It has been one hell of a week. I have had this pressing dull headache that gets worse at times throughout the day, like when I have to actually do something important, and it’s made me go through the week in a haze. Not just that, but there are so many things going on in our life that it would take seventy times seven quick takes to get them all written out. Plus, this isn’t a bitch and complain Quick Takes. Just please if you can, in your charity, please pray that somehow a bottle of wine shows up on my doorstep today since I have no money at all to go buy any.
I have cried a lot this week. I think maybe that is where this headache is coming from. I have just been scared of everything. Fear is this crazy underlying theme in my life. Any time that I think that I’m about to break free from it, something else scares me and grips my heart. I have no idea really how to get rid of it but three things have helped me to see that it is something that I must fight and let go of: first I went to Mass yesterday and the Gospel reading was Jesus saying “Be not afraid, let down your nets and follow me”, that was a pretty clear sign to me. So clear that I sobbed all through the rest of the Mass. Another was me reading “How Dante Can Save Your Life” by Rod Dreher and I got to the chapter on envy. On being resentful of what others have and I realized just how much of my life is wrapped around that sin. Just how much I tell God “this isn’t fair” or “why is this happening to me when so and so is a liar and has a great life?!”. Each time those words come from me, I am sinning. Umm…. WHACK! Finally, I saw the video of Pope Francis telling a girl who was bullied because of a skin disease to “Be Courageous!” this morning and it was the final straw for me. This fear has to be let go of, and I’m the only one who can let it go.
It takes courage to look at our sins. It is a lot less courageous to point out the sins of others. That is why it is so much easier to wrap ourselves around the idea of what is wrong with world and how wrong everyone is about morality than it is to sit in the confession line. But the world is fallen. The goal is not to make this world better but to get to the “life in the world to come”, we say that every week at Mass and then somehow we go online ranting about how if we would just do ____ this world would be a better place. We are not called to make this world a better place. We are called to bring people to Jesus. That’s it. And it takes courage because the only way to do that is to look at our brokenness and to stand with others in theirs. That is how we take the love of Jesus into the world. It is how Mother Teresa did it. Yes, she spoke out about the wrongs of the world but she spent most of her time feeding the hungry, holding the dying, and loving Jesus in each person she encountered. That takes courage and that is how she became a saint.
We are all called to be saints. Be courageous! Society is screwed up, there is no sense of right and wrong, and the only answer is saints. You are called to greatness and it is going to be hard and scary. But God has given you (and me) saints to pray for us, a spirit of courage, friends to build us up and an angel (or two or three) to fight for us. God has given us everything we need to walk the narrow path to sainthood. Let’s stop freaking out and get to work.
Speaking of work, I have to get my homework done. I have realized just how much my sloth has stopped me from being exactly who God wants me to be. On top of the fear of being rejected, hated, not accepted bla bla bla, I am also pretty slothful. Not just like how I want to take a nap anytime any kind of struggle is involved in life. ( and by “nap”, I mean “drink a bottle of vodka”) It’s so much deeper than that. I sit and feed my misery. I look at headlines of the evils in the world and sulk. I feel hopeless and instead of praying or doing what it is God is asking of me, like doing my homework, I just despair. Just like fear, I am the only one who can change that and stop doing it.
When my best friend died in 2007 I had such a hard time laughing. I felt like I was betraying him or forgetting his death if I laughed. I would get wasted and cry. That was it, but laughing was some kind of no-no for me. I sometimes feel that same way when it comes to laughing while toddlers are washing up on beaches dead. How can we laugh when these things are happening in the world. I don’t know the answer, because I cant’ even finish this point after bringing up that precious child in this Quick Take, but I know that we can’t lose our joy which is rooted in Christ. Our joy is not based on cat videos but it is based on the fact that we know Jesus is alive and this world, where these tragedies happen daily, is not our home. One day every knee will bend and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
If you are pro-life , you must see the dignity of the human person. No matter who that person is and no matter where they are fleeing from or fleeing to in order to get out of danger and to have a good life. There is no difference between the death of children in the womb, the death of children in oceans or the death of children on the Mexico/US border. Each one of these children has dignity as a human person and each one of them deserves better than what the world, including the US, is giving them.Being pro-life is more than just about being against abortion, it is about defending the dignity of the human person regardless of their location, origin, sexual orientation, gender, sins or citizenship.