IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
Valentine's Day is here. It is supposed to be all about Love. Yet beyond the heart covered Valentine cards, the flower bouquets and candy and all of that, we must, as unpleasant as it may be, recognize what we truly have going on this Valentine's Day of 2016. Yes, make no mistake, Love is under attack this Valentine's Day and hatred seems to overshadow the Love in the air.
Love is all about “Giving”, isn’t it? Christ loved us and GAVE His life for us. Now that is some serious “Giving”. Most followers of Christ do their feeble best to follow His message. But---enter the deadly sin of pride. There is the demon that can grab us in its powerful grip and oftentimes, never let go. The great sin of pride is characterized by all those who seize onto words such as, hurt, libel, disrespect, impolite, mocked, uncivil, rude and the list can go on and on and on.
How sad it is that pride can destroy so much, from family relationships, to friendships, to nations. Whenever our “personhood” is offended by someone else, all that Love can vanish like a puff of smoke in a windstorm. (Have you seen the “Love” extended by the candidates toward each other in the presidential debates?)
Oh well, it is part of God's gift of free-will allowing each and every one of us to make choices. Some of us can forgive and “turn the other cheek”. Others—no way.
Today it seems that Pride* has filled the hearts of many to a point where these people, so consumed, now HATE unconditionally. What many of them hate most is one word and what it means. That word is made up of only two letters. That word is NO. They want no-one dare telling them what to do or how to behave. They have embraced secularism (defined as: a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship).
Here is their problem: Judeo/Catholic/Christian has boundaries. Christianity tells us what God wants us to do and what NOT to do...why, the NERVE of Him! So, many Secularists (not all) take it to another level in their personal, selfish requests to abolish the influence of institutions that have the temerity to say NO to certain behaviors. They even reject "natural law" for their own personal agendas.
Catholic/Christians are the most persecuted people on earth. Why is that? Why is there such hatred by so many toward something that is all about goodness and love? All Christians (including 1.2 billion Catholics and 800 million Protestants of varied denominations) follow Jesus Christ. That is 2 billion people or two thousand million people who follow His teachings and His promise of Eternal Life. What is the crux of His teachings? Well now, the bottom line is this, LOVE your NEIGHBOR & FORGIVENESS. Yeah, yeah, I know that many who proclaim to follow Jesus do not even make an attempt to Love their Neighbor or Forgive anyone for anything. How powerful is the sin of pride?
The Prideful rant against Christmas which is all about "giving". They rail on about using the name of God in schools and at sports events. They want Crosses at cemeteries taken down from the graves of fallen soldiers. In many cases those who hate Christians kill them. Men, women and children die every day in different parts of the world simply because they are followers of Jesus. How can Love & Forgiveness be things to hate? How powerful is the sin of pride?
Well, nothing has changed since Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago. He preached Love & Forgiveness so they beat Him, tortured Him and killed Him. The loving crowds who screamed "Hosanna" on Palm Sunday turned fickle and screamed "Crucify Him" the following Friday. The list of people murdered for following Jesus over the centuries (including his own apostles) is countless. Being a Catholic and Christian was never supposed to be easy. Jesus Christ did nothing but Love us, each and every one of us. Look what happened to Him. How powerful is the sin of pride?
So, on this Valentine's Day, the question to be considered might be this. What is Love? The answer can be found in the Bible in the First Letter of John; Ch 4: 16-17. "We have come to know and believe in the love God has for us. God IS Love, and whoever remains in Love remains in God and God in Him.
Sadly, on February 14, 2016, the war on Love increases in intensity.
*Pride: There are two kinds of pride; negative pride and positive pride. This column references negative pride aka ‘selfishness’ or ‘meism’. Positive pride is the good pride we take in working hard to do our best while loving our neighbor.
©Larry Peterson2016 All Rights Reserved