Sunday, November 15, 2015

Concerning Paris Last Friday

The burden of the wars against the “innocent” in the West as in 9/11 and now in Paris perpetrated by terrorists with a religious fanaticism falls on us. It occurs to me: “with what measure you measure, it will be measured to you” (Mt. 7, 2). We are observing an apparently mindless violence against apparently innocent human persons. But have we been innocent, or have we as a people in the West been violent? Is the persistent seeking of self – enlightened self-interest, an economic structure that has become culture built on the pursuit of profit, the dumbing down of the person into the isolated individual (“Alone Together”), half or more marriages ending in divorce -  is this not violence against the person built for relationship (“Stop Googling, Start Talking”)

Now, consider the millions of abortions and immeasurable contraception and abortions that have been done since, say, 1973 and before in the West. In the light of the meaning of the person, and the violence that is culturally, hygienically, familiarly and stealthily perpetrated against the human person made in the image and likeness of a relational God, it does not surprise me that there is a reprisal from a deviant faith-fanaticism.

Cardinal Ratzinger wrote: “Terrorism was at first a religious enthusiasm that had been redirected into the earthly realm, a messianic expectation transposed into political fanaticism. Faith in life after death had broken down, or at least had become irrelevant, but the criterion of heavenly expectation was not abandoned: rather, it was not applied to the present world. God was no longer seen as one who genuinely acts, but the fulfillment of his promises was demanded just as it had always been, and, indeed, with a new vigor. ‘God has not other arms but ours’ – thus now meant that the fulfillment of these promises can and must be carried out by ourselves.  Disgust at the intellectual and spiritual emptiness of our society, yearning for what is completely different, the claim to unconditional salvation without restrictions and without limits – this is, so to speak, the religious component  in the phenomenon of  terrorism, which gives it the impetus of a passion focused on a totality, its uncompromising character and the claim to be idealistic.”[1]
   From Mother Teresa’s Prayer Breakfast  in Washington, 1994:

“On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, "Come, enter the Kingdom.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me."  Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, "Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me."  These will ask Him, "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?"  And Jesus will
answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"

* * * * * * * * *
… I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.  And if we accept that a other can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?  How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion?  As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts.  Jesus gave even His life to love us.  So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her  child.  The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

        “By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.  And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world.  The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble.  So abortion just leads to more abortion.  Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its  people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.  This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

   What are we to do? Build the family!! Have mercy.The wars stop.

[1] J. Ratzinger, “Turning Point For Europe?” Ignatius (1994) 21-22.

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