Getting Tired Of Playing Nice

Yesterday, the Gospel reading was one of the hardest ones for any committed American patriot and Christian to hear.  From Matthew Chapter 5: 38-48 (part of the Sermon on the Mount):

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

As my pastor said, We do this because we are Christian.

In the current state of American affairs, this is one of the hardest messages to hear, to love your enemies.  Love the people subverting the culture.  Love the muslims who are trying to instill Sharia law into our form of government.  Love the people who use government for their own enrichment.  Love the tax cheats.  Love the people who lie to get entitlements at the public trough.  Love the shysters perpetuating the hoax that the earth is being so affected by our activity that for its survival we must give up our way of life.

What makes this so difficult at this time is that the other side doesn’t play nice.  The other side has no problem lying, cheating, calling names, backstabbing, and so forth.  And yet, we Christians turn the other cheek.

Because that is what Christ told us to do.

This is what makes being a Christian such a difficult road.

Our only defense is the truth.  Speak the truth and an enemy may spit in your eye, but nothing wrong occurred.

Yes, we Christian Americans are getting tired of this.  And it will never end.

Advertisements

“The world can be better if there’s love, tolerance and humility.”

warsaw-ghettoSome 20 years ago now, I knew a woman who was a Jewish refugee from the Soviet Union, originally from Odessa in Ukraine.  This woman was everything we know Eastern European women to be, but very smart, in her own way very good and knew the hypocrisies of American life for what they are.

When the film Schindler’s List was released, several people asked her if she had seen it and she said, “I don’t need to see it.  I know.  There were thousands who did what Walter Schindler did.”  (Emphasis hers.)

This week the world lost one such person.  Her name was Irena Sendler.  She was the daughter of a Polish physician and part of an underground network that smuggled thousands of children out of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw preserving their identities and locations should their families survive so that they might be reunited after the war.  Some were, some were not.

Her story appeared – for many of us for the first time – in the UK’s Daily Mail.  It is an extraordinary account of a woman determined to do good and serve humanity to the best of her ability with no desire for recognition, even though so many insisted.  It is definitely worth reading.

More than that, Ms. Sendler’s words toward the bottom of the article say more about the world than all the pundits preaching peace could ever hope to convey:

“After World War II, it seemed that humanity understood something, and nothing like that would happen again.

“Humanity has understood nothing. Religious, tribal, national wars continue. The world continues to be in a sea of blood.”

But she added: “The world can be better if there’s love, tolerance and humility.”

Pequiescat in pace, Ms. Sendler.

Worth Reading from George Weigel

Today’s Denver Post has this article from George Weigel which is definitely worth reading.

Role Models in the Back Yard

Recently, an old friend buried her mother, a stalwart member of our parish.  It was a blow in no small measure because this was the sort of woman we all need in our lives and so few have.

My friend’s mother was first and foremost a woman of faith who prayed morning, noon and night, as her kids said, and worshiped before the Lord daily.  We saw it every day when we were kids and daily Mass was required in school.  This woman cared for family and her friends and neighbors far more than anything of the political, social or cultural bent.  If any of our mothers were not available, this woman was.  She’d get up in the middle of the night to stay with the neighbor’s kids when a new one was entering the world.  She gave up a career to stay at home and raise a family only to start a side business to help young mothers in need.  Her generosity was legendary.  It didn’t matter what the event was – Mission Carnival, bake sale to buy new playground equipment, dish for a funeral lunch – some homemade sweet came from her kitchen.  She did all of this while more or less living her own Purgatory on Earth with health issues and family members with addictions and deadly disease.

This woman always knew her convictions and spoke her mind, whether she was “right” or not.  If she wasn’t, it was usually out of ignorance in the truest sense of the word.  She was loyal to a fault and used virtue to guide her words and actions.  She was always happy to see people and once greeted me with a huge hug after I made a debut with a local music group.  This was why we all envied my friend, except that envy is a deadly sin, and my friend’s mom would advise – okay, yell at us – not to.

As I looked around the church at her funeral and saw so many faces of my childhood, many of whom survive their spouses, and realized that people were there from every walk of life, every social stratum, every decade of her life – it came to me that this is what a role model should be.  Someone who lives by faith and lets no one get in the way of doing what is right.  It’s not just Abby Johnson, Sarah Palin, Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, and the various other trailblazers that are what we women should emulate, but the everyday ladies we all should know who do what they do out of love.

There are role models in everyone’s back yard.  Do we know them when we see them?