Love is a funny thing and it does not always play fair. Bear in mind these 2 harsh realities. 1. The one you love can be snatched from you by the cruel hand of Death at any moment. 2. The one you love may not love you back.
(Similarly, money is rather funny or odd when you think about it. If you have money in that savings account of yours, it is only because you do not need it at present. When you need money, it is because you do not have it.)
Decades ago, Brother Charles (at that time well into his sixties, perhaps even his seventies as he looked to us young students much like Methuselah, but then he smoked and that had aged his face) told our class in freshman year of a four-year high school: “If you love or care, expect to be hurt.” He was not saying to us that we ought not strive to live loving lives, but rather he was giving us a reality check that when you love and care you bear the risks and the hurts that will come your way in this terrible world for caring. It is a price we have to pay.
life and (bodily) death
The body is weak, but the spirit is strong, eternally young.
My late father was fond of the saying” “Do not take life too seriously. You are not going to get out of it alive.”
And, indeed, we all have a life sentence in this terrible world. Who would want another tour of duty on this plane, another turn of the wheel of terror-joy?
unsung heroes and self-sacrifice (or sacrifice of self)
What of the unsung heroes, those who died alone, whose names history does not know? What of those who willingly, courageously sacrificed their lives to save others’ lives? Such self-sacrifice comes from or springs out of love (love for God, love for others, love for justice, and/or love for one’s nation and culture).
We are living on the sacrifices (the efforts and achievements) of those who came before us. Let’s pay it forward by striving to build a better world for future generations, and let us hope that they will honor our sacrifices by living constructive lives.
When I glance out our top floor bedroom window across the busy street to the elementary school, and see the children playing in the school yard, my heart is heavy; but not for my long gone youth and the hope and optimism that was so easy then to hold on to. What bothers me so much is that these youngsters (6 to 11 years of age) are now in a world that is even more troubled and messed up then it was when I was their age just a half century ago. What terrible challenges they will have to confront and endure as they grow up and enter into their adult lives.
Christianity in America and the Culture War
Are truths immutable? Or, is everything “relative”? Are there no moral absolutes? Must we capitulate to the zeitgeist or spirit of the times? Those who are cowardly will seek to reinterpret moral laws rather than actively confront, and work to combat, pressing moral evils in our society.
Christianity in America may have been a mile wide in earlier times, but it was only an inch deep. If you disagree with this statement, please account for us how great moral evils have been (and how could these have been?!) normalized in an authentic Christian society?
The so-called Culture War has been lost for those who truly adhere to and promote Christian moral principles. We are heading into a post-Christian age of self-destructive lifestyles and behaviors. Actually, we are already there. If man’s fallen or flawed moral nature could be summed up in one word, that word, it seems to us, would likely be “selfishness”. That is what we see more and more of in our society. People living self-centered, shallow and empty lives.
But, do not despair. In the early history of Christianity, some heresies persisted for centuries before finally being defeated or dying out. The heresy of Arias, or Arian Heresy, that denied Christ’s divinity persisted for three hundred years before finally dying out in the early 600s A.D. We will not live to see the day the tide turns, but we ought (and must) keep fighting the good fight. If those of us who truly care stop fighting, the tide will never turn in the future. We must not let the light of truth be completely extinguished. (Bear in mind the aphorism of Lao Tzu: It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.)
We observe that people still have a need to believe in something in this post-Christian age. Note all the New Age or neo-pagan nonsense that is circulating in society.
The Culture of Death
The ongoing assault on innocent human life that is accepted and continues day after day, year after year, in the US and other Western, supposedly Christian nations cries out to God for justice. The denial of medical care to severely handicapped newborns, the aborting of so many children in utero that have been diagnosed (many times inaccurately with false positives) as having abnormalities (Down’s Syndrome and other conditions), the accepted practice of assisted suicide, and the euthanizing of the elderly are all recent symptoms of the underlying moral malaise in our societies. When the secular government transgresses the moral law of God, that government has forfeited its legitimacy to govern the affairs of its citizens. (We are not advocating for a theocracy, dear readers, but we merely state that when man’s laws conflict with God’s laws on substantive matters, we need to follow God’s laws. The commandments of God are given to us to protect us from our all too human proclivity for self-destructive behaviors.)
There is a certain irony here when we look to the animal kingdom. Many species do not kill their own kind.
This parting shot was captured by my wife while on holiday in northern India in February, 2017.
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