Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm Mad ---- And It's Your Fault!

I’ve been thinking of writing this post for a few days, days when it seemed there were only troubles all around me. You told me so. You told me how irritated you were at all those politicians (And I don’t think you’ve missed anyone, from Obama down to that local guy of yours that I never heard of). The men’s prayer group gathered this week and around the table they chatted about their kids and grandkids, and how foolish they were, acting in sinful ways, and who don’t seem to know God anymore --- or visit Him. And even the priest opined (during mass) how “I’m glad that at least they didn’t change the Lord’s Prayer.” All these and many others I heard grumbling this past week, about how frustrated and mad they were --- and their talk made me mad!

And wasn’t that their purpose?

Each day I hear the priest say at mass: “The peace of the Lord be with you always.” And in response there remains a few who stumble, saying words no longer proper --- until they hear the proper words being said by others. And then they shut up and feel self-conscious. And then their lips may silently move, saying words to themselves which I won’t speculate on. But they’re mad. And what, you may ask, am I doing at that time? Well, usually I have no trouble remembering (or reading) the proper responses, but I do admit that lately when the priest says “Peace be with you” I recall all the anger I’ve been hearing all week, and I think: Peace to me??? Grrrrrrr.

Many who are mad about something these days want to be sure to tell me of their anger. For as often as they may have said that “there never is any good news in the papers anymore,” they themselves have readily become news broadcasters of the bad news they see. I said I was mad, in the title to this blog, and it’s your fault. That’s true. Your concerns so easily become my concerns, and it is easy to join in on the rage and rant. You want me to agree with you in your frustration, and I do. And perhaps on some days I even relate your rage to others --- let’s get them mad, too! Anger has become our standard conversation fare.

We need to stop this, you and I. We need to stop and think, and pray. Is this how we obey the commandment to love our neighbor? Is it love you are spreading when you make me angry? The Jews expected a conqueror-Messiah, someone who would rile them up and urge them into battle, and make them mad enough to do something. Is that what Jesus did?

Did He demonstrate that anger is the answer to their problems? Did He spread hate, or love? Did He rant, or speak softly? Did He become as mad or troubled as the people who came to Him, or did He calm their fears? Did He say “Someone must stop these evils,” or did He stop them?

And just look at how he did those things; look at His example. He chastised evil; he healed; he taught; he loved; He forgave --- to one person at a time. And He showed us ultimate love, and said: “Do this.”

If you are irritated at politicians, pray on the issues and discern answers and politicians seeking to implement those answers, and then support them --- quietly and calmly. If you are upset at the lack of Catholic practice and education in our youth, remember that you are all called to evangelize, so do it: resolve to give away at least one copy of YouCat this Christmas (and if you are like some of the men of my prayer group who responded “What’s that?” then go to Amazon (or your local Catholic bookstore) and find out). And if the changes to the liturgy bother you, I simply reply that “they are not changes, but only better translations of the mass as said for 2,000 years.” Listen to a CD titled: “A Walk Through The New Mass Translations” by Lighthouse Catholic Media; it is a cheap CD and easy to understand.

Do these things and they will calm your anger and fears. Think of it as being HIS answer to the concerns you speak of to others. And please note one thing in His response: He won’t be angry, and He won’t pass along your anger to others.

- - - - -

I’m in the ICU with mom now. Do you think she should sign a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order?

I felt that I should become a priest. God was calling me, but now I am not so sure. Could you pray for me?

I lost my job today.


Those words were spoken to me yesterday by people who were not trying to make me mad. They are people with much bigger problems than the ones I heard ranted about all week, but we spoke calmly about them. They were doing something, even as Jesus would, about the problems they saw. Even if it was only to ask someone: “Will you pray for me?”

These are people of integrity, faith --- and action. And I have every confidence that their actions will be wise ones and WILL accomplish something other than just making themselves or someone else mad.

There is much to worry about in this world, my friends. Let us pray we all have the courage and faith to become parts of the solution, and not just furtherance of the problems.

(One final point: I said at the start that I’m mad and it’s your fault. You’re forgiven ---- this time!)

And Peace be with your spirit.

3 comments:

  1. Awww. You're just happy because I said I forgive you. (And you've probably got those new responses memorized.) ;-)

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