"True charity consists in doing good to those who do evil to us, in order to gain them to virtue"
....Blessed Nazju Falzon (1813 - 1865)
How do I know I will never be a canonized saint?
Read the quote - read it again...slooooowwwwwlllllllyyyyyy.
I struggle in this area in every way. I can forgive, but first I have to hurt, to want to understand the why of the perpetrator's action(s), to cry a little, to maybe even seek some sort of justice or redress. In other words, my first knee-jerk reaction is NOT "Oh goody, I am being beaten up for Jesus".
I also have a tendency to want to rush to someone's defense, even if I don't particularly like the person or if I disagree with their politics or think their take on how to approach Salvation is a little off kilter. Because I have been the victim of slander and gossip, I think anyone who deliberately alludes to someone being a child molester or a Nazi simply because they hate the person's politics is under the influence of the evil one.
So I am watching the Modesto Politician, Robert Stanford, with a weary eye. This man, who pretends to be the champion of the disenfranchised and the poor, is revealing himself to be a mean-spirited hate monger - er. His ability to justify the nastiest of actions reveals a politician's heart, no doubt (I am reminded of Bill Clinton's rant about not having sex with 'that woman' and Richard Nixon declaring his incredible honesty before the world - both with straight and earnest faces) and he probably would work well as an elected official. He seems to have the requisite lack of personal integrity required to be a successful politician. His Achilles Heal? He has a horrible temper. I would hate to see the citizens of Modesto elect our own version of Pete Stark to the City Council.
Instead, wouldn't it be great if the people of Modesto were to elect people willing to fight for their pet causes without personally attacking those who disagree with them? I would like to see our elected officials learn to disagree without being disagreeable.
Someone asked me recently if I would ever consider running for office and my immediate answer was, "NO NO NO NO NO NONONONONONO" . Good Lord, am I crazy too? After being subjected to the horrors of The Hive, why would I put my family and friends through what would undoubtedly be much worse if I made a run for public office? I could see George and Robert now:
She had four abortions (only they would add: tax payer FUNDED abortions. That part is not true, of course, but neither of these men are hampered by honesty).
She had SEX outside of MARRIAGE (as though I am the only Modern Day Mary Magdalen on the planet).
She thinks her FATHER was a lousy FATHER (he was - but AA and The Church taught ME to be a good DAUGHTER and that made all the difference in our relationship).
HER husband died of a DRUG OVERDOSE (he didn't but again, that honesty thing does not get in the way for either of these men).
SHE is a PAIN PILL ADDICT (omg, if I was? I would be able to walk without wincing).
SHE IS FAT (gee...that must have JUST HAPPENED!)
Besides, I have no interest in politics other than the interest shown by most arm-chair philosophers and theologians: Look what the Weirdos are doing Today, Audrey...pass the peanut butter.
The best part of coming Home to Rome is I can point without shame at my dark past and know, just as AA promised me, that it is my greatest asset today. No one can ever tell me that having an Abortion is something wonderful...I know it isn't, I had four while I was out there drunk and loaded and I had everyone of them under duress and emotionally (and sometimes physically) beaten into a pulp. All I ever wanted to do was be an actress and a mother and today I am neither - gee, do you think I PLANNED my life to be this way?
Today I stand forgiven for my past mortal sins and able to receive Christ in The Eucharist, to kneel before Him in Adoration, to pray to Him in communion with the Saints and Angels and know I am not just tolerated: I AM LOVED.
So while I am not yet at the level of those who can actively do good to those who harm them, I know I am better off than when I was living in the world as a pagan - living a life, not of freedom but of license and demanding that everyone around me accept me and my actions.
Today I am a woman of Grace and Dignity...and for that I am very grateful to God, to The Church and to the Sacramental Life offered to me BY The Church.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.