Improperia A.D. 2012

"My people, what have I done to you? or how have I afflicted you? Answer me!

"Because I led you from the land of Egypt, you have prepared a cross for your Savior.

"Because I led you through the desert for forty years, fed you with manna, and led you into a land exceedingly good, you have prepared a cross for your Savior.

"What more should I have done for you that I have not done?  For I planted you, my most precious vineyard, and you have become exceedingly bitter to me; for in my thirst you gave me vinegar to drink, and with a lance you have pierced the side of your Savior.

"I gave you a beautiful planet on which to live, filled with animals and plants to feed you and help you, and you have imprisoned them, tortured them, forced them to live in cages and to reproduce as if they were machines, murdered them without compassion or thanks, and turned them into things to be bought and sold.

"I gave you beautiful bodies in which to live and reason with which to guide you in caring for them, and you have filled them with junk, abused them with poisons, confused their most sacred desires with the satisfaction of lust, manipulated them with surgery and drugs as if they were somehow imperfect the way that they were made or should live longer than I made them to.

"I gave you each other to love and care for, so that you would have company in life, and you have made each other into things to satisfy your greed, workers whom you control out of fear of losing their jobs, service people whom you expect to behave like tireless robots, family and friends whom you treat as if they were disposable as soon as they have troubles or fears.

"I gave you my Church, born in blood and water this very day from my side, to be a community of the faithful and a support against the difficulties of life, and you have made her into an instrument of power and oppression and shame, more concerned with sustaining the institution and excluding all those whom you are afraid of than with teaching my word.

"I gave you my teachings and example of how to behave towards one another, and you have rejected them as the stuff of 'organized religion,' having nothing to do with you or how you should live, presuming on the basis of your own selfish desires to a higher morality than my commandment to love one another as I love you.

"I gave you the creativity to make beautiful things in imitation of my creation of you, and you have used it to make engines of killing, stories of people hurting each other for your own entertainment, foods that make those who eat them fat and sick, advertisements to encourage each other to buy things out of anxiety or fear, a society in which the only thing that is sacred is money and the power to spend it as you will.

"I gave you the ability to choose the good freely without compulsion, giving you myself and this world as a gift, and you have accused me of being a tyrant, forcing you to behave in a way that you don't like because I tried to teach you not to lie and cheat and murder and steal.

"I gave you all of these things and more, and you denied that you had any need of me, insisting that you understood everything about the world I made and that you could control it better than I could.  And now it is poisoned and dying.  The soil is full of artificial fertilizers without which the plants could no longer grow, the animals are full of antibiotics without which they are so sick they would die, you yourselves are dying of cancer and heart disease and all of the other 'diseases of civilization' because you thought you knew better than I did about how to eat.  Your cities are filled with crime because you believe that the highest virtue is greed, your homes are empty of love because you believe that the only true loyalty that anyone should have is to one's job.  Your society is filled with lies and hate and anger and more lies because you have decided that the only true god is yourself and your right to choose what you will, regardless of how it affects yourself or others, unconstrained by anything so tedious as whether it is moral or good.

"And you have the gall to blame it on me?!"


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