Sunday, August 7, 2016
Aug 4, 2016
Violence and particularly gun violence has certainly been right in our face recently, so I offer you these reflections for your consideration.
The first morning I was in Colorado Springs, I woke up to news of the terrible event in Dallas, "not another one" I said to myself, only a couple weeks after Orlando and shortly thereafter Baton Rouge and the horrific action in Nice, France. I question how do we, how do I, not become complacent to these tragedies and how do we take a proactive position.
We cannot let our Country and world continue to spiral downward, allowing human life to lose value. But how do we turn this downward spiral around? For sure I do not have the answer, but like all societal problems and challenges it will take all of us and come to a positive resolve. Below is a statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As I read it gave me much to reflect upon. My attention was especially drawn to this phrase "let us beg for the strength to resist the hatred that blinds us to our common humanity". This spoke volumes to me because I believe sometimes we forget we are part of a common humanity. I believe if we remember this fact we could have a much clearer avenue to overcome the violence we are unfortunately living with these days.
I offer you Archbishop Kurtz's remarks for your reflection: "The assassination of Dallas police officers last night was an act of unjustifiable evil. To all people of good will, let us beg for the strength to resist the hatred that blinds us to our common humanity. To my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us gather at the Cross of Jesus. Our Savior suffered at the hands of humanity's worst impulses, but He did not lose hope in us or in His heavenly father. Love overcomes evil.'
'The police are not a faceless enemy. They are sons and daughters offering their lives to protect their brothers and sisters. Jesus reminds us, "no one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (JN 15:13). So too, the suspects in crimes of routine traffic stops are not just a faceless threat. They are members of our family in need of assistance, protection and fairness. When compassion does not drive our response to the suffering of either, we have failed one another.'
'The need to place ever greater value on the life and dignity of all persons, regardless of their station in life, calls us to a moment of national reflection. In the days ahead, we will look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity, and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence.'
Let us pray for the comfort of everyone affected and that our national conversation will bear the good fruit of healing and peace."
Let us continue to pray for peace and for end of terrorism in our world!
In peace and courage,