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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Rare Moment of Reflection

One of the hallmarks of this blog--at least from my perspective--is that we wage war quite a bit. Whether it be taking on the Culture of Death or the Culture of Meth (referring to the only rational explanation for people who actually like the music of the St. Louis Jesuits, Cardinal Mahony's Religious Ed Conference or sharing their "unique gifts" while walking a labyrinth), we at Fumare go where other Catholic blogs fear to tread. If Newsweek read us, they would call us "cheeky" too (move over NOR)! The war we wage is the long war that has always been waged by the Church Militant: the war against world, the flesh and the devil. We tend not to mention the Devil except indirectly by his seductions. Likewise talking about the flesh is generally too personal for a post on this blog. Thus, we tend to take on the world. Oftentimes, we have favorite targets. Usually they are the high priestessess of political correctness and those souls who have an unnatural attachment to death and evil. The question then becomes: in fighting these people do we fight for these people? In other words, are we fighting for their souls? Frank Sheed (and countless others) once remarked that the war we wage is indeed for the souls of our enemies.

It is difficult to fight for someone who is in the grip of evil. It is easy to fight for the unborn child, but it is more difficult to fight for the soul of the abortionist. St. Francis of Assisi had an amazing ability to recognize God's image on earth and, as a result, to fight for the soul of every human person he met. Chesterton probably best captured the essence of the saint:

...[H]e did not see the mob for the men....He only saw the image of God multiplied but never monotonous. To him a man was always a man and did not disappear in a dense crowd any more than in a desert. He honoured all men; that is, he not only loved but respected them all. What gave him his extraordinary personal power was this; that from the Pope to the beggar, from the sultan of Syria in his pavilion to the ragged robbers crawling out of the wood, there was never a man who looked into those brown burning eyes without being certain that Francis Bernardone was really interested in him; in his own inner individual life from the cradle to the grave; that he himself was being valued and taken seriously, and not merely added to the spoils of some social policy or the names in some clerical document.

In taking on those who would destroy God's image on earth (or even the elites in all their forms), we need also to heed the words of Our Lord, to "love [our] enemies." Pray God that we, like St. Francis, value each and every human person.