I took a short ride on my motorcycle this afternoon. I like the back roads; I never drive in the big cities. Flying past the farms on a two-wheeled mechanical beast and seeing the countryside sprinkled with cows and horses is one of the most relaxing experiences (at least to some). This is true until something starts to rattle on the motorcycle. It was only my fly-screen (a very small "windshield"), but I needed to pull over and make sure it was not going to fall off.
There I am on the corner of "N" and "M" highway, just down the road from the community of Possum Trot (not joking, there really is a Possum Trot, Missouri; it has an abandoned school and one house!). I was not really worried; you can ride a bike without a fly-screen but I stopped the bike and got off to check the bolts. After about a couple minutes a truck came by. The driver slowed down and looked over and signaled to me, asking if I was OK or needed help. He was a complete stranger, and might not pay attention to me in any other context, but he slowed to see if I needed help.
Is this simple act of neighborly help disappearing today? I am not asking whether it ever occurs (I know it does), but whether it is fading away. It seems that there is a growing hatred of others everywhere in American society. Those rioting in various places in these USA do not seem to protesting anything of real substance. They just seem to want to create more hatred. This is not helping us to overcome prejudice and bigotry. We all know this; it is nothing new. Yet, do we know how far we ourselves have fallen in this? Are we Catholics becoming just as hateful and disrespectful towards those whom we do not like?
How do you think about the lapsed Catholics who are running for political office? It is one thing to refer to them as lapsed, and entirely another to use vulgarity when referring to them. Do we speak about those who clearly want to promote the destruction of our society with similar hatred? I ask this question, but I am not really needing an answer because I have heard it multiple times. Disdain and anger are voiced by Catholics towards those who do not hold the faith (sometimes of their own fallen brethren).
Just for a moment think of the politician that you like the least. Now imagine what you would do if the two of you were in an elevator together and he (or she) was in need of your help. Would you genuinely reach out to help him with the love of Christ? If you are not certain that you would, then you likely are part of the problem of spreading hate. Jesus never said it was OK to be hateful toward those that we dislike, but we all know it can be very hard not to get upset at sin (it is, after all, aggravatingly stupid!). Yet our anger just drives people away and does nothing to bring others to conversion.
How do we treat one another these days? Are we still willing to be kind to strangers in need? And if we are willing to stop and help someone whose vehicle broke down, would we also be willing to help someone whose soul has broken? That is what we are dealing with when someone comes against us with sinful foolishness. Although many (if not most) are probably not willing for us to help them with their eternal salvation, we will never get the chance if we do not try. Have you tried to reach out to someone blinded by their sin and lead them to the saving Grace of Christ Jesus? They are all over the place; you cannot miss them; go find one and ask God to help you show him Who his Redeemer is.