July 16-17, 2016

Friends, 

I am very worried about the future of our city, our country and our world. As long as we accept sexism (belief that one gender is superior to another), denominationalism (belief that one religion is superior to another) and racism (belief that one race is superior to another), we will never be at peace.

It is ironic and shameful that in today's world when we have so much more knowledge, psychologically and sociologically, and so much more education about the history of humanity; that we seem to be more divided than ever in society. I don't use the internet but I am told that the number of Neo-Nazi websites continues to grow and flourish. This has to be a result of their popularity. These beliefs are all about superiority and inferiority. One of the most impactful movies I ever saw was “American History X” starring Edward Norton. It is both physically and verbally violent. I believe the theme of the movie is that hate destroys the hater. I recommend you watch it.

The anger in our world is so evident every time we turn on a talk show. It's as if we are all in competition with one another for the job, the house, the title and for God's attention. There seems to be a basic lack of respect and trust for those who don't look like me, think like me, or believe as I do.

I just finished reading Sr. Joan Chittister's book (for the 2nd time) titled “Between the Dark and the 
Daylight” and subtitled “Embracing the Contradictions of Life.” As the synopsis says “The book explores the concerns of modern life of the overworked mind and the hurting heart. These are the paradoxical and often frustrating moments when our lives feel at odds with everything around us.” I cannot recommend this book more highly. I am coming to the conclusion that it's not so much what goes on in the world, but how I respond to what goes on in the world.

I am seriously concerned about the violence that can erupt so easily given all of the controversial issues facing us today.

There are many views on how we have gotten to this point so quickly (or not so quickly). It has escalated overnight to a very tentative and sensitive situation. We have gone from blindly accepting all authority to questioning all authority. We second guess the pope, the Supreme Court, the FBI, the President, …. There is TMI (too much information) out there and everyone has access to it. Nothing ever seems to be settled.

Not too long ago we blamed violence on lack of education, poverty, and addiction. There is no doubt that they can be huge contributors, but it seems like the recent violence that has taken place in Minnesota, Baton Rouge, and Dallas is perpetuated by issues of justice and injustice. If it is perceived that all people are not looked upon and treated as equals, people are rising to demand justice. The recent violence does not seem to be restricted to educational deficiency, poverty or addiction. 

Personally, I am very worried about our citizens and our law enforcement and our country. When we say we need to pray more and get back to God, I understand their view. I believe it is bigger than that however. We need to see humanity and all of creation as sacred, whether we believe in God or not.

I am writing these words on July 8th. You won't read them until the weekend of July 16th and 17th. The adult world has to model the behavior we expect from the next generation. As the expression goes, “What you do speaks so loudly I can't hear what you say.”

Enjoy Life! 
Fr Coyne

 

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