Monday, February 21, 2011

Let us strive for peace and not simply preach it...

This past weekend at Holy Mass, a Deacon at Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol, Massachusetts preached on forgiveness and peace.  This is the same Deacon who disrupted the Rosary I was praying just prior to Christmas Mass.  The same Deacon who found it necessary to confront me with an insulting and sarcastic attitude in an attempt to humiliate me before others.


Make no mistake about it, I have forgiven this Deacon.  But we must give more than lip service to peace.  We must strive with the help of God's grace to obtain peace in our own lives.  Such is the fruit of prayer.  Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand explains that lack of peace separates us from other persons.  He writes that lack of peace, "..makes us unable to attend to other persons according to the will of God.  And so, inasmuch as it renders us egocentric, our lack of peace also causes us to offend against charity." (Transformation in Christ, p. 389). 

Dr. Hildebrand continues, "Meekness is but the actualization of this inner harmony on the plane of our relationships with others: the shaping of all our reference to, and treatment of, our fellow men by the principle of a spontaneous, unhampered, overflowing charity.  This dependence of meekness on patience and true peace makes it doubly evident that true meekness is unattainable for anyone who does not live through and in Christ." (p. 419).  "Meekness,' explains this great philosopher, "..bears mainly on our behavior towards our fellow men.  It is specifically opposed to two sets of qualities: first, to everything brutal, uncouth, coarse-grained, and violent; secondly, to all modes of hostility, to the subtly or pointedly venomous as well as to the massive or rabid form of hostility.." (p. 401).

Meekness does not, of course, mean the passive toleration of all wrongs as Dr. Hildebrand explains.  Nor is it a "dull acquiescence in the dominion of sin" (p. 420).  The Church's authentic peace is ever at war with everything which falls under the dominion of sin.  See here.  We kill the error and love the one who errs as St. Augustine put it.  Interficere errorem, diligere errantem.

The person who is truly meek and seeking peace will fight when it's time to fight.  But he or she will not exhibit a hardened or cramped attitude toward others.  Such a person will certainly not seek to sow discord.


TheLastCatholicinBoston said...

If the Deacon came out of the formation offered out of the RCAB I have serious questions of even the validity of his orders. This may have changed, but I have yet to see it.

I have found several active deacons in Boston to lack even elementary understanding of the faith. The lack of which would show them ill prepared to make their first communion.

A few years ago after a similar public tongue lashing I corresponded with one particular deacon via email posing as a homosexual 'married' man and made arraignments to meet the deacon along with my gay partner for a coffee. The Deacon eagerly showed up for the coffee date, but was a bit surprised when I sad down with him. I offered him my best fraternal correction.

The Rosary is best suited as a private meditation.

Thank you for your work on this blog.

Athol/OrangeCatholic said...

There IS a spirit of discord and anger at Our Lady Immaculate. A lay woman who assists in setting up for Mass (her name is Jane) was arguing loudly with a man just before the start of Mass a few weeks ago. And this isn't unusual. I've heard others who work for the Church arguing before Mass. Not exactly an atmosphere conducive to prayer and meditation.

If parish officials want to know why they are losing the youth, they have only to look in the mirror.

We preach first by example. Whic is why St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach always, use words if necessary."

Tess said...

If the love that Jesus gave to humanity would be truly felt and lived, His Kingdom could already be in this world. Jesus has always asked for love and very few know how to love truly and profoundly!

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