Gently does it
"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7.5
Catholic missionary bishop of Geneva, Francis de Sales, was noted for his eirenic approach to church division in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. In similar measure is he venerated for his gentle approach to spiritual discipline, urging believers to behave as patiently towards themselves as they would aspire to behave toward others, in their pursuit of moral and ethical perfection. With commendable pragmatism, he taught that we should be as diligent in preparing for the myriad irritations which trip us up on a daily basis, as we are in fortifying ourselves against the major challenges that we anticipate having to face in life.
In the frenetic and unforgiving world of today, de Sales' gentle approach offers an alternative to our culture of blame, in which rights are more important than responsibilities and our being deprived of them is always somebody else's fault. This is not to detract from the real injustices that blight society. In fact it clears the ground, so that we can all unite around the genuine issues that deserve our attention and so bring about the concerted effort of society, to address adequately issues such as wealth inequality, racism, sexism, religious persecution and climate change.
Tragically, too much time is wasted in megaphone politics, in which people take sides and then assume they are right and others are wrong. Because we all make mistakes, such an attitude renders all who partake of it hypocrites. We therefore need to break out of our political silos and work together, respecting our differences and recognising our personal shortcomings, so that we leave the moral high ground where it belongs (in the Lord's possession) and work humbly and diligently to built each other up, in order to cope with our responsibilities and to flourish as children of God, who loves us and requires only that we love him and one another too. Over the next few hours and days of the American Presidential Election, we shall be reminded of how relevant yet elusive this is!
Dèanmaid ùrnaigh airson ar cairdean agus caraidean Ameireaganach...