Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Augmenting Our Vision: "Both/And"

Understanding, navigating and mending divisions is our lot. For Christians, especially, not only are we confronted with such issues, we are called to actively build communion.

A good friend of mine posted a lively reflection on the issue of "social-driven" and "value-driven" Catholics. With the current political debates beginning to press in on our consciousness and conversations, his reflection  is good mental fodder.
The main issue behind the debate is the illusion of division, brought on by the assumption that the Church is only as big as we can envision it.  Thus, when we envision Church in the streets and the slums, we wonder how any Catholic could dwell in gilded, ornate, lofty cathedrals, and we quickly conclude that they must be wrong and we must be right.  Or, when we see the great beauty and tradition of the Church's timeless and enduring tradition of faith and morals, we wonder how anyone could find themselves affirming those people living contrary to that tradition and concluded that they must be wrong and we must be right.  In truth, both are wrong and both are right, entirely because both have envisioned a Church that is too small.
Catholicism is not a religion of either one vision or the other vision.  It is a Church of both/and.  We do not all choose between lives of comfort and austerity, we are a religion in which both desert hermits and kings are saints. 
We are not about policies or platforms, we are about Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh.  The whole world, in all time and space is looking at us, silently asking us to prove all these things we claim, that God became Man, that Death is not the end, that Life can be eternal, and that the most fundamental truth behind everything is that we really are loved infinitely and eternally. 
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