Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Instrument of Thy Peace

An American-born Muslim man finds a drawing of the World Trade Center towers with a plane flying toward them and the words "Have a Happy September 11th" scrawled on his take out. A gay North Carolina college student is branded and burned, and a courageous and honest Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, is getting booted from his order for speaking his conscience while almost forty bishops have not been punished for crimes against innocents. This is but a small sampling of the insanity that's going on today. What the hell?

The level of nastiness seems more apparent now more than ever.  Self-righteous hatred spewing forth its venom tears supposedly civilized people apart. Who needs hell post-mortem, when it exists right here, created quite well by humans?

Everything is turned upside down. Sometimes I'd like to say "the hell with it," and go back to sleep and it will all go away. Uh, not. No, a contemplative must go right into the evil, knowing he or she will come out bloody and perhaps, scarred, perhaps dead, but transformed nonetheless. But he or she must do so completely surrendered to the Beloved. 

True humility acknowledges that I, myself, can just as easily be the hater. In reality: I am the hater, the hated, the one who is silent looking the other way, and, hopefully, the one working for justice in the hopes peace might break out.

Truly "the answer my friends is blowing in the wind" if we but listen deeply. The ruach, the Beloved's holy breath, Holy Spirit, stings our eyes and whips our cheeks, demanding compassionate justice, which includes a call to conversion for that which hates within ourselves and others. Talk is cheap and pious platitudes cannot carry the day: it's time to walk the walk, people!

Like Saint Francis, let us surrender all, even our cherished identities, as he shed his clothes in Assisi's town square, in his case (and mine), giving it all to walk with Jesus. Change will not happen over night, but it continues, and love triumphs.