Last night I went to bed hoping along with everyone that the people in Ferguson would hear pleas for non-violence. What happened?
A kid. An angry kid. A community, distrustful of the people sworn to protect them. What happened?
This morning, so many people on on their contradicting soapboxes, the noise is deafening. What happened?
There is an evil- and I mean satanic- glee in some corners. To take such delight in suffering is not human. It just isn't.
There is rage. Disquieted sympathy. Agitated, agitating.
A pressure cooker with a tiny clog is a bomb in the house. Can we see the problem without pointing fingers?
Sheltered suburban America. We like to pretend that violence doesn't exist. We create distance. It is a coping mechanism, and it works. Them. They. There.
We want to comprehend. We want a complete, tucked in, ownership of the story; a neat little box can be closed and stacked in the appropriate closet.
I hear fear. I hear rage. I hear sniggering. I hear pleas.
"We are a nation of laws." Guffawing. How can you laugh?
I need to hear hope. I need to hear love. I need to know that this challenge to change will be met.
"The fact is that no one can be by nature superior to his fellows, since all men are equally noble in natural dignity. And consequently there are no differences at all between political communities from the point of view of natural dignity." Pope John XXIII, Pacem in TerrisWhere is the dignity? What happened?
"Our families are torn by violence. Our communities are destroyed by violence. Our faith is tested by violence. We have an obligation to respond. Violence -- in our homes, our schools and streets, our nation and world -- is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of our sisters and brothers.
The best antidote to violence is hope. People with a stake in society do not destroy communities."
Confronting A Culture Of Violence: A Catholic Framework For Action, A Pastoral Message of the U.S. Catholic BishopsIf we want to raise our children in a better world, we have to hope. The anger, the pride, the cynicism, the resignation-- claim hope. Believe that we can be better- that we are better. Baby steps. In my house, we will start by praying.
"God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the Earth." Pope Benedict XVIWe will love. We will learn. We will pray. We will hope.
"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God." Matthew 5:9