This past week has been a gut-wrenching week. We have experience something that many people in South America and other parts of the world live with everyday. A very sick individual mailed bombs to all the leaders of the Democratic party. We found out this morning that this person is full of hate, anger, in addition he has a very violent past.
It is easy to get angry at him and those who fueled his hatred and anger. We can rant and rave about how evil those people are and we can call for their heads on silver platters. But this is deeper than one act. It is more involved than one person.
We have allowed ourselves to become angry and hate-filled people. The infection that has been lurking under the surface in our nation for years is finally erupted and come to the surface. The solution is not to meet hate with hate, anger with anger, violence with violence. No, these tactics will not succeed.
Decades ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said, “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.” And he reminded us then that, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Where do we go from here?
We cannot hope to overcome the loud voices of hate, bigotry, anger, and violence by stooping to their level. We can only hope to overcome them by showing them love, peace, light, kindness, gentleness, and the example of the Christ. In other words, we can only hope to change the world by using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
When all is said and done, I still believe and will continue to believe to my dying day, that love is the answer. I have seen love transform even the most bigoted and hate-filled person. Saint Paul tells us that, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7. ESV.)
Another version of the above verse says that love never fails and I like that. Likewise, I believe that with my whole heart. We must return to the path of love before it is too late. Our own immortal souls depend on it. When we finally take our last breath, our God will not ask us how many fights we won, how many people we shunned, how many people we set straight. No, God our Father will ask us how many people we loved, how much we loved, how often did we show love to others.
In short, we will be judge on our life of love, or on our lack of love.