The last few days I have found it difficult to blog for a number of reasons: I have encountered the post Lent, Holy Week and Easter exhaustion, I have been affected as we all have by the senselessness of the Boston violence, I have been caught up in a great deal of busy work, and I continue to be frustrated by some local diocesan policies that, in my humble opinion, are micromanaging in a less than helpful way. I watch the news a great deal, and find myself becoming more and more frustrated with senseless violence, partisan politics, and selfish self centeredness. Where are we headed? How can we escape the inevitable? What can we do?
A month or so ago the world watched with fascination and amusement as the Church "locked away" 116 Cardinals in Conclave in order to provide for the election of a new pope. The press spoke of the politicking involved and the Catholic press spoke of the prayerful seeking of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Cardinals said that rather than this direction or that, this candidate or interest or that, it was a prayerful time of seeking the will of God for the common good of the Church. From this Conclave we were gifted with Pope Francis. His words have been simple but refreshing. Just the other day, in response to the Boston bombing, he prayed "that all Bostonians will be united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good, working together to build an ever more just, free and secure society for generations yet to come."
Today the Senate defeated a measure seeking better background checks for the purchase of guns, a measure that polls show 90% of the people support. Politics came into play, as well as lobbyists and self interest. The Federal government cannot come up with a budget agreement, so programs are cut and people suffer, and we continue to build a debt that is staggering (I remember in school trying to comprehend how many 0's are in a trillion - now we know ... and so will all future generations). Courts undermine long held values, politicians play politics, everyone wants what will make them happy, no matter what the cost. And the vast majority of us simply "take it" without a whimper. No wonder that I am (and so many others are) frustrated.
I mentioned the Conclave because I had the thought at the budget discussions that maybe this arcane concept might be used with congress to provide for the common good - lock them up, take away their comforts, ask them to pray rather than politic and work for the common good of the people and not themselves or their political future, and await a solution. Not sure if it would work, but then nothing else is, either.
Forgive my musings (and rantings), and the lack of the positive. It is not like me ... but I am grateful to Pope Francis for reminding me to "not be overcome by evil".