Less talking, more loving

I’m ashamed of myself. Embarrassed. “Sucked in breadly”, the taunt my small daughter would hurl at her smaller brothers (she meant “sucked
in badly”) after playing them tricks, comes to mind.
My immediate reaction to the election outcome was relief that the Greens
wouldn’t get their open season on abortions. How half-hearted and
defeatist — because actually we’d muffed a marvellous opportunity. If Catholics had all voted on Christian beliefs and principles, we’d now have a voice in Parliament.
But no. Presumably we voted as usual, on our pockets, presumably by
deluding ourselves that if ours were filled so would others’ be.
“The media,” I was told by someone recently retired from broadcasting,
“should hang their heads in shame.”
Well, yes. The secular media danced to Dotcom’s tune, and Nicky Hager’s. They made a Punch and Judy of Cunliffe and Key. They crucified Colin Craig.
But as we get the government we deserve, so we get the media. We wanted to know about the German billionaire who traduced the Left and the journo who profits by publishing private emails. It was how many “likes” Cunliffe and Key got that mattered, not what they stood for.
The reason why the media are hostile to Colin Craig and Christians generally is that we’re hostile to ourselves.
We deny Christ within, the Christ we are designed to become.
“Take care,” said Jesus, “that you do not despise one of these little ones” (Matthew 18,10a), but we ignore him.Yes, we climbed aboard the Labour- Greens bandwagon of child poverty, but in their pre-election statement, after quoting Pope Francis — “serve humanity, beginning (my emphasis) with the most vulnerable… in their mothers’ wombs” — the NZ Catholic bishops then ranked the issue of little ones living in want above its fundamental cause, which is little ones dying in utero.
On “Respect Life” Sunday, a homily that might not have been atypical spoke of roadkill, how Father swerves to avoid a possum — but of hospital kill, and why it brutalises society, not a word.
To quote Pope Francis again, “Priests should be shepherds living with the
smell of the sheep”. A good shepherd doesn’t leave lambs in a storm
without shelter or ignore ewes with bearings. He’s out in filthy weather,
getting filthy to save them. Similarly, pregnant women struggling against
coercion from partners or parents and economic hardship need to know the
dangers of abortion, and see the priests and people of the Church working to assist them.
Catholic teaching, said our bishops, advises how to think about who to
vote for. They recommended “thinking and talking”. Not until the statement’s penultimate line do they mention the word “pray”.
But Scripture says — and the election result confirms — our thoughts
are not God’s thoughts (Isaiah 55,8), and Catholic teaching advises also that prayer isn’t thinking and talking much, but loving much.
The more we love God, the more open we are to his gift of wisdom that
enlightens and advises us in all things.

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Michael Otto

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