Posts Tagged ‘christian life’

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Luke 10:25-29

A few months ago the house next door (You know the one Paulo worked so hard on) was bought and a new neighbor moved it. She is a statuesque black woman with three kids from age 9 -18 who was working from home even before the covid stuff took place.

My wife and her hit it off as did we. I liked seeing her boy riding his bike in the neighborhood playing with other kids, we found ourselves talking and chatting all during the summer about the plans for our homes, what going on with our kids etc.

About 5 months ago a Black Lives Matter sign went up in front of her house. I don’t know how familiar she is with the actual origins of the movement but as she moved from the south shore it was not odd to think a person from there would be politically to the left. I didn’t like it but it’s her house and what she puts on her property is her business. I wanted a Trump sign long ago myself but my wife has for years told me no political signs in the yard and that’s not a hill to die on (see tip #15) anyways these days a flag is as good as a Trump sign and frankly any person who knows, reads or googles me knows where I stand as I’m not particular shy about it.

Well Wednesday night the blizzard came, I drove home at midnight from work doing 30 on the highway and was relieved when I saw my wife’s car in the driveway since as a nurse she would have had to do a double if her relief didn’t make it in, The next morning the snow was still falling but all of us had to be to work so we started outside shoveling while my son with the bum leg got out the snow blower. The blower died after two minutes and no amount of tinkering could make it go for more than 10 seconds and there was still a bunch a lot to do and we all needed to leave

Enter our new neighbor. She said bluntly, to DaWife: “Don’t worry about it, do enough to get your cars out and I’ll snowblow the rest.

Sure enough when I got back home after working my to midnight shift everything I didn’t get in the back and all of the fount was snowblowed out which means that I actually have a day off today rather than a day of shoveling before me.

I’ve been very angry about this election, I’m angry about the theft of it (that theft isn’t from Trump it’s from me and 80 million others like me) I’m angry about the openness of said theft and the cowardice of those unwilling to call it out, I’m angry at the courts and the legislatures who have the power to stop it from I’m angry at the thought that I don’t know if my vote when cast actually is being counted for the person I’m voting for and as a Computer Science major, someone familiar with higher level math and as a Sicilian I’m particularly angry at those those who insult my intelligence by pretending or insisting it didn’t happen while the mathematical, statistical and physical evidence is in front of my face.

But I know this much, The Christian charity that my neighbor showed me yesterday demonstrated that while she may have a “Black Lives Matter” sign next to her front door, she decided a pair of old white Trump supporters mattered enough volunteer a hand to help us out in a moment that we needed it.

That is exactly the message of hope that I needed to see and the type that gives a devil like Screwtape fits:

The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary. There is no good at all in inflaming his hatred of Germans if, at the same time, a pernicious habit of charity is growing up between him and his mother, his employer, and the man he meets in the train. 

C.S. Lewis: The Screwtape Letters # 6

Charity to those around you that you actually meet. As as long as I live in a neighborhood, a city and a country where stuff like this takes place (and I suspect it takes place a lot more than people realize) then regardless of how things turn out over the next four years (and how angry it makes it) American at it’s heart and in its soul will be OK.

When you look at the South Park situation, the reaction of comedy central and the sudden concern at offending religion that seems to pop up as long as that religion isn’t Christianity in general or Catholicism in particular, it tends to make the average Christian sick.

You have seen the Lord berated, your forms of worship mocked. You find yourself called every name in the book in movies and film, you endure the wrath of the mainstream media for your willingness to stand against sin and when like all men, you succumb to sin of any sort they pounce with glee.

For Catholics in particular, the religion that brought you hospitals, education of the non-noble classes, the preservation of some of the greatest knowledge of antiquity, t religion that feeds, clothes, and shelters more people worldwide than any other and has done so for centuries. The religion whose dedication to educating the poor is so great that even atheists donate to our schools. To see comedy central happily insult Christ and the Pope while bleeping out even the name of Islam’s prophet, its gotta be another twist of the knife.

But worse than that, it is a temptation. It comes from jealousy. It is a little voice that is saying: “Hey you know that Christ is worth defending, you see how the media and almost everyone in Hollywood cringe and bow all it takes is an ambiguous phase.” Just one little suggestion, you don’t even have to do anything, that sort of a “me too” thing, than maybe just maybe they will decide to leave you alone too. It’s not so bad, after all it will keep them from violating the second commandment, it will keep kids from getting the idea they can make fun of the Lord. Maybe even save a soul or two.”

It’s the same kind of voice that the kid who works at the local grocery store for minimum wage hears when he sees a neighbor who is dealing with a $500 iPhone. It’s the voice the girl working two jobs to pay student loan hears when she sees another working three days at the strip club or maybe turning a trick, with money in the bank.

But most important of all it’s the same kind of voice that whispered to Scott Roeder, telling him it was alright to murder.

That voice should not be unfamiliar to us. it whispered to Herod to remove the children who might be a threat to their rule, it told Peter that it was ok to deny Jesus to save his skin, that told Pilate that it was better to kill an innocent man than to risk rebellion and told Judas that he was doing the right thing to deliver Jesus to the High Priest.

For a Christian that is the real significance of the South Park incident. Not what has actually been done, Christ and the Church has been the subject of ridicule as long as there have been Christians, it is the attempt to tempt away from our church, our faith and our very identity.

What should our response be? Prayer for Parker and Stone, Prayer for the Islamic barbarians who want to kill them, and prayer for that same media that scorns us.

It is through that prayer that we will not only save ourselves and others because in the end that is the bottom line. It’s what’s at stake, if we look at it otherwise, then we commit the sin of pride. There is a reason why it leads the list of deadly sins. As Christ said:

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. John 15:18-23

This is the way things are, and we’d best act like it.

as portrayed in the Passion of the Christ.


Just in case anyone is unclear on the matter. This is not optional.