Lost and Confused

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Lost and Confused

I am frequently asked bout the current state of confusion in the world. And connected to that, the way forward. For many people the current state of things in secular and religious life have left many people in varying degrees of distress. We should not be surprised at this state of affairs as the secular and religious world have frequently abandoned long held norms and in some cases radically diverted from or divested themselves from these norms.

To be assured of stability in the midst of all this change takes a great deal of internal fortitude. We live in a world where we are disconnected from the larger community now, so when confronted by something uncomfortable we can no longer look to the “village” to see what is the current reaction and way forward. Since no one is pilloried for transgressing the rules in thought, word or action any longer then the alternative, for many, is to retreat into their home and soothe their disturbed equilibrium with music or television for several hours.

Because our society has become one in which individualism is lauded and held up as being the singular greatest means in all things, the ideas found in the dual heresies of indifferentism and relativism reach an unheard of level. Acceptance and toleration are no longer what they signified before this societal change and are now meant to be such that all thought and opinion must in fact be accepted by all rather than simply tolerated.

The upheavals begun during and after the First World War and then continued a generation later in the Second World War left the secular world radically transformed. And though many of the practices were condemned and found to be abhorrent in Nazi Germany, many of the same have become common place today with better “marketing”. Eugenics, sex-selection and abortion, euthanasia “of the unfit” as well as the old and dying.

The one rock that seemed to have survived all this twentieth century chaos and destruction was the Catholic Church which continued proclaiming the same truths it had always taught. It was only in the twenty years after the close of the last war that any modification was made to the Church to the dismay of many and delight of others.

What we need, or feel/think we need is a solid rock to rely on. And to some degree this is true. Faith carries us through many dark times. But we need to be sure what we put our faith in. So many people become disappointed with the people and organisations they believed in. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” (Ps 118:8)

Today we are not afraid to say anything about what we disagree with. It is natural to be disappointed and we may rightly criticise those who have let us down. But we shouldn’t stay there. As I mentioned in the last post “Glass Full of Positive” we need to keep focussed on what continues to help us. It is only in this way that we become the influencers in our societies. In the military we were taught that if we were going to criticise then we had to have an alternative suggestion to offer.

Let us help those who may be confused in the chaos they find. Keeping a level head and always knowing what we believe and believe to be true will always help us to keep ourselves and others from despair.


The Next Time Through

I discovered two deaths this year. That may surprise you knowing I am a priest and have frequent funerals for parishioners and others who I am asked to commemorate. But this year I was looking on line for a friend and found her obituary. I was stunned and cried. She was so beautiful, had two little girls, husband, served in The Salvation Army with me where we met. We studied at university together and had part-time jobs together.

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Change that is growth is wonderful to watch. We see children getting older and achieving in school; we see gardens grow. If the garden is for vegetables we can eat the resulting harvest. If we have flowers and shrubs we see the seasonal progress and natural beauty and design.

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