Avoid Division

15 Sep

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  ~ Abraham Lincoln

The year 2020 has been a gruesome year for many people.  As if the anger and division generated by politics in an election year hasn’t been enough, we have had added to the mix a global pandemic.  Division has often come about based upon decisions made regarding the handling of the pandemic: restricting numbers, wearing masks, shutting down portions of the economy, et cetera.  Add to that mix division caused by protest groups of all ilk and we have ourselves a year seemingly for the records.

Lincoln reminded us that if we are divided against one another, we cannot possibly stand.  Division does not only affect our society, it affects our faith as well.  We have heard many stories about people presumably speaking for the Church who cause great harm to it by leading others astray.  We need to work for unity not only in our society but in our faith lives as well.

We have division in the Church, in my opinion, because there are those who really are not close to the Lord.  Instead, they use their position and/or authority to advance their own thoughts and causes.  I am reminded of the scene in “Oh, God” where John Denver’s character was locked in a room and told to have God answer some questions.  When he returned his answers to one of the ministers on the board, Denver told the minister that God had a message for him.  The minister sneered and asked what was the message.  Denver replied, “God said you should become a shoe salesman,” because the minister was hardly a man of God.

We need to know our faith and live our faith.  During these times especially, we need to examine what others might be saying in regard to what the Church teaches.  In regard to politics, the Church instructs the faithful to vote their conscience and instructs those in the Church (priest, deacon, brother, or sister) to remain out of politics and not to tell people how to vote.  In regard to hate speech and violence, the Church instructs all of us to live as people of love, mercy, and compassion.  In terms of division, the Church challenges us to seek the unity that can only come when we ground our lives in the Lord.

That’s a tall order.  I hope you are up to embracing it today.

FAITH ACTION:  Try to do your best to be a person who seeks to heal the wounds that division causes among people.