Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lenten Reflections: Fighting

"The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit...." - Genesis 3:12

Fighting began early for humans. Even within the beauty and perfection of Eden, the blame-game began and rages on to this day. "The woman," Adam said, accusingly, "whom YOU gave me." She did it. An because YOU gave her to me, it's YOUR fault, God!

We love to be right and we love to prove others wrong. "I'm right and you're wrong." becomes the declaration and rallying cry of a self-centered culture. Sometimes this position is defended with raised voices, sometimes a fist, a gun and sometimes a bomb. And the wheels on the bus go round and round.....Violence is a downward cycle that only leads to more violence. Blaming others causes disunity and a subtle seed of anger to take root.         

"Am I my brother's keeper?"

"This was all your fault!"

"Those damn liberals!....Conservative!"

"Our finances are a mess, and it's because you can't stop spending!"

"If you showed me the attention that I need, I never would have cheated!"

"I drink because of you."

"If the there weren't so many illegals....."

"It's because of the Jews!" 

"It's because of the Muslims!" 

" would betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” - Luke 22:48

Pride demands us to be better than the other person. Pride never takes the blame. Pride never admits wrong. Pride is always right. Pride looks in the mirror and shouts back, "You are right!" Pride wants to pick a fight, because initiating peace means you're weak. You loose. And in a culture of individualism, that's exactly how it appears.  

"I'm going to kick his ass!"

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with EVERYONE." - Romans 12:18 

"But he betrayed me!"

"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" - Matthew 5:44

"That's ridiculous! They're savages! Sub-human!"

"the message of the cross is foolishness...." - 1 Corinthians 1:18

And a fool for Christ once prayer....

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that we may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

St. Francis of Assisi 

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