So instead of loving what you think is peace, love other men and love God above all. And instead of hating other people you think are warmakers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war…hate these things ‘in yourself’, and not in another.
This quote from Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation sums up what I believe is our entire country’s moral climate today.
Think about the yearly calendar. Think about news. What constitutes news. What is trending on your phone when you tap the Google search box. What your phone tells you is important.
The entire ‘coexist’ movement is delivered like a watery blanket to soothe us all.
But if we really pause and think about peace it always starts within. It isn’t a slogan for us all to slap on our car bumpers and drive around showing the world that we’re all good enough.
The core of peace is love, and the state of our world is fallen. Only God can fix it and save.
Our love for superhero movies is a distorted quest for this. Billions of dollars are made by film companies. Marvel and DC Comics have never been more popular.
Yet the internal struggle is suffocated when we look out and see a world that looks different to what we think it should be. Apart from God doing the ‘saving’ we are utterly grasping for something that cannot be attained.
We cannot hate that which is different. Likewise, we cannot accept the sinful state of affairs as it is. No. We must love other. And, we must hate the things in us that aren’t from above. Our appetites are selfish. We must disown them and surrender them to the Divine. Our souls will relent to be in control.
Our only thing to hate is the appetite inside ourselves. We can’t control the doings of others. But, our witness will be the thing our neighbors see. Not how much we strive in the wars we create. But in the forgiveness we seek from God.
Human beings might be in full revolt, according to Milton, but we also have the choice to turn and repent. It is something our hearts can choose. Individually we can do this. And then, collectively our fruits will be evident to those around us.
Brian L. Tucker