So often, I’ve heard political pundits and conspiracy theorists alike speak on the topic of the gold standard. I’ve so often heard that once the government removed the gold standard, the US Dollar became worthless. The dollar lost it’s meaning, because it lost it’s value. It was no longer valued as being measurable in a unit of gold, thus it was reduced to a “promissory note.” It was worth one dollar only because the government promised that it would be worth one dollar, and at any time the government could change the value of that dollar to be more or less than it currently is.
Man was created to be in communion with God. We see this all the way back to the Garden. We see all throughout the creation story that God and man were in communion; think of the words, “I have given to you every seed-bearing herb that sows seed…and every tree whose fruit shall yield seed” (Genesis 1:29). After the fall, we see “the voice of God walking in the Garden…so the Lord God called to Adam…” (Genesis 3:8-9). Now picture this, God was speaking to Adam as plainly and clearly as you and I could stand and have a conversation. Each of those instances were not through special rituals or any other sort of ceremony, “the voice of God walking in the garden saying ‘Adam, where are you?'” I wanted to explain that, because it paints such an important image here. Man, in full communion with God. This is important, because it shows the harmony, the communion, which we were created to have with the Lord. The fruits were given to man as a blessing, the vegetation, the animals, all of it were in harmony with God’s plan. They were all received with the blessing of the Lord.
But then, Adam and Eve fall. They fall and seek the one thing that was not given to them with the blessing of the Lord. And this is such an important facet to the story. See, the sin of Adam and Eve had nothing to do with the fruit, neither even did it have to do with their disobedience. The real sin that we see in the garden was Adam and Eve seeking to receive something outside of the blessing of the Lord. It was looking outside of the Lord for something that would provide for them that which they felt that the Lord would never allow. It was looking to what He had provided for them, what they could receive in communion with Him, and then going beyond that in spite of His warnings.
And, it’s so easy to condemn them for doing that. Especially when you look at it from the viewpoint of breaking their communion with God. It’s not that they chose the world, it’s that they chose something that was outside of the blessing of God. It’s so easy to condemn them for it, and yet, we often do the same thing. Consider how often we separate the “spiritual” from the “secular” life. We worship God in Church, even occasionally at home, but we always feel that there are times when He is, and times when He isn’t, appropriate. See, when we become “new creations” but still cling to old things, we create this sort of schism within ourselves. We create this life of trying to maintain unity with the Lord, while still trying to keep this distance, this area where we are fully out of communion with Him.
St Paul exhorts us that “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do unto the Lord,” (1 Corinthians 10:31) and again, “whatever you do, work at it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men.” (Colossians 3:23), and again, “with goodwill doing service, as unto the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:7-8). See, when we segregate secular activities from our faith, much like the dollar with it’s gold standard, these activities lose their meaning. They become action for the sake of action, seeking our fulfillment from a world which is dying. But, when we heed the words of the apostle, his admonishment, our very lives become Eucharistic. All of life returns to this communion with God. Thus, all of life regains it’s original meaning, this ubiquitous state of communion with the Lord. Food no longer remains merely a necessity for survival, but rather becomes a blessing. We are truly able to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 33:9 LXX). Work, which so often is the foundation for grumbling and despondency amongst the lost, becomes anew the blessing from which it was begotten.
All of life regains it’s original splendor once we are able to see each thing as it is, a blessing from the Lord. Much like the dollar, once we restore the gold standard, it no longer seems to be filled with empty promises and broken dreams, it becomes truly valuable once more. And yet, “the abodes of wisdom are more to be chosen than gold, and the abodes of discernment are more to be chosen than silver.” (Proverbs 16:12 LXX). So, if the gold standard would return the true value to the dollar, and wisdom is more valuable than gold, then how much more valuable would it be in our lives to return to the Lord in all that we do, rather than reserving the “spiritual things” for spiritual times? Every aspect of our life should serve one purpose, to bring us into communion with the Lord. To be disciples of Christ means to recognize that it is Jesus alone who has given us these great and perfect gifts, and we should use each of them to bring us closer into communion with Him.
May the peace of the Lord be with you all, my beloved brothers and sisters. Christ is in our midst.