To me, faith is above politics. If both parties started openly supporting things anathema to the Faith, I wouldn’t vote for either. It’s my firm conviction that the world will improve through faith, not politics. And I will share two immediate examples.
I follow a conservative Catholic news outlet called Church Militant. They are aggressive and blunt, and in your face about the affairs and scandals of the church, most especially their underlying reasons for the sexual disaster that has been the hierarchy. I don’t agree with all their opinions, but we both stay within orthodoxy, or “correct thinking”.
Anyway, they recently published an article about a need for Catholic community. To be fair, I haven’t finished the article because he talked about the Shire from Tolkien, but he talks about the movie not the book. Unacceptable. But the premise is the loss of community and the need to recover small-town values. Values like your server knowing your name, your barber and you having conversations, your parish priest stopping by, getting to know your neighbors, things that acknowledge the individual personhood of the other. Sounds cool, right?
Catholics have this social teaching, which is the one most ignored; subsidiarity. That everything be handled at the lowest level possible. It means dealing with a neighbor who is doing something by talking to them, not reporting them to the HOA. Getting together as a community to solve a local issue instead of going to the state governments. Dealing with things as states, not suckling at the federal government’s handouts. It means getting off your bum and being a part of the community! (Sorry, started ranting there.)
Anyway, the globalization trend is counterintuitive to this and leads to the erosion of the Christian foundation of the West.
But there is hope.
Last night I and my family were privy to two examples. The Seton community got together to give a Christmas for the Gregorys! Food, presents, and prayers, all so lovingly and generously given. Every day until Christmas, apparently! Here is a spiritual bouquet.
And the generosity melts our hearts. Our kids are overwhelmed and Mel and I have been in tears several times. This is a community showing love, and acknowledging personhood, without asking for anything in return. It’s just mind bending the thought of our family, from people who don’t know us, but still being loving and caring. I can never thank you enough! I wept tears over this! To you wonderful people, I am praying for all of you and your intentions! I hope you have many blessings for your lives and a blessed Christmas!
To top it off, my niece Emma came over with fifteen of her closest friends in a self-described clown car, and they sang Christmas carols!
I cannot describe to you the emotions and grace I felt. Let me explain, I guess. I remember caroling as a kid at assisted living centers, but never anywhere else. The only times you see carolers nowadays are in Hallmark movies! Or maybe UpTV. They just aren’t done anymore. Why not? Because they are embarrassing? Because we can’t talk about God? Because we don’t wanna?
Let me tell you, as I guess I qualify as a shut-in, the gesture of bringing community to my house, to bring tidings of great joy to me and my family, a selfless and probably a little bit embarrassing act, is such a bountiful gift! You are establishing community, you are doing a corporal work of mercy, you are bringing humanity to us, in the same way Jesus did at the incarnation. I wept tears of great joy. And I have hope for the future if the young people we have are brave like my Emma and her friends. When the young are educated in the faith, there is great hope!
I hope I have conveyed a little of the deep well of joy that we experienced. I can’t describe it, but I tried. Thank you all so much!