A very Catholic way of looking at life is the 'both/and" method of discernment. As a Dominican, I am taught to never be afraid to explore any idea or look at the belief system of any culture, because if there is truth to be found within that idea or belief I can be certain that truth stems from Christ Jesus, for He Is Truth itself.
Coming from that angle, the world really does become one's oyster when it comes to thoughts and philosophical pronouncements and theologies and political ideology. One can truly open up their mind and start exploring without fear, for we have a touchstone that is stronger than anything upon which to anchor ourselves. We Catholics truly are living our lives on The Rock.
That's why I did not flinch today when a former Catholic (and domestic abuse survivor) posted one of those one line things on Facebook that was supposed to prove how stupid it is to assert that God will judge our nation by its behavior - mainly its behavior around abortion and gay marriage. The little sign thingy (I am not sure what you call them as they are more than political cartoons - no one every takes responsibility for them - and they are in the cyber world so they are not bumper stickers but they sure read like bumper stickers) listed a bunch of America's sins since its inception as a nation and then said, "Oh you mean now God is going to judge us on Abortion and Gay Marriage?". It has that 'gotcha' flavor to it that always makes me smile.
I replied to her post, which was probably not really necessary and will more than likely lose me still another liberal friend (they are so damn touchy). I replied that I often think, "What makes you think we have not been judged by all that past behavior and are reaping what we have sown?".
Think about it: we can make ourselves horribly depressed by just picking up a newspaper and seeing the kind of violence perpetrated against each other in our local communities. Children bullying other children, adults beating each other into a coma over a baseball game, women slipping their children drugs to keep them quiet so they can party with their Man of the Moment, men taking a razor to the women they claim they love in order to make them ugly so no one else will ever want them, old people punched in the head by their caregivers, and babies aborted because their mothers have been coerced, abandoned, or scared into thinking they have no choice in the matter. Our society, which has deteriorated since Adam refused to stand up and defend his family against satan, pays mightily for the plunder and rape and violence it has perpetrated.
Now, I happen to believe we are going to be judged for what we do when we have tried our best to thwart the wages of sin. I believe that we will be judged for we starting schools and hospitals, for taking in homeless families and sending supplies to those ravaged by war and/or natural disaster. I believe we will be judged by the number of times we fell to our knees and prayed for the deliverance of a missing child or the healing of a stranger or that a loved one would return to Holy Mother Church. I believe we will be judged by how quickly we recover our sense of humor when wronged (or when we recover from a bad haircut determined to rely more upon God than our looks to get through the day, Leslie). I believe we will be judged by our actions, because Jesus did not come up with 'once saved, always saved' and was very clear that not all who cry "Lord Lord" will be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven.
I think, and I may be wrong, that our society will be judged by the way we treated the people who were settled here when we arrived just as I believe those people will be judged by the manner in which they treated their women and children. I believe that we will be judged according to what we knew at the time, not by the standards of today. I believe, most of all, in the infinite mercy of God.
I trust in Him. I want Him to judge me. I want to try with all my heart and soul to be the woman He created and He loves, now, no matter what I am or what I do.
Most of all, however, I want to return the unconditional Love He gives to me.
Today is the Feast of St Therese, the Little Flower. Today I pray:
St Therese, my beloved friend, you promised to spend your heaven doing good upon the earth. I come before you now with my petitions and I ask you to pray with me and for me, to present my petitions to Our Loving Lord so that He may do what is best for me, for my loved ones and for the fulfillment of His Kingdom here on earth. Please send me a rose, that I may know you are listening to me. I ask this with confidence and with love. Thank you, Little Flower. Amen.