Thanks to all of you who took the time to write in and tell me my column and its faith-inspired advice give you a needed boost and some valuable insights for how to live your lives in a Christ-centered fashion. And it’s in that same vein I want to give you the gift of peace and joy while the mainstream world bombards us with trial, tribulation and, more importantly, the dangerous idea we should live in fear.
Whether it’s global warming or global terror, big government or big corporations, the poison in our food or the poisoning of the airwaves, the temporal world is and always has been filled with problems and challenges. And we must constantly strive to make the world better and safer for humanity.
But it seems like everywhere you turn nowadays someone is telling us that we need to be afraid of these everyday challenges. As election season nears, that talk is ramping into high gear once again.
Well, don’t listen, because whoever is saying these things is not on God’s side. They are not spreading God’s word no matter who they are or whatever press box, podium or pulpit they may be speaking from. The only message
fearmongers are spreading is their own.
This isn’t the first time the world has been filled with such alarmists and alarming messages. Though some periods of human existence have been less anxious than others, the whole of human history is filled with “Cassandras” predicting doom for all. Many have become cult leaders like Jim Jones or David Koresh leading others to their death. But sometimes they are not leading us to our physical death but to our spiritual death with their dire predictions that all is lost unless we take extreme measures, and those measures often involve abandoning our true principles to make frantic, inhumane or unethical decisions.
In fact things were very much that way when I began writing this column back in 2001, right after the 9/11 attacks on our nation. The country was gripped by fear. I started writing this column because I felt that what we needed was to have faith in our God and love in our hearts first and foremost. To focus on that love of family, friends and God was and still is the best way to defeat any enemy.
That was true then, and it’s true now. Think about any of the problems I listed above, those so-called end-of-the-world issues. None has ever been the end of the world, and a thoughtful, selfless love might actually be the answer to solving them in the long run.
In the final analysis, it isn’t fear, hatred, animosity and worry that keep the world going. But it is people loving each other, helping each other, families sticking together, societies looking out for their weakest, and nations feeding instead of fighting each other.
Christ came at a time when the world was controlled by a pagan power built on fear and ruthless murder. But rather than come to combat that as a worldly king who would inspire fear to destroy that power structure, He came as an infant, who grew up to be a carpenter to build faith, to build humanity into something better with a simple message of love that would destroy the power of fear. Or to borrow a few words from the Gospel of John, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
That’s what we can do every day in our own lives — work to be made perfect in love, not fear.
And if all the Catholics in America behaved that way, then we truly would change the world for the better. Or better yet maybe we’d all realize how good it always is.
That is truly “A Better View.”