After reading How to be an annoying Catholic, I resolved to:
- Laugh more
- Be the real me
- Be unexpected
- Know what I believe and why
- Grow a backbone
- Love - live the example of love the sinner, hate the sin
- Pray more
I think God meant for some of this to be easy and others of it to be challenging. In fact, the list wouldn't have had to exist at all but for our fall from Grace. But no, what should be so easy - love one another - is the hardest this we can do. Love has powerful enemies - Fear. Hate. Anger. Bullishness. Contempt. The view of tolerance as a virtue. And more. These are all weapons that we use on each other almost indiscriminately.
I have felt the slings and arrows of all these enemies and these weapons aren't limited to just "those liberals" attacking "we conservatives". I've noticed that these weapons are used whenever any ideological brethren strays from an approved line of belief. Consider Juan Williams and his ejection from NPR or, more prosaically, the damaged career of The Dixie Chicks when lead singer, Natalie Maines, infamously criticized President Bush on the eve of the Iraqi invasion.
As I sit here mulling matters, sorrowing over the state of my world, and wondering what social calamity will hit us next, I really have to just remind myself to suck it up, quit the pity party, focus on the rules above and pay close attention to the example of Pope Francis who simply "lives it" and that, my friends, is no simple thing at all.