Tags: Week | Awakening

Week of Awakening

Monday, 04 April 2005 12:00 AM

What started out as a no-win, lose-lose sophist's arm wrestle over whether and why to extract a feeding tube became a sobering confrontation by a nation conflicted with what life is about and what it is not.

What ended in an almost tranquilizing global tableau of the quiet death of a humble man elevated to the highest theological office this world has to offer ended with – no, it began – a new period of self-examination of what in heaven's name this phenomenon called life is all about.

Suddenly peeled away, torn away, startled away from their complacency, from their self-gratification, from their numbed consciousness, a world of peoples, of all denominations or none, found themselves facing up each to their own mortality, perchance to aspire to their own immortality.

From out of the worldwide jangle and discord and irrelevancy there has now emerged an unfamiliar, yet comforting, awakening, reawakening that there is something more to mankind than dust returning to dust, something eternal.

There has come the jarring realization that something immense really does run through these complex, convoluted, even desolate lives, present, past and future, like golden and purple and gossamer threads, each with its own discrete – and all with their common – intertwined destiny.

Not since the death of Jesus of Nazareth on the cross has a death – and in this one week, two deaths – had such profound effect.

It was also a week in which any number of things appeared to be going wrong. Everyone could offer his own nominations.

Each one of those frustrations, those missed opportunities, those stillborn hopes has now had to take a silent seat in the rear of the room.

Now emerges a sublime opportunity, an unavoidable imperative for rethinking what's happened and for girding up for what comes.

One of the bits of serendipity to shower down from this incomparable week is the lesson of patience, of learning to give history a chance to unfold – with the help of the committed.

In the realm of politics, which is to say the civilized arena for the potential advancement of human progress, it needs to be noted that nothing occurs overnight. The 24-hour revolving door of superficial mass communications is not the portal through which creation is intended to unfold.

There will be days of encouragement, nights of disappointment, moments of triumph, trials of failure. Nothing will be static and everything will not be of one hue.

Yet, the eternal verities continue, veritable and everlasting. There really are such things as what's wrong, what's right, what's downright evil, what approaches the divine.

The world is now in the midst of a new realization that sanctity of life actually exists, that it is not something theoretical, but is, oh, so tangible, and that without life there can be no chance for a choice between good or evil.

It is also growingly obvious there is at large in the land an opposing culture of death, as old as mankind and as evil as hell – another way of saying there is a higher culture of life that makes possible the opportunity for opting for one or for the other, for right or for wrong.

A lot has been going on in this blessed land of America, so young on the planet, that would reverse the course of ethical evolution. In recent decades it has grown in strength and in insidiousness.

But now we know it is wrong, that it is worse than wrong, that it is the latest manifestation of what is evil. Now we know it is not what our forefathers have paid for and delivered to us, free on board. Now we know there is a higher trail open to this America.

The circumstances of Terri Schiavo's life and death have laid bare all that can go wrong when options for living a life fulfilled are stolen and trashed.

The circumstances of John Paul II's life and death illuminate all that can be possible.

The battle for life over death goes far beyond one or two lives and deaths. As never before in chronicled history, Christendom is under siege, this time for mortal termination.

Targeted in that struggle, which comes from abroad, and which thrives within, are not only those who profess the gospel taught by Jesus Christ. Also threatened are those of ancient Hebrew faith and those of authentic Islam, the three that share a common origin.

This time it is for keeps.

The conflict will not be settled tonight, tomorrow morning or at noon. It is a war yet in the gathering, in the waging and in the losing or the winning.

All of which means the news is good. The options are there; they are not gone. Awareness is stirring, not shriveling. The war will be won because it is still possible of winning.

As John Paul II loved to say, "Be ye not afraid."

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What started out as a no-win, lose-lose sophist's arm wrestle over whether and why to extract a feeding tube became a sobering confrontation by a nation conflicted with what life is about and what it is not. What ended in an almost tranquilizing global tableau of the quiet...
Week,Awakening
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2005-00-04
Monday, 04 April 2005 12:00 AM
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