I had an entirely different Grati-Tuesday post planned for today. However, given world events during the past week, something else has bubbled up.
Today, I am deeply grateful to have found myself living out this life in a country where I have a great deal of religious freedom. In Canada, I am free to worship with my faith community, pray, and live according to my Catholic Christian faith without fear of violence or organized persecution.
I am grateful to see a lot of people grappling vigorously with questions about how to pursue peace and safety in the light of this week’s events, and how to balance this a love of our neighbours in the face of both a refugee crisis. I am grateful to see some intense and heated debates about these topics, because it means that apathy is absent, and apathy is a great spiritual plague. I do, however, also see prejudice, judgement, pride and fear entering into the discussions, particularly when they are heated. Often, the same person will warn against these things in one breath and succumb to them in the next (I include myself in this, by the way).
I have been praying that God would keep me mindful of what real love looks like. It is not fluffy and trite. Really loving my neighbour necessarily involves allowing myself to be vulnerable. It is an act of the will, not a feeling, and it cannot truly exist where there is pride, laziness (intellectual or otherwise), fear, selfishness, or an unwillingness to suffer for the beloved. This is hard for me, and even harder because my spiritual tradition urges that we are called even and especially to love our enemies (Luke 6:27-36). This means I must extend love & prayer to the people I think have the worst and most hateful opinions, to the people I vehemently disagree with, and even to the terrorists and persecutors themselves. This is so so hard . . . but it’s my homework, and I am trying to be grateful for that too.
#gratituesday #heartbeats #whenyouranswercomes