Thomas Merton, one of my favorite theologians and writers, was a contemplative after my own heart.
Almost 40 years ago, while on an Holy Week retreat at the Holy Cross Abby near Berryville, Virginia, I wrote
DANCE OF THE CEDARS
Outside my guesthouse window
the four small cedars
stand in a row,
guarding the wall
that guards the propane tank.
This morning, just for me,
they shared their freedom
and their joy
as I watched them dance
to the song in the wind.
In that dance
was a celebration of life
just as it was promised,
full and free and without a care,
just the way it was meant to be.
Faithfulness to the Gospel demands nothing less. God will not hold us guiltless for silence in the face of evil.
Bonhoeffer was a German theologian martyred for his opposition to Hitler. His words remind us that authentic spirituality requires a real and costly discipleship.
WWJD? Yes, what would Jesus do? I think we all know. He would welcome the stranger, lift up the fallen, feed the hungry, and demonstrate compassion and love to all those seeking refuge and help.
Isn’t that exactly what we who call ourselves his disciples are supposed to be doing? Isn’t following the example of Jesus Christ exactly what should be reasonably expected of us?
We are living in an age where our every word, our every action, must clearly demonstrate our faithfulness to Jesus Christ. This constant and consistent demonstration of discipleship includes using the gift of our citizenship to live an intentional lifestyle of love and compassion. That means we must use our opportunity to vote to stand up for the true values of the Gospel.
We must vote. And we must vote for love and compassion.
Authentic Christian spirituality is demonstrated by our actions. A caring and compassionate response to those in need reflects the love of Christ.
A response to those in need based in fear, selfishness, greed and racial bigotry does not demonstrate God’s grace and mercy. These are not Christian values, nor is violence, especially directed toward the poor and the suffering.
Getting real means adopting a lifestyle of faithfulness to the Gospel. Real Christianity requires a radical discipleship to Jesus Christ that demonstrates His love and grace in all relationships and in our every action. And this is especially true in regard to how we treat the least of these among us.