Thursday Reflection 11.1.18

Thursday Reflection
“What is God calling me to do?”
November 1, 2018
           I know that just as many of you find my “conversations with Abby” (our border collie) cute, there are others of you who get bored or turned off. Hopefully this reflection is not cute, and hopefully those who are not dog lovers see beyond the metaphor of what Abby stands for and is, and give a prayerful listen!
           This has been yet another terrible week (and I am not referring to the thrashing your 401 K’s took in the stock market the week of Oct. 22). We’ve experienced the power of hate. You hate someone’s politics, simple: put together (non-working?) pipe bombs and mail them to your philosophical opponent! You have been feeding on ethnic hatred and want to finish the evil work that that Austrian madman had started in the 1930’s, simple: use your easily purchased and legal high powered rifle and spray death into a place of worship.
           Trying to explain “hate” to Abby is a challenge because she reminds me that while dogs certainly know fear, hunger, and can be defiant and stubborn, and even on that not so rare occasion [when food is involved] will lie through their teeth), dogs do not experience the human emotion of hate. They are protective. Some will attack if they feel they (or their parent) are threatened, but they cannot know hate. It is not in their DNA.
           We, sadly in our so called “enlightened, post-Christian, God-is irrelevant, don’t-judge-me, my-kid-never-does-anything-wrong, I can say anything I feel like through social media, blaming, shaming, I-want to destroy you” culture are ever so capable of hate.
           Abby asked me if I was surprised by the events of last week. “Of course not” I snarked at her. Once we accepted the murder of little children in their schools – a.k.a Sandy Hook – (and do not lie to yourselves – by having done NOTHING to deal with the issues of gun violence/gun laws/gun rights), we have accepted the murder of our children as our “new normal”, we just better start getting used to this over and over.
           Abby asked me why we humans choose to hate. I wish I could give her an answer. Is it something bred into us? Do we need to be taught (cf. South Pacific)? Are fear and hate of the “other” the inevitable consequence of a world where God is ignored and God’s word is perverted?   Have the seeds of the “politics of destruction” which both sides spew so well finally born this poisoned fruit?
This four legged creature (who barks excessively, to be sure, but who was created for love and to give love) looks at me, mumbles a Border Collie sigh, and shakes herself to remove the stench of humanity from her fur. Why would anyone want to hang around with creatures who love to hate. And I have no answer for her.
–Fr Joe