Dear Catholics of Northeast KCK,
This coming week, I’ll be away for a personal retreat and reading group with a number of good priest friends from across the country. In this short time between the Christmas season and Lent, I wanted to take some time to process, pray, and reflect on what has been a tough year for our Church and country.
I’ll be honest—I don’t like much of what I’m seeing. It feels as if the fabric of our civic culture is rapidly unraveling. My heart is heavy with the divisions that only seem to be intensifying, at the expense of solidarity, virtue, and goodwill. What awaits us in 2021? We are more ready to believe the worst of one another than ever before. To some extent, we’re all troubled by these conflicts. It’s starting to feel normal to see what was once unthinkable on the evening news. Of course, it can always get worse. What will heal our fractured bonds?
I hesitate to speak on these issues, because in a shouting match, it’s best not to add to the din. What I’m sure of is that we must turn toward Christ again and again in order to not be dominated by contrary spirits.
In this new year of grace, I find myself very conscious of the many influences that give me reason to judge others uncharitably. Now, don’t get me wrong: making judgments is important. We need to make them as we attempt to understand ourselves and others. But uncharitable judgments come easily to us—far more easily than charitable ones. We conclude all sorts of things from second-hand information or uncertain facts, and attribute motives to others without caution. One of my resolutions for this year is to cultivate the habit of trying to judge people and events that frustrate me with the most prayerful and charitable interpretation possible. Will you join me? Father Nick Blaha