Skip to comments.The Tangled Web
Posted on 08/10/2022 5:39:27 AM PDT by Carpe Cerevisi
Sir Walter Scott (1808) famously wrote: “O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” A modern pundit has rephrased it: “Always tell the truth…it’s easier to remember.”
Lies inevitably create a web of false narratives. In many ways, it’s a metaphor for sin itself. Sin begets sin that begets sin and the web ensnares us into a world of un-truth. A single thread of a spider’s web is tiny and weak. However, the combination of hundreds of such threads works to effectively hold its prey.
The odd “nature” of evil is that it is nothing. Evil has no being. Only God can give anything the gift of being. All that God has created is, thus, inherently good in its nature. Evil, according to the Fathers, is a parasite, a distortion of the good, a mis-direction. Every lie shares this aspect of nothingness (it is even less than a strand of spider-silk). Nevertheless, lies, taken together, have a way of weaving a false reality.
If we pay attention to the web of lies through time, it becomes apparent that the “narrative reality” of our world is largely one of make-believe. Of course, if enough people believe the make-believe, it adds a greater heft to the “nothingness” around us (as paradoxical as that might be). As much as our lives are caught-up in the narrative reality of our culture, we struggle like flies caught in a spider’s web.
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Evil had no being in se but it’s effects destroy beings. The privation of good in the Church, that stood by idly while evil penetrated, even to the hierarchy, preceded the destruction of our once God fearing republic. Evil destroyed marriage. Evil destroyed the family unit. Evil invaded educational institutions. Evil obliterated our government and justice system. But none of this would have happened had the sine qua non of entering the Church occurred. The gates of Hell will not prevail but these dark times are unprecedented and few Christians grasp the gravity.
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