A Declaration of Dependence

A bit of a departure: a powerful Fourth of July reflection from Dr. Peter Howard, a Professor of Theology at the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation.  TRIGGER WARNING: some readers may be compelled to look for a safe space.  Hopefully it is like my safe space, which is our Adoration chapel.

A Declaration of Dependence

I have been under variable cloudy skies since the outrage in Orlando.  The outrages have been practically continuous since then, but when they happen in Bangladesh or Baghdad we don’t care that much.  How is this problem going to get solved?  I know persons of faith who profess a military solution is the answer, some to the degree of turning most of the Middle East into a sheet of glass, collateral damage tsk tsk, rag-heads have it coming anyway.  Satan whispers in our ears that there are no innocents.  But I would also ask “How has that worked for us?” in the last 75ish years of continuous war. The other end of the spectrum are those that feel singing Kumbaya a little louder and a little more fervently around the campfire is called for.  I think good advice was dispensed by our pastor recently, which was to focus on changing one’s own heart.  I believe there is something instructive in The Lord of the Rings: Elves and Dwarves and Ents took great joy in destroying their enemies, but Men – the best of which was personified by Aragorn – took no pleasure in it.  Defense of the innocent is justice, which all are called to.  To get going in the right direction I believe the motivations of mercy and justice are key, not hatred and revenge.  So I’ll be the 11,783rd person to reference Yeats’ “The Second Coming”:

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

On that uplifting note, I’m getting ready to kiss the kids and grand-kids goodbye and head back to Georgia.  I hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable holiday.

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One Comment on “A Declaration of Dependence”

  1. Stan Sikorski Says:

    One of your better reflections from another.


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