Greetings Fellow Network of Love Lovers!
As Christians all around the world begin the Lenten Season, the 40 days leading to a remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, I thought I'd offer a brief reflection.
During the month of March, Pope Benedict has suggested that Catholics as a church try and fast from "judging other people." As a church and world community, this mission is a worthy, moral, just, virtuous (whatever we wish to label it), consideration to seriously strive embark upon.It is wonderful that the Vatican has issued such a statement, request, for this coming month---but this can and really should be a fast we strive to undertake for the rest of our lives. Carrying out this fast from judging others ultimately starts at the grassroots level, what we might consider our most intimate, tangible "church."
We are always critical of others, always holding people accountable for their actions and work. In a sense, this is how the world as we know it operates. We function and spin if and only if all members of society pull their weight, so to speak. To refrain from judging is to say that we understand and accept that sometimes that metaphorical weight becomes too heavy a cross to bear for people during especially difficult periods of their life. Refraining from judging others means that we withdraw from a competitive mind frame into an altered way of thinking and living that attempts to be all-embracing, all-caring, all-reconciling.
We seek to become a community that therefore measures success on the amount of love we are able to produce.If we stop judging our neighbors, people who society or our group might label a "have" or a "have not" even, then we can construct a concrete slab worthy of being part of the foundation of the building up of the kingdom of God here and now.Fasting from judging others is not going to be an easy task. I think how many people I have cast off as an "other," distinct or different or foreign to what I might know or believe. I think of how many labels I have put on people that should remain label-less, simply (and fully) brothers and sisters.I need to love all people and uphold the dignity of all creation if I seek to refrain from judging others. This begins with an understanding of my own need for repenting.
We have to admit to ourselves that there are pieces of our heart that are full of sorrow. There are such pieces of my heart that are in need of cleansing, of a God-loving embrace. I sing, "take it, take another little piece of my heart!" to quote the 1960’s singer Janis Joplin. So maybe Janis was crying out to a lost lover here on earth, a man who had stolen her heart, so to speak. But, this piece of my heart I ask God to take and to make anew, in the image and likeness of a LOVE I know not fully of but wish to fully seek and attain and spread to other people. And when we seek and attain and offer a piece of our heart, we become a piece of new dust that gives back to the earth and to the people of the earth in ways that only LOVE can imagine.
We are all in need of repentance. But, we are all able to obtain resurrection, endless reconciliation.
peace and blessings!
your friend bob.