A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"Scenery and Critics"

One of the many powerful images in Dante’s Inferno is scenery of barren trees and the horrific creatures who eternally tear off their branches (Canto XIII).

Some of us are sometimes like the barren trees and sometimes some of us are like the creatures.

Indeed, sometimes we are like what the blind man sees in today’s Gospel (Mark 8:22-26): “people looking like trees and walking” - we walk through life and do nothing else, poor witnesses of the living Gospel of Christ.

At other times, some of us can be like the creatures who are always ripping and tearing at others, criticizing intensely with righteous indignation.

There is certainly much cause for righteous indignation and criticism nowadays, but today’s first reading (James 1:19-27) offers prudent guidance.

Know this, my dear brothers:
everyone should be quick to hear,
slow to speak, slow to wrath,
for the wrath of a man

does not accomplish the righteousness of God...

If anyone thinks he is religious
and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart,
his religion is vain.

Religion that is pure
and undefiled before God and the Father
is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

We should be
neither trees that only walk
nor creatures that only tear,
but rather we need to be
humble and faithful servants of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.