Gratuity is Next to Godliness

This evening in the northern hemisphere will mark the autumn equinox and the beginning of the fall season. Soon, pumpkins will multiply on front stoops, corn stalks will emerge as if miraculously from the ground, and black cats, unseen in the shadows, will now start to be observed as if they had only just then popped into existence.

For my family, and apparently for all Catholic families in the Roman Rite churches, almost since the time of the Apostles, autumn is marked off as beginning with the Michaelmas Embertide, where thanks for the bounty of the previous season were given to God, and a blessing was asked to be on the vintage.

Now this puts me in a curious position physically. The Ember days may be understood in a spiritual sense, of course, but the historical application and origin is very much in the physical, since the Catholic Church adopted the practice directly from the agrarian culture of Pagan Rome. Whereas before the conversion of the Roman people, the heathens would give thanks to their gods they believed governed the seeding and harvesting, now Catholics, who recognize but one God in Heaven, give thanks for the same but in a manner befitting the truth of the cosmos, as opposed to the superstitions of an ignorant race. So, what work am I to ask God’s blessing on, since I am a medically retired Navy veteran? I ask for God’s blessings on this website, of course! But what is the vintage, the harvest I pray for? That has two parts, both spiritual and physical. As to the spiritual vintage I pray for, it is the conversion of those who do not know the true Catholic Faith, because it has been obscured by the forces of the Antichrist, enthroned on the See of Peter, which Antichrist has usurped. I pray that, by means of the work I do, in writing popular articles and writing scholarly articles, making videos, making graphics, and recording podcasts, I am able to be a productive laborer in the vineyard of the Lord, helping to harvest souls for Heaven. The spiritual remuneration I receive for my labor is significant though unquantifiable. It is to the physical remuneration which I now would like to speak on.

Since launching the website back in 2021, I have had only a handful of donors. This is not unexpected, since any venture must begin somewhere. This year, on account of having taken a hardline in a disputed question concerning whether one is a heretic simply because he does not believe a teaching from a Roman Pontiff to be ex cathedra, I have lost the one donor I had heretofore called a CatholicEclipsed benefactor, insofar as this individual recurrently donated to CatholicEclipsed. It was on account of this generous benefactor that I have been able to expand my operations into podcasting, with the acquisition of the necessary media equipment. Yet, such necessary purchases have reduced the CatholicEclipsed fund to almost zero. Consequently, without donors or benefactors in the foreseeable future, CatholicEclipsed will be operating on a loss, because it isn’t free to run a website. Domain costs, hosting fees, and updates and maintenance of technology, are all expenses taken into account. And that does not even take into account the wages a labor ought to receive for his work.

It is often said, on such popular websites like OnePeterFive, the RemnantNewspaper, NovusOrdoWatch, etc., that one does not like to ask for money. I have no problem asking for money, when it is demanded by justice, which I think it is. Of course, no one should pay for what he does not like. My readership has been steadily increasing ever since I launched CatholicEclipsed, which means that people are reading and watching and (presumably) enjoying it. My contention, and plea to justice is, if you enjoy what you read and watch on CatholicEclipsed, then you should show your gratitude for the benefit you received, and offer a donation for that benefit received, in proportion to the pleasure you received from it. Were I a street performer with a gigantic harp, playing at a Metro station entrance (as one young lady was want to do on my commute to DC for school), and you passed by, stopped to listen to the enchanting harmonies and soft, angelic melodies I was plucking, and were moved to tears by the unearthly music, seemingly echoing the celestial spheres, but couldn’t be bothered to throw a quarter into my cup, I would say you had done me an injury, or injustice. Yet, had you stood and listened but were unmoved, and subsequently did not give even two cents, I would not blame you, because you did not benefit from my performance.

So, the question is, do you benefit from the performances on CatholicEclipsed? If not, then that would justify the zilch donations I have received in the past month or two. Do you benefit in any way from the content on this website? If so, to what extent? Is it a benefit equal to the beneficial quality of a hot beverage from Starbucks ($5) or a burger and fries and a drink from Applebees ($10-15) or a steak dinner with a glass of wine from Olive Garden ($20) or perhaps a caviar dinner from the Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar of Chicago ($75+)? The point is, to whatever extent that you do in fact benefit from this website, it is a principle of justice that you should offset that benefit by an act of gratitude. I would be pleased if you simply offered a gratuity based upon the benefit you received from the content you consume on this website, which is to say, a gift or tip of money based upon a percentage (20%) of the principle value on the item consumed. Thus, if you liken CatholicEclipsed in value to the food stuffs above, your gratuity would be $1, $2, $4, or $15. That is not so very much, is it?

GKC has said, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” I would add that giving thanks is not only the highest form of the intellect, it is also the highest form of the will, because it brings us nearer to the principle of God, Who created the world out of nothing by a free act of His will. The world need not exist, we need not exist, caviar need not exist, yet it does because God is gratuitous. Likewise, CatholicEclipsed need not exist, but it does through a generous act of its author and sub-creator, yours truly.

So, this Ember Day of Autumn, while you consider the benefits you have received from God and give thanks for these, don’t forget the benefits you’ve received from CatholicEclipsed, and give a tip as well. At least that way we’ll be able to keep the lights on.

Be like God. Be gratuitous.

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