|Last summer's fire tornado in California|
And now, yet another devastating California wildfire (that is actually plural), another town destroyed, another sign of the disaster that is now California.
Paradise is lost, yes, the town of 27,000 north of Sacramento devastated almost overnight three weeks ago.
Last year Santa Rosa which received the same treatment; and wildfires just reached Thousand Oaks and Malibu west of Los Angeles. Beyond the obviously awful effects of the fires, consider their cumulative and overall effect. California is falling apart. Once the paradise of the westward bound pioneers of the nineteenth century, and a center of culture and technology throughout the twentieth, California although still powerful on the surface is crashing.
Paradise has been lost.
As outgoing governor Jerry Brown stated in August "fires are the new normal that we have to face." His "new normal" statement I actually agree with but in a different sense. Not because of the "climate", the president, or some other scapegoat, but because of the way California is run - the state is heading, and is in - disaster.
The "environmental leader sanctuary state" is neither a sanctuary nor an environmental leader. Violence and crime has risen after the state reduced criminal penalties. The fires of course in a nearly tinder-box like state produce one disaster after another, as the state is supposedly, or maybe not, in a years long drought.
In a word, California is sadly destroying itself. Having in its official political identity tried to enshrine relativism, a God-less society, it is reaping the consequences. Although as we are learning in theology that it may be an oversimplification, God does not in general will evil, but lets things fall to the natural discord that results when he does not intervene. California then quite ironically in its environmental culture is reaping what it wants. It is getting the full of nature, of the necessary results of further breaking God's nature, God's environment, the spiritual nature and environment of His world. When the natural law is broken in the nature of the world Man's "sins call out to God for justice", and His justice follows naturally from the broken harmony of creation. Earth "groans" by disaster, that which God allows, and we see the results.
May nature (God's law and eternal will) be restored for the groaning to stop that we all of us (including myself) inflict upon it. May the destruction of Paradise lead us instead to hope in the true Paradise of heaven, with the realization through this and other disasters (particular prayer to those affected by yesterday's earthquake in Alaska) that there is the contrary and very real danger of hell.
California has entered hell in a metaphorical sense. May it, we, the world, as a whole not face the real thing, eternal damnation.
May you have a holy and fruitful Advent,