Best Wishes on this Thanksgiving Day 2015

Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives.  Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked … it involves too much self-accusation … they have no standard outside themselves by which to measure their times.

Fulton, J. Sheen

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A reader, a good man and dedicated professor and seeker, recently said to me that my writing was “too political” and that he had other sources of spiritual counsel.  Fair enough, mate.

“Too political.”  Guilty as stated.  And how I wish it weren’t so.

While sometimes I focus on faith, belief, spiritual development in the individual person, and sometimes in reference to psychological wellness and faith, culture and politics does have a significant presence here.

Like all good comments, my friend’s words made me reflect on my writing and its evolution over time.

Of course, I write of the relationship between faith and culture.  I do so because in contemporary secular culture faith is looked upon unfavorably.  Indeed, faith is unwelcome, driven from the public square, its manifestation and practice attacked and punished, and more so each day.

I suppose if we did not have the vivid chronicles of the consequences of its banishment in Nazi Germany or the communists dictatorships of the captive countries of Eastern Europe, behind the Iron Curtain, in the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba and the like we might all ignore the relationship between faith and culture, and between politics and faith.

But alas, that is not our case now, is it.

This brings to mind the passage in Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men where the sheriff narrator is relating how he went to a conference and sat next to a woman who started ranting about the “right wing” and how she wanted to make sure that her granddaughter could get an abortion when she wanted one.  The sheriff tells how he said he didn’t much think she had to worry the way the country was going; and then, he tells how he reassured her that her granddaughter was more than likely gonna’ be able to get that abortion and “put her to sleep” too.

My point?

Thinking that faith exists independently at this time in America is to be the man Sheen describes above – the one who does not wish to believe in the wickedness of his own times.

Good as coming to faith is.  Coming to a sequestered faith at this time – embracing a pristine separation of religious belief from culture that is hostile to religious belief – is a bit like carrying a cup of water to a three-alarm fire.  It’s a little too little, and a little too late.

Dear God, bring us to know and live You in the urgency of today as our Founders lived You in the urgency of their days in this New England.

God bless you all, Princes and Princesses of New England.

Shalom.

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