Thursday, April 5, 2012
The Annual Lenten Attack
Some years they are slightly more successful in the media blitz portion of the campaign than others. Remember the year (it wasn't all that long ago) when they shoved Obamacare down our throats while saying: "Oh look at the Pope! He's bad! He's very bad!" on pretty much every major news station. This year I was hardly surprised when we were waiting in the hotel room in Orlando for my parents to arrive from California, at the start of Lent, and a reporter (I believe it was on CNN) started talking about some document that had been discovered that admitted all sorts of evil that was stamped something like: "Super Top Secret Vatican Document" and I shook my head and kept unpacking and wondered if they couldn't come up with something a teensy tiny bit more believable (the fact that I never heard anything more about the story shows that at least someone may be checking facts and might have questioned a document that sounded too bogus to make it's way into the pages of a Dan Brown novel).
Did you see the administrations wildly inappropriate and downright frightening questioning of the right of the Supreme Court to perform it's Constitutionally established duties?). But that hasn't quite gone as planned for the President. The Bishops surprised the President when they showed up for the showdown and he was shocked when people of different faiths spoke out against the encroachment upon religious liberty while nervously wondering if they would be next. His poll numbers didn't respond as he planned. And the Church isn't backing down.
Something I was slightly more surprised to find was the surge of personal attacks in social media that I've witnessed this Lent. If you're Catholic and you don't make apologies for that fact, then there's a good chance this Lent felt like open season. Things so incredibly offensive that people would never have dreamed of saying them to a person of another faith, are somehow socially acceptable to say to Catholics (I guess the President's attack on the Church and Catholics everywhere made it increasingly socially acceptable for the far left to act as if their Catholic friends were second class citizens).
here) and Jesus would be very disappointed in us (to sum up the sentiment I've encountered lately).
I've seen the most foul, offensive language, posted by fellow Christians who have accepted a different version of love than the one that I've come to understand as a human who longs to share heaven with the whole of humanity (this is where I add a quote by a English Professor in college who said: "The use of profanity in your work simply tells me that you aren't intelligent enough to come up with a better way of expressing yourself." It's harsher than what I would have said, but I'll admit it comes to mind whenever I hear or see someone who's chosen to express themselves in that way, but I digress...). Love is accepting everything everyone does, they tell me. They've forgotten the often quoted verse: "love the sinner, hate the sin." In this new world we're told we must love the sin as well.
And if they reject it, we love them, and we storm heaven with our prayers for them. Of course in the end, we are each responsible for our choice and our actions, for accepting the grace that's available to us or rejecting it, and we can't make that decision for someone else. But we can speak the truth, live lives as best we can that show others Christ's love, and we can pray for the people we meet who are struggling up the same steep path that we are while being told that they can do whatever they need to do to feel good.
And then we can pray and pray and pray that hearts are opened and souls are healed.