Last week the blog buzz was over Jared and Doug Wilson’s statements about sex and women. This week things are churning over Chick-fil-a. There are of course dozens of other “trending topics” on Twitter and all other media channels. The news cycle is now so fast everyone wants to post, has to post, to catch the wave or be left behind. If you want to talk about gun control or mental health issues as related to the Colorado shooting you are SO yesterday!
What this tempts us to in our speech is folly.
I often find myself caught up in this cycle. I read something, have an immediate reaction and blurt out what I think off the top of my head.
Then I start to read others, I start to see other viewpoints, I start to hear other positions, I start to think about the provocative story in the context of my ordinary life, in the context of other news, in the context of stories that come to me in the real world, and my perspective changes.
As people we travel through time and we change in that time, sometimes drastically. I hope I can be forgiven what I blog in haste. I hope I learn something from the moments of regret and embarrassment that blogging in haste inevitably yields. Maybe we can all learn together to practice much charity, to accept that all of our selves are works in progress, and to be open to the changes selves around us as we wish others selves are open to our changing self.
Lately I’ve been pondering the Prayer of St. Francis. I find it so right, so true, so generous, so apt. I find myself too often longing to be loved, but not very interested in loving. Longing to be understood, but not very interested in understanding the other, especially the adversary. There is great wisdom in this prayer, and it is a prayer.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.