“The biggest LIE that has ever been told is that somehow and in someway we are separated from God!”
I recently listened to an Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday podcast featuring Sister Joan Chittister and the conversation gave me serious food for thought about this one, precious life we all get to live. In her latest book, THE TIME IS NOW, Sr. Joan laments the passing of our national moral compass—our loss of civility, inability to discuss rather than debate, and general inability to be-for-an-other (i.e. the “common good”) Basically, she lamented the loss of LOVE in America, because that’s what LOVE is—being-for-an-other to be in solidarity with the other. But, did LOVE ever really exist in America…or for that matter in any system of the world?
“What you have done for the least of my brothers and sisters you have done for me,” Jesus said.
This passage from the Gospel of Matthew marks clearly the how and in what way, the love of God and neighbor is made manifest. Yet it seems to me that our moral compass, as a society, has always been in flux. For example, there was a time early on when the Declaration of Independence was penned and signed by men who enslaved other men while declaring their own right to be free from the sovereignty of the British Crown. This did not seem immoral or dissonant to them in any way. And, there was also a time when American citizens who happened to be of Japanese descent were legally sent to internment camps. In short, we have never been free from a lack of love, not in America and not in the entire global world in which we live. This is no fault of America or of any other nation. It simply IS.
Our current plight is the perpetuation, on what may be a larger and more dangerous scale, of what has always been: people who live their lives in a self-centered versus other-centered universe. This is the way “natural human nature” operates. In fact, we can’t help but make it all about us, can we? And when our “us” bumps up again “the other” all bets are off. Right?
Ahh, but redeemed and restored human nature is a different story. The story of the Good News of God in Jesus the Christ forms the basis for transformation no longer isolated from GOD, but in fact, ONE with GOD. This is the human journey. It is the story of true reconciliation and union with the Divine to become divinized humanity. Such a human being is living LOVE as LOVE. LOVE is our true north. The entire conversation of the lack of a moral compass then becomes moot.
In her book, Sr. Joan sets a prescription for how we can begin to resolve the quagmire of our life together as a society. To me, though, the first and foremost prescription is that we know ourselves and know that we do not have the power to fix ourselves. Nevertheless, that power is freely available to us– within us—if we can receive it. It is the power of LOVE; of death and resurrection; of old life and new; of what has been and what can be. Being transformed is both a process and a journey. We are in Christ and this phase of human transformation we are all undergoing will hurt and be uncomfortable at times. But, we are the Beloved so just trust the process. Just trust GOD.