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...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Why can’t we all get along?

We see conflict in the news and we experience conflict in our personal lives (sometimes even within our ecclesial and cyber communities).

Why can’t we all get along?

For one thing, there is right and there is wrong and that reality necessarily gives rise to conflict.

For another thing, there is truth and there is error and that reality necessarily gives rise to conflict.

And finally, none of us are perfect: each of us in different degrees and different combinations have right and wrong and truth and error within us and that reality necessarily gives rise to conflict: within ourselves and with others.

The solution to such conflict, some say, is relativism: to pretend that there is no right, no wrong, no truth, no error.

Ultimately, of course, relativism is intellectual hypocrisy, for it imposes its own particular “truth”, eviscerates what it considers “error”, protects what it considers “right” and fights what it considers “wrong”.

Today’s readings all remind us of the reality of conflict, especially for people of faith.

In today’s first reading (Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10), the people try to destroy a truthful but unpopular prophet of the Lord:

“Jeremiah ought to be put to death;
he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city,
and all the people, by speaking such things to them...”

Today’s second reading (Hebrews 12:1-4) speaks words of encouragement in the face of opposition from sinners and struggle against sin.

And finally, in today’s Gospel (Luke 12:49-53), any shallow, cartoon-like concept of the Lord Jesus as Prince of the "Warm Fuzzies" should be ripped apart by our Lord’s own words:

I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!

Do you think that I have come
to establish peace on the earth?

No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

Christ comes with God’s love and with God’s truth: the deepest love and the greatest truth.

So should we live in today’s world: seeking God’s grace that we may live that love ever more deeply and perfectly and that we may think and speak and act God’s truth ever more purely and effectively.

Ever more perfect truth and ever more perfect charity: so should we be within ourselves and so we should be with others.