Tag Archives: judgement

senseless and dangerous

Written from a prison cell while awaiting his execution, this short treatise, “On Stupidity,” rings far too clearly despite the passing years. For those with ears to hear, we need to recognize that the political climate within our country is being manipulate by those that appeal to the basest emotions and fears of the least educated among us.

Yes, we are living in a dangerous time. Yes, decisions are being made daily that seem senseless on the surface and even evil when more closely examined. But arguing with most of those supporting the present agenda isn’t the answer.

As Bonhoeffer concludes, trying to persuade the stupid person with reason and fact is both “senseless and dangerous.”

no deals on the Day of Judgement

Kudos to the Dayton Daily News for Mr. Peters’ excellent cartoon of the #BLOTUS meeting with Pope Francis. The expression on the Pope’s face is an example of exceptionally true-to-life realism.

I admire Pope Francis as a authentic spiritual leader. He teaches and guides by example as did the man from Nazareth I attempt to follow. A good example is his gifting a copy of his letter on climate change to the #BLOTUS during their recent visit. (If only the President could read…)

What caught my attention, however, was the Pope’s expression during the visit. Normally smiling and laughing, the Pope just could not hide look of distaste (dare I say, disgust) during his time with the first family.

His true feelings for the President of the United States were plain for all to see. But, on the bright side, he didn’t openly laugh at the man as did several of the world leaders gathered at the NATO Summit.

The #BLOTUS might have written The Art of the Deal, but there’s no deals going to be made on the Day of Judgement. Maybe that will bring a smile to the Pope’s face. It certainly brings one to mine.

 

in the evening of our lives

In the evening of our lives we shall be examined in love. — Saint John of the Cross

And so it shall be. Jesus made it abundantly clear that our professions of faithfulness, our 25 year perfect attendance pins, and out citizen-of-the-year awards mean nothing.

The examination is an open-book, take-home. It’s a single question, pass/fail. There’s one correct answer, and we’ve written it down before the examination even begins.

Do we reflect God’s love to all those most in need? Our answer is either yes or it’s no. We are answering the question every day by the way we live.

In the evening of our lives it’s too late for a do-over. Now is the time for us to love the least of these among us.

Oh, and before I forget, this is an entrance exam.

boils and scabies (and the Golden Rule)

I love Sufi poetry, and Rumi and Hafiz have long been favorites. I recently came across this delightful quote by Rumi and I share it now because of its timeliness in my own life.

When a man has boils or scabies,, he isn’t disgusted with himself; he puts his infected hand in his dish and he licks his fingers without any repugnance. But, if he sees a small sore on someone else’s hand he can’t swallow his food. It’s the same with moral blemishes; when you see defects such as indifference, pride, and lust in yourself, they don’t bother you; but as soon as you notice them in others, you feel hurt and resentful. 

Jesus is clear in his call for those following him to treat one another just as they would want to be treated. We know it as the “Golden Rule.” Wonderfully, every major religion and faith tradition has the Golden Rule as part of their core values.

The frightening bottom line in the Christian faith is that Jesus says we will be judged exactly like we judge those around us. The measure we give is the measure we will get.

We all have our own moral warts and scabies. Before we start pointing our infected fingers at those around us we need to first clear up the blemishes in our own less-than-perfect lives.

none are so blind

I have a vision of a world without hunger. And I am committed to ending hunger in our lifetime. Like Gandhi, I know that “this world has enough for every man’s need, but not enough for every man’s greed.”

Meeting the real needs of the poor and hungry simply requires sharing the abundant resources with which we have been so richly blessed. And the amount needed is far less than we might imagine.

A $175 billion a year would easily meet the Millennium Development Goals. That breaks down to less than $250 a year for the 850 million of us that have an above average income (based on the average income of Portugal, the lowest income nation in Europe).

This amount, $175 billion, would allow us to cut the number of poor and hungry in half. Think about it, less than $250 a person could save millions of lives a year and bring even more millions out of the shadow of crushing poverty.

Why don’t we make it happen? Are we too selfish to care? Or is the deeper truth that we are in chains ourselves, too chained by our riches to break free enough to act on behalf of those dying from our refusal to see the truth?

The words of Cyprian, a bishop of Carthage in the third century seem appropriate.

Their property held them in chains…chains which shackled their courage and choked their faith and hampered their judgment and throttled their souls…If they stored up their treasure in heaven, they would not now have an enemy and a thief within their household…They think of themselves as owners, whereas it is they rather who are owned: enslaved as they are to their own property, they are not the masters of their money but its slaves.