Lincoln’s Log 1-24-2021

Review: Love your enemies

“Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths.”

Psalm 25:4

Over my “staycation” this past week, I spent a lot of time praying and reading. One of the books I read was Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt by Arthur C. Brooks (You may know him as the author of The Conservative Heart). I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with the division in our country and our world.

As the title indicates, he names the source of division as contempt – the view that the person you disagree with is unworthy of consideration. Rather than engaging in genuine disagreement or debate, many of us are likely to dismiss the person we disagree with as unworthy. One jarring statistic from the book was that “in 1960, only 5 percent of Americans said they would be displeased if their child married someone from the other political party. By 2010, that number was 40 percent, and no doubt has risen from there.”

We are deeply divided politically, and this division is spilling over into the other facets of life, including our religious and spiritual lives.

How do we begin to heal this division? How do we move beyond simply tolerating those we disagree with to loving them?

Brooks offers some very practical guidance on how to heal this division. Here are his five summary rules:

  1. Stand up to the Man. Refuse to be used by the powerful.
  2. Escape the bubble. Go where you’re not invited, and say things people don’t expect.
  3. Say no to contempt. Treat others with love and respect, even when it’s difficult.
  4. Disagree better. Be part of a healthy competition of ideas.
  5. Tune out: Disconnect more from the unproductive debates.

Reducing the book to one sentence, Brooks writes, “Go find someone with whom you disagree; listen thoughtfully; and treat him or her with respect and love. The rest will flow naturally from there.”

This is good advice for all of us in this politically divided world. If you are distressed by our current division and looking for practical ways to love those you disagree with, I would urge you to read this book.

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln

Parish Pastoral Leader

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 5-25-14 Easter 6 Year A

'Flags-In' at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day 2008

“For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God.  Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit.” 1 Pt. 3:18

This weekend our nation celebrates Memorial Day reflecting on sacrifice, freedom, and peace.  Here is a prayer for Memorial Day from the Center of Concern (https://www.coc.org/).

On this Memorial Day
Grant peace to the souls
of all those soldiers who died in war.

We remember the tears and grief of their families,
The pain of mothers, wives, husbands and children
Who lost precious loved ones.
 
To build a meaningful memorial to them,
We ask God to give us all the will
To work for peace around the world

So no more sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, nor mothers
Are slaughtered by the guns and bombs of war.
 
We ask Mary, who held the lifeless body of her son
And was pierced by the sorrow of his suffering and death,
To grant us the compassion and wisdom to affirm life

And honor the dead through forgiveness and peace making.
 
May God have mercy on the souls of the departed.
Grant them peace, O Lord.
 
May we have mercy on the living.
Grant us peace, O Lord.
 
In Your name we pray.

Amen.

As we deepen our commitment to work for peace may we remember that peace is a gift of God given through the sacrifice of His Son who was put to death in the flesh but brought to life in the Spirit.

 Peace,


Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

Peace

“Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty.”

Oscar Romero