I find my political, social and religious sensibilities are on a collision course these past couple of days. It is why I haven’t written. I am trying to sort myself out.
For anyone who has been reading all or most of my blogs, that seems to have been my lifelong task. Perhaps it is the ultimate purpose God has for us all – sorting ourselves out through a variety of experiences and relationships until all is distilled into the primary relationship we are supposed to enjoy with Him.
It is hard to be in this world and not of this world at one and the same time. The current of events both public and personal have such a strong gravitational pull-at least they do for me.
So much has been swimming in my head. Reconciling my choice to be Catholic with articles I read like “The Lost Children of Tuam” or movies like “Spotlight” and “Doubt.” I knew going into it that the Catholic Church is not a perfect institution and that those who have been and still are part of its institutional structure have sometimes had feet of clay, that they have chosen to do and see things in a way that defies the merciful love of the God I have come to know and rely upon.
All I can say is that in so far as my decision to be Catholic is personal, and not based on the institution of the Church, I joined for the Eucharist. It was always a joy to get it in the Protestant Churches I attended at Easter, even if it was a pale comparison to that found in the Church in its Masses. I can only say it is the most profound moment of my week, the most intimate encounter I will have with Christ while on earth and it is something central to my faith. In the Bible He told me to do this and remember Him when I do. Where but in the Catholic Church can I fully honor that request?
My surprise relationship with Mary that started 7 years into my conversion has greatly enriched my prayer life. While I make the rosary “my own” in terms of how I pray it, knowing I can place my prayers, works and deeds in Mary’s hands to perfect them for presentation to Jesus, knowing I can console His heart by wedding my sorrows to His on the cross and thereby quench His thirst – this has become central to my faith as well.
As has the concept of Divine Mercy, practiced the “Little Way” by saints like Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church, and St. Faustina. I can be my imperfect self yet still achieve perfection because of the merciful love that floods from the pierced heart of Jesus to wash me in grace. I can be my most child-like self and run to His arms to be carried as on an elevator straight to Heaven. I need only try to take my first step toward Him, and no matter how many times I may have to try and try again, at some point He will lift me up and set me on the heights. I am trying so hard to have trust in this concept – Jesus, I trust in You.
Trust is a big word right now. Who to trust, when to trust, trusting for the right reasons. That’s what today’s news cycle has been about – who do you trust? The objective reality that there was election interference in our country by a foreign government or the new “spin” about the DNC, HRC and the paid for “dossier?”
Unfortunately for the Trump folks, the timeline does not line up with their accounting of the facts. Whether Trump himself knew of specific tasks done on behalf of his campaign or not, these people got in their heads somewhere that it was okay to do it, it was okay to have low level volunteers and family members of the campaign stay in contact with Russian sources promising access to Putin and evidence of e-mails to hurt Clinton, of assurances that Putin wanted Trump to win.
They took their lead from the tone and tenor of Trump’s own foreign policy pronouncements, if you can call them such. He has to own that his bombastic praise for Putin and his vitriol about Clinton opened the door for the water to flood in. He won’t, but he should.
I am not saying he was illegally elected. Unless they audit the vote, which I don’t know that they can at this juncture, we will never know that for sure. But it would help if he would simply acknowledge the interference happened. He’s still President, in any case. And would impeaching him unite us or further divide us? I don’t know any longer.
At one and the same time, I anticipate and fear what Mueller will come up with next.
But more than that, I fear the country we have become.
I want to trust that all of our leaders will learn to put country over party, but when the Speaker of the House – third in line to the Presidency – refuses to comment on the election interference scandal occurring under his nose so he can achieve his college kegger dream of reforming the entire tax code -1,000 pages with no input from Democrats!-I am less than assured.
When did “bi-partisan” and “compromise” become such dirty words? I know, I know, blame it on the Tea Party; no blame it on the Southern Strategy; no blame it on Reagan/Nixon/Goldwater; no blame it on “Bernie got sandbagged;”…has it always been thus and we fool ourselves into thinking there was a time in our civic life when everyone could just “get along?” When was that, really?
Was it when Southern states refused to sign the Declaration of Independence unless slavery was kept intact? Was it when one Senator caned another on the Senate Floor? The Civil War? Jim Crow?
It seems that until Vietnam, only foreign wars brought us together, until finally one tore us apart.
Are we headed now for a nuclear war because Trump is in such a lather about the Mueller investigation that he will finally send that one fatal tweet that pushes Kim Jong Un past the point of paranoia into death and destruction?
It seems it is not only the childish dictators we fear, but little children themselves.
When did we become a country that pays federal agents to stop a 10-year-old cerebral palsy victim’s emergency ambulance ride to the hospital; posting Border Control agents at the doors of the surgery unit; then at her hospital room; and then finally exiling her to recuperate alone in a children’s deportation center? What, are they afraid she is the one person who is going to test Trump’s designer wall replicas and show them to be passable by some “bad hombre?” Seriously? When did we decide cruelty to children is in our national interest?
I am a person who believes in the basic goodness of most people. Really, in the depths of my heart, I not only want to believe this, I need to believe it. It is central to my thinking there is a reason to keep on going in the midst of what seems like destructive chaos happening daily.
The milk of human kindness. Do we still have it in the U.S.?
Or has the cow run dry?
Patriotism – is it more about standing for the truth or for the flag?
Who are we? Who am I? I am not sure I know any longer. Not unless I have my faith to guide me.
Jesus, I trust in You.