Wednesday, March 7, 2007

GIVING LIFE TO THE WORLD - PART I

I was thinking about the Scourging at the Pillar; about the guy who was wielding the scourge. How could he have done it? As the scourge slapped across Christ’s back he would have heard the painful cry and seen the writhing of His body as it tried to cope with the pain. “Great God,” Sir Walter Scott writes in Ivanhoe, “Hast Thou given men Thine own image, that it should be thus cruelly defaced by the hand of their brethren?”

Of course the way we come to this is by dehumanizing the one we are to cause pain. This is done in war to ease the restraint one might have about putting to an end the life of other human beings. We paint criminals as unworthy of life – animals that should be done away with. Even babies in the womb are just a glob of cells, not human, to be done away with at will.

If Christians want to rectify this situation, it is best recognize and deal with our own culpability in the holding of life cheaply. I was struck by a comment a professor made at the University of Akron about twenty years ago. It hit me like a brick between the eyes and it has stayed with me ever since. “When you choose to drink and drive, something inside of you stops caring about another human life.”

We contribute to mentality of cheap life when we gossip, when we exercise prejudices, when we look at pornography, when we engage in premarital sex or brush it off as unimportant or participate in joking about it, when we take others for granted or look down upon certain people, when we remain quiet when atrocities occur against the dignity of the human person, when we engage in contraceptive acts, when we could act out in charity but choose not to for selfish reasons or even when we do not treat our bodies well and with modesty. If we want to root out the major problems in the culture of death, there is no more effective place to begin than pushing back the darkness in our own lives.

4 comments:

sparky said...

Amen! It's good to hear something more substantial than "let's be nice because Jesus is nice". I received a booklet in the mail of meditations for Lent from a local parish. It makes such Catholic suggestions as "make an encouragement basket of plastic Easter eggs with uplifting quotes inside and give it to someone who feels like giving up" or using "acknowledgement and alteration to wipe the slate clean" instead of suggesting confession. Pure lunacy!

I have been reading some of your old entries. If I wanted to comment on the subject, should I post it there, or on your most recent entry?

Stephen said...

"If we want to root out the major problems in the culture of death, there is no more effective place to begin than pushing back the darkness in our own lives."

Yes Father.
Thank You Father.
Stephen

Fr. V said...

Sparky (I love that - how many people do you know in life that you get to call Sparky?) If you post more than a couple back - I might miss it - just post up to date I suppose. I usually check about the last three or so.

Thanks Stephen!

Rob said...

-the guy who was wielding the scourge. How could he have done it?-

I think it is valid to compare him to the abortion doctor, nurse, technician, midwife, etc. He probably just thought he was following orders, doing what was legal and 'good for society'. I'm not excusing him, rather I am saying that there are whole lot of these people in our world now, scourging Christ....

But you are right, father. We must clean our own souls.