In the last month, I’ve been rereading the archives of this site for there is a trove of wisdom tucked into Charlie’s posts, replies and the NRSteppers’ comments which follow. These gems deserve to be remembered, providing encouragement as well as gentle prodding to stay awake and be ready, for the events and circumstances in which we find ourselves bespeak that, sooner rather than later, this Storm will hit its heights.
As we paddle and pray in the ubiquitous division of this phase, a recent piece by Fr. Dwight Longenecker caught my attention. Disunity seems present in every layer of life and Father writes about one division driver:
Maybe I’ve spent too much time on Facebook, but why is everybody so darned offended all the time? Traditionalist Catholics are constantly getting on their high horse. Then it’s the feminist and homosexualists who are stomping off in high dudgeon. Next it is the Liberals or the Eastern Orthodox or the Lutherans or the college students or the environmentalists.
You name it. Everybody everywhere seems to be the hurt, offended victim. Why is this? It’s because of the dictatorship of relativism. You see, if there is no such thing as truth, then the only “truth” you have is “your truth” and, of course, if the only truth you have is “your truth” then you’re going to feel threatened by other people’s “truth.”
Father, then, addresses the root and solution:
This presents the next problem with the dictatorship of relativism. If there is no such thing as truth and there is only “your truth” then what is that “truth” based on? It can only be based on two things: sentimentality and ideology.
Sentimentality means your truth is based on your feelings. I feel like this is bad and I feel like that is good. I feel like this is nice. I feel like this is not nice. There is no logic, no reasoning, no discussion. There is nothing to base the truth on but raw emotion.
Of course people can’t live like that for long. Its too exhausting. One needs some sort of structure or belief system in order to survive. We must live in a world we believe to be rational.
The only answer to this is the One who said he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
True allegiance to Christ the King puts everything else into perspective. Most of all it puts each one of us in perspective. With a touch of grace we see ourselves as we really are and we see our place in the wider plan and we realize that we do not need to be offended all the time.
We have confidence in Christ the Lord, and in him we can start to live with a bit of dignity, a sense of humor–a softer heart and a tougher skin.
This brought to mind another precipitator of division which our dear Mother Ellen Neufeld wrote about in Betrayal or Trust. If you find yourself, or those with whom you share life, beset with feeling betrayed, misunderstood, or rebuffed, Mother Ellen’s article is well worth a read and share. She reminds us:
Only forgiveness can stop the whirlwind of betrayal and vengeance; only forgiveness can extinguish the flaming tree of rage. Peter was able to trust the forgiveness of God after he denied Jesus at His trial, while Judas rejected the possibility of forgiveness and restoration due to his lack of trust. Only if we truly trust in God’s love and healing can we begin to forgive and let go of our hurt and anger.
Charlie introduced Mother Ellen’s piece by recounting this event, bearing gospel wisdom:
Late in the 90’s, in one of my little visions – a stylized type that always ends with a pithy angelic comment – I was told, “Betrayal comes from one you love and trust. Begin to offer reparation for him now.” It was striking to me I was not told to defend myself against it, but to pray for the one from whom it would come.
SO much and SO many for whom to pray in these days of loving while we serve as sherpas, living the ordinary way, acknowledging God and taking those next right steps while allowing God to make of us a sign of His Hope as we wait in great and blessed expectation for Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart to fully triumph.