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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tender Compassion

Today's reading contains these words:

The Lord does deeds of justice, gives judgment for all who are oppressed.  He made known his ways to Moses and his deed to Israel's sons.

I am thinking today of  those people I love who are far from Love and how sad it must be for them.  I know what they are going through because I was once as far removed from Love as you can possibly get.  I believe, and I could be wrong, that one of the reasons I have so little patience for the self righteous is I know it is their attitude, coupled with their claim of the title 'Christian', that keep people like me from coming Home.

In despair, Job calls on God

Job spoke, saying:
Is not man's life on earth a drudgery?


Ok, look.  I understand that I must be willing to take full responsibility for my actions before I can begin to heal.  No one forced me to drink my first drink of alcohol; I did it because I wanted to be a part of the club, a part of the group and because at the age of 17 I did not have the strength of character to say, "No we can't sneak off at lunch and drink, that would be wrong.".   I do not take any kind of moral responsibility for being an alcoholic, however, because that would be just a silly as taking some sort of moral responsibility for being allergic to strawberries.  There is not morality attached to an illness or an allergy - it simply is what it is and the person who has it, once they know they have it, has a duty to care for themselves in an appropriate manner.  My body is important - it is a gift from my Creator and I am its steward.  I do not have the right to abuse this incredibly precious gift.

However, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be compassionate and gentle with women who are post abortive.  We did not wake up one morning and say, "Hmmmm.  What should I do today?  Go shopping?  Make a meal?  Write a book?  No!  Wait!  I know!  I will go get pregnant so I can get an abortion!".  Nine times out of ten we were abandoned, lied to, frightened and ashamed.  Often times we were victims of rape.  We were told by the abortion provider that it was a simple procedure and there was no danger.  We were told to put 'it' out of our minds and that the ability to have an abortion meant we were living in an enlightened age, unencumbered by the burden of religious or moral doctrine that shouted "STOP" from the heavens - not in anger but in fear for our souls.

Job spoke:
My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope. 

Having the compassion to temper our words during the pro life debate means we are fulfilling Christ's promise - to be loving and kind towards the unlovable and the unkind.  It is easy to condemn or provoke with the kind of sassy and nasty language used by so many today. However, it takes a certain type of Church Militant to apply the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in a gentle and humble manner and I would love to see us have the kind of courage that behavior takes play out in our every day life.

Job spoke:
Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.  The eye that now sees me shall no more behold me; as you look at me, I shall be gone.

I have often felt as Job felt.  I have been convinced that happiness on this earth was not meant for me and that I could find a kind of joy in Redemptive Suffering.  I have, oddly enough, and I am grateful for my suffering.  What I have also discovered is the kind of happiness that comes with living a small but good life.  I have found that, but I have also found my voice. 

Job spoke:
My own utterance I will not restrain; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

I found my voice when I came Home to Rome.  I found my voice when I returned to the Sacramental LOVE that is Jesus Christ and His Church.  I found my voice when I received forgiveness and Sanctifying Grace. 

To have anyone, man or woman, Catholic or Non Catholic, try and stifle that voice with lame arguments such as , "You only represent a small number of women" is a call to arms in my head.  I will not go quietly into that good night.  I may not be loved or listened to or even believed; but by golly I am not going to shut up because what I say and who I am makes life a bit too inconvenient for those who want all women who have had abortions demonized.

St Augustine wrote:
In every place, O Truth, you are present to those who seek your help, and at one and the same time you answer all, though they seek your counsel on different matters.

Thank you for letting me speak to you today.  If you are hurting, like I was hurting, know that you are not abandoned or alone.  God loves you. 

And we will help you find Him.

1 comment:

chimakuni said...

"Speak Lord, your servant is listening" ... Leslie, we have listened and now we are capable - and trusted with - speaking His message of Love, compassion and truth.

So what if the world hates us - they hated Him long before us...and it is not "we" that they hate, it is He who is in us that they hate.

Take heart, my dear Catholic Out Loud. I am walking right along side you ... bumping along the way to eternity...Love you!