Monday, May 25, 2009

"no one has ever seen God..."

my favorite reading was at mass yesterday.
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.
no one has ever seen God, except when we love one another - that's when God is with us. BAM.

meanwhile, a couple in front of us brought a baby, who woke up halfway through mass. she was all sweet and messy-haired and sleepy, and her mom picked her up and whispered, "i love you!" and the baby GRINNED. it was the sweetest thing i've seen all week. or ever.

in less-sweet news, has everyone heard the abuse scandals that are coming out of catholic schools in ireland? cathy kaveny's blogging about the implications for the church - specifically, in terms of virtue theory.

Most people are virtue theorists — or rather, practitioners of virtue theory–whether they know it or not. On difficult moral questions, most people trust the judgment of those who have shown themselves to exemplify probity of mind and judgment about a thousand incidents, important and unimportant. We trust the claim that a way of life is important and good because we trust the judgment of those who are further along that way. Conversely, we do not trust, and ought not trust, those who advocate patterns of life whose destructive nature we can see for ourselves, or who have proven themselves morally deficient in important and grave respects. It’s not a question of one or two mistakes–it’s a question of a pattern of life.

This sensible instinct to trust those whom we have reason to believe are trustworthy is what is strained in the Irish abuse cases.

sigh. and this is also the problem with a clergy-centered church. we're not into this God thing BECAUSE OF PRIESTS, guys, right? the washington post article, interestingly, also mentions how many witnesses "emphasized the enormous difference that just a kind word or gesture made to their daily lives." i mean, right. because they were victims of abuse. i feel like this is a common trope in fiction, too - kid is in an abusive situation in a boarding school, except for that ONE PERSON who is NICE to them. not an excuse, really, but i hope people in positions of moral authority begin to take their responsibility to heart.

also, if you're interested in the new statistics about how many americans are identifying as pro-life, i think this post, and the article it links, are good food for thought - from what i understand, many people are actually not single-issue voters and voted for a pro-choice candidate for other reasons [perhaps because he's pro-life, if you're really paying attention to what the term means, in other ways]. these statistics don't actually mean that the pro-life movement in this country is succeeding in outlawing abortion. [dan savage pretty much discounts the survey results, and i thought his point about polling language was well-taken until i read the poll itself.]

anyway, at my parish, we pray for politicians to "find creative solutions to complex problems" - isn't that fantastic? perhaps the two-sided debate is too small. perhaps we should be open to the movement of the spirit on this one. or always.

speaking of which - i gave my frozen lemonade to a guy on the street. i'm often frustrated with my lack of ability to give people things on the street, especially when i'm literally walking by them with a bag full of food i just bought and don't need. like, when i'm walking out of corner bakery thinking, "this sandwich is too big. i don't want to eat it all," and a woman is sitting on the street with a sign that says, "i'm just hungry," why can't i GIVE HER SOME FOOD? sigh. so i had already walked by, and was frustrated. and then i was headed to old navy and thinking about what i was going to do with the rest of my frozen lemonade, and a guy goes, "ma'am? spare your drink?" and i was like, okay, this is too pointed. so i get very little credit for kindness, i think. but it's a step, right?

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