Saturday, April 20, 2013

John Lennon was right after all

One can argue how much he lived the words he spoke and many will make a strong case that he did not. Nevertheless, if you ask me if the words-themselves- were true, if the very words, put in that exact order and defined in the exactly correct way are correct, there is no question they are. I had to take a long hard road in life to arrive at the place where I can infallibly say that it is true;

Even the most convincing argument cannot move a human heart. Only love can do that. This is why Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all that we have. We can hold nothing in reserve. We must love God with our whole hearts, our whole minds, our whole souls, and our whole bodies (strength).

Secondly, we must love our neighbors as ourselves. These are the words of Mark 12:30-31 and Jesus tells us that, in them, are contained all of the law and all of the prophets (those who speak for God).

Yes, All you need is love, is all you need.

Can we do it, though?

Can I find it inside me to love this person?

If I love God, I must. I can hold nothing in reserve. The same God who saved me and washed me from my sin wants to save him too.

If I love God, as I claim, I can not despair of his ability to save anyone. Not David, the adulterer and murderer. Not Mary Magdalene, the loose woman. Not Peter, the denier. Not Paul the persecutor. Not even the centurion who helped crucify him.

There are none that God cannot save and none that He does not desire to save.
It has taken me so long to see this.

The Democratic party is wrong but so is the Republican party. Away with the parties! Away with those who divide people into cliques that say that all among us must hate all among them. What home do have in America if you are Pro-life but against the death penalty? What home do you have in America if you recognize both the corrosive effect of runaway government power and the corrosive effect of runaway corporate avarice? What home do you have in America if you lament the exploitation of illegal immigrants, by the left, who seek to create a permanent underclass voting block and the exploitation by the right who seek to exploit them to create a permanent pool of cheap contract labor?

How can we confront the tragedies in Newton, Connecticut and Boston, Mass. with yet more division? Fear and anger and pride and vengeance lives in the heart of our country and the heart of our world.

On the one side are those who cannot respect the rights of a people to feel safe in their own homes, in the own persons, in their own families, even in the wombs of their own mothers. These are the ones that seek to enslave us in their religion of humanism. They deny the rights of parents to raise and teach their children and even the rights of those children to even be born. They hold the very idea of religion and morality in utter contempt. They seek only their own wealth and power and are willing to enslave to accomplish it.

On the other side are those who, rather than sacrificing their children to Molech, sacrifice them to Mammon. This is the ideology of I got mine, get yours! Are these really our heroes? Can we truly say that we love God by the values we show? Can we really say that we don't demonstrate the things we value by the people we value? We claim to value freedom but do we truly know what freedom is? Haven't we remade freedom into the image of a golden calf. Is the American dream alive in the hearts of the porter in the lobby of one of Donald Trump's hotels? As much as Rich Limbaugh tells us all that we can get to where he is, isn't he really just reassuring himself as he sits on his mountains of cash while the sick and poor mother cries out tears of sorrow and pain that are not heard?

 I am not hear to judge either Obama or Limbaugh but to announce a revelation. All you need is love. Not the prideful lust for power. Not the greedy, unbridled lust for wealth. Not the slavery of addictions of the flesh. All you need is love- true love- a love that is free of man-made isms. Capitalism, Republicanism, Liberalism, Racism, Xenophobism, ism, ism, ism.

Am I channeling Lennon yet again?

I have seen enough of this world to know that the only ism that I will hold to from this day forward is Catholicism. Though there are elements of truth all over, the only true oasis in this desert is the Catholic church. Only there can the real Jesus I claim to follow be fully present because only there are all persons full of the dignity God gave them. From the most haughty and iron-fisted dictator to the most heartless money grubber sitting in his ivory tower. To the laziest sponger to the most lost sinner enslaved by addiction and despairing of hope. Each one is a child of a loving God who desperately seeks his or her redemption. Only in the Catholic church have I found this- a love that forces me to stretch beyond myself.

Love is useless if it does not break us when we need to be broken, sharpen us, refine us, reach us. Christianity cannot be Christianity is it merely is a pretense of religion that denies it's actual power (2 Timothy 3:5). That power is the power to open seas, the power to save us from the flood, from the furnace, from the lion's den.

That power demands all. All that we have and all that we are. No greater love has any man than he lay down his very life for his friends.

We greatly error when we make a Barack Obama into a hero. Yet, we are just as wrong in making one out of Mitt Romney. Our heroes are the soldiers who die saving children, the fire fighters who run into a burning building and do not emerge. The Mother Theresa's who feed and clothe our poor. They are the heroes.

Even those who speak the right words but do not live them are not our heroes.

Whatsoever we do the least of people, we do to him. I stand, here, a person convicted.

God, send me blessings, send me help, send me faith, send me hope. Most of all, send me your love. Give me this currency, that I may give it away freely.


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