Saturday, December 15, 2012

Random Thoughts on the School Massacre

A compilation of my posts and comments on posts on a common social media outlet:
"In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be comforted, because they were not."   Jeremiah 31:15, quoted in Matthew 2:18-20.
The slaughter of innocents goes on.... We're no better than our predecessors, just more efficient. Lord have mercy.
Even if we had a utopian weaponless society, one asshole would figure out that if he is the only one with a weapon he could rule the world.
We can't let random insanity drive our lives or public policy... if we do, the crazy people win and we are crazier than they are.
I listened to talk radio on the way home from work about the "massacre" and I wondered how Middle Eastern country talk radio deals with suicide bombers and triple or quadruple the dead and weekly or monthly occurrences instead of once or twice a decade. Our news coverage of this kind of event on our soil goes on for weeks but 80 people dead and dozens more injured in a suicide bombing overseas gets a 10 second blurb at the top of the hour for less than a day even though we all know both perpetrators were nut-cases in one way or another. #newsdrivenbyratingsandadvertisingrates
 Even if you armed every citizen and put detectors at every doorway in the world there would still be murders. We can't let rare random insanity drive our lives.
The unfortunate reality is, even if mental health care and guns were equally accessible to crazy people, there will always be a crazy person who will choose the guns. There's always more that could have been done and can be done, but evil and nutcases will always wreak havoc. Death was introduced into the world in a perfect environment and the first murder happened just east of Eden.
Strange how our individual lives go on even in the face of inconceivable evil and sorrow. I still had to unstop my kitchen sink after work today. A very small thing comparatively, but still consequential in my reality. I never know how to feel about that.
 Let's get this f*cked up world over with. Maranatha!

Monday, December 10, 2012

True Mission Work: Why There are Few True Converts

Peter France, a BBC reporter who did a weekly program on religion for 12 years, asked Abbot Amphilichios of The Monastery of St. John the Evangelist on Patmos a question in an interview (briefly paraphrased here):

"We are a modern tribe of people who reject Christianity, not because we know too little but because we know too much. We know the human mind and the conscious and unconscious and we know religious emotionalism, that it is all void of reality, we find your philosophical arguments for the existence of a God unconvincing, linguistics and archeology show your Bible is flawed, science shows no need for a Creator... so we reject your "Truth" because of our truths. What would you say to us if you were a missionary to our tribe?"

The Abbot simply smiled and said, "I would not say anything to you. I would simply live with you. And I would love you."

St. Isaac the Syrian said, "God is reality. The person whose mind has become aware of God does not even possess a tongue with which to speak, but God resides in the heart in great serenity. He experiences no stirring of zeal or argumentativeness, nor is he stirred by anger. He cannot even be aroused concerning the faith."

Perhaps it because of the lack of true love that there are so few true missionaries and few true converts to any modern "faith" (including my own).  After seeing and hearing the Bible and its commentators quoted and proof texted for over 40 years I've come to the conclusion that intellectual conversion is easy compared to being drawn to Love, and being demanded by it to a life of true love.  And those who cannot learn love truly will move on to the next syllogism of their new faith and missionize accordingly because it is, in the end, easy.

H/T Fr. Silouan