominal with time, especially in the XXth century where they almost disappeared. And today, what’s left of the Christian legacy is threatened by a vast complex of various phenomena – above all the constitution of giant federations devoid of real legitimacy and threatening to collapse into police states. Little by little, the old pagan roman order resurfaces and imposes his law of death on all sectors of human activities, enhanced with modern technology and modern control techniques.

The “Apocalypse” (apokaluptein, to reveal) is this period of history where the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ is fully disclosed. Someday the most evil political system in world history headed by some evil persons will appear suddenly, after a long time of gestation gone unnoticed by even the most acute political analysts. It will take over the entire world, either by ruse or by force and will persecute all true believers (Dn 7:23). A new world religion, founded on the wrong basis, will appear to help unifying mankind. The appearance of regional federations (ASEAN, ALENA, NAFTA, EU, Union of the West, etc) is then a mixed blessing as we know they will degenerate into a global police state founded on repression and violence, centered on the revived Roman Empire, led by a New Nero (Rev.) and an evil spiritual leader who will usurp Peter’s seat in Rome, the legitimate pope having gone in exile. The Jews identifies the first figure with Armilus, the King of Rome and some muslim hadiths associate the Dajjal with Rome. Evangelical Christians are aware of the threat, and, likewise, some Church Fathers feared likewise a subversion of the Holy Roman Empire by the Antichrist through black magic and subversion (St John Chrysostom, Hom.Thess., 2, 4).

§15. Thus, there exists a conceptual continuity between the following elements: the lack of love in the hearts, especially towards God, indifference towards God and God’s law, transgression of God’s law, sin and its consequences : unhappiness, frustration, hatred, conflicts, corruption at all levels, disturbance of nature, etc.

The root of this sequence is the absence of God’s Love in our lives and in society. Whenever God is absent from a society, this society sooner or later falls into decay and, were it not for God’s mercy, all human efforts would be lost, misdirected as they are toward mundane glory and material wealth alone and without God’s blessing: “unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”(Ps.127:1)

God is Love and lies invisibly at the very heart of social relations and interactions. Without God, there can be no love, no friendship and no society. People would become like the planets of a universe where gravitation would have been removed: they would go their own way and would be lost in the deep space of loneliness and the darkness of social isolation, only – perhaps – to become aggregated in some inhumane cluster, one of these soulless political régimes of oppression and cruelty we saw in the XXth Century.

Actually, this is the horizon of modern politics. This is the horizon of modern politics because this is also its foundation. Its foundation is not the Spirit of God, but the Spirit of Rome. The Spirit of Rome claims to be natural and not spiritual, but the Spirit of Law reveals the Spirit of Rome as spiritual. He exposes it as the self-glorification of the terrestrial city which claims to rely on its own efforts to build a better world and inevitably degenerates into an oppressive regime imposing useless sacrifices to its citizens for the sake of its own conservation. This Spirit of Rome, as an ideal-type, has been historically realized within various contexts but most especially in the Roman Empire, where it pitilessly persecuted the first Christians. That’s why the word ‘Empire’ is often used as a synonym for the ‘Spirit of Rome.’

The pervading nature of the Spirit of Rome has been surprisingly well described by an American writer, which inspired some successful movies, Philip K. Dick. He had some weird ideas, but, at a point of his life, seemed to have had a genuine mystical experience where he became conscious of the existence of an archetypal reality underlying commonsense reality. In this reality, which was somehow the true reality, he was a Christian living in secrecy in the times of the Roman Empire and waiting for Christ’s Second Coming. For him, the Roman Empire also belonged to this archetypal reality. It was a Black Iron Prison of fear, ignorance and violence, taking “various disguised polyforms” in the modern world: “the Empire never ended” . “The Empire is the institution, the codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.” Philip K. Dick also added that the supreme temptation would be to fight the Empire with its own arms. He warned: “To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox: whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.” He saw the only remedy in waging the war on a spiritual level with Jesus Christ; he also expected a temporal messianic figure, King Felix, to help renewing the desert of this loveless world into a new Arabia Felix filled with God’s spirit.

And, indeed, the system of covert lawlessness enthralling this world has two dimensions: a temporal (Rome) and spiritual (Babylon) dimension. That’s why most traditions refer to two figures fighting it, the temporal figure acting as proxy for the spiritual one. Jesus Christ is the spiritual leader, whose life was a spiritual victory which can become ours through the sacraments. And, indeed, the era of peace must be established by men of peace. As wrote Pope John XXIII: “the world will never be the dwelling place of peace, till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every man.”(Pacem in Terris, §165). And this is what Jesus Christ enables us to do – in a process which is certainly more difficult than building a materialistic civilization or nuclear weapons. The spiritual weaponry of light and love offered by Jesus Christ will be instrumental to gain victory. The spiritual role of the Virgin Mary is of equal importance, as she helps Jesus Christ to born in our souls, as she helps us to understand and practice Love and Law and, as the Queen of Peace and Woman of the Apocalypse, will comfort the believers and give victory to the faithful after the tribulations.

There is however the need for figures on the temporal plane. They are the two witnesses of the Apocalypse (Rev.11, Za.4). Their role is to witness God’s mercy and Jesus Christ’s spiritual victory to the entire world. They will be comforters and prophets, be defeated, but will come back with Jesus to build the new Era of Peace. One of them will be the legitimate pope during a schism within the Catholic Church, the other one is known in Muslim world as the Imam Mahdi. He is the Messiah son of Joseph for the Jews (the Messiah ben David being Jesus), the Great Monarch for the Catholics and the Orthodox, Lord Kalki for the Hindus and the Davidic Servant for some Mormons.

Conclusion

Mankind is in want of its political and religious unification, which can however be effected under the guidance of the Spirit of God or of the Spirit of Evil. Both are at work in contemporary globalization but, someday, their opposition will be dramatically made manifest. At that moment, our old habits of thoughts will be of no use. Moreover, it is difficult to tell in advance which nation will follow which Spirit.

For instance, the US is currently undergoing an intense purification; its next president, Barrack Obama, will certainly be more open-minded. Faith is strong there; the Evangelicals await the end of times; some Mormons expect the Davidic Servant and they have even built a fully functional replica of the Oval Office of the White House for him. As for Israel, the problem is that it is a modern State with secular ‘roman’ foundations. The Muslim world, hostile towards Israel, does not realize that it is in fact fighting the oppressive Spirit of Rome embedded within, while there is no reason per se for Jews and Muslims to fight each other. Indeed, the Quran even states that God will bring the Jews back to Israel in the end times: “and thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: 'Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.'"(Q.17:107) The problem lies in the nature of modern States.

Thus, the US and Israel have the possibility to follow the Spirit of God and they somehow prepare themselves for the coming of the Mahdi. In the future, Iran may even help the True Israel instead of fighting it: “the Messiah Son of Joseph is similar to Cyrus the Persian Monarch who encouraged the Jews to return from the Babylonian Exile and rebuild the Temple”(KolHaTor, 1.6.1), even if the ‘roman’ State of Israel itself may fall in the wrong hands before that moment. Law must also help healing the relations between nations.

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