“Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.”
How I wish I could dispel the darkness of my thoughts. How I wish I could smile at my past and bear no grudges towards those who have hurt me. Change takes time, a lot of time. In fact, it can take a life time. How can the pace be quickened?
What continues to amaze me is the Lord’s short term memory with regards to his Passion and death. He does not care to remember it. Of course he could if he wished to, but He refuses to remember the hurt that was caused upon Him. He never mentions it; never uses it against us. The Lord never goes back to it! Yes, He foretold his passion and death and warned His Apostles about it, but it was never to throw a pity party for Him; it was out of pity for them!
We, on the other hand, have to remember! We must remember what we did because we do not want to do it again! If we could crucify our Savior, we can crucify our preconceived enemies! Movies, books and novels about the Holocaust will continue to be published for centuries. Why? Lest we forget. The Jews do not want to forget and we don’t either.
Education alone is not the answer. I have said this many times before. The Nazis were highly trained, highly skilled and highly educated. They were extremely rational in their approach to solving problems. They were extremely efficient in their use of time. The results were terrifying: they attacked in unison, with precision, and killed quickly.
It is clear that a well formed conscience, at the individual level, is essential for the well-being of society. A well formed conscience leads an individual to maintain strong convictions, and strong convictions are essential, for strong men rise when the rest grow weak.
“A common hesitation in our day touching the use of extreme convictions is a sort of notion that extreme convictions, specially upon the cosmic matters, have been responsible in the past for the thing which is called bigotry. But in real life the people who are most bigoted are the people who have no convictions at all.” (G.K. Chesterton, Heresy)
The difficulty is that it takes time, it takes good men, and it takes Jesus. The conscience must be formed one soul at a time. This is essential if there is to be no manipulation. The second difficulty is that it must be formed by holy men, trusted men and men of God. Thirdly, Christ must be its ideal, model and center. The human conscience must take root in good soil – holy ground.
The only institution that can fulfill all three faithfully is the family. This is where the family comes in. This is the secret to a strong society – strong individuals with strong convictions. This is why the Church defends the family to death! This is why the devil attacks the family. This is why our politicians, Hollywood stars, and music idols are so successful in surprising us and failing us.
We all know what will happen to America if God no longer blesses it. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” The Gospel of the Lord!
The secret in letting go and forgiving, to seeking repentance and conversion is in the formation of a healthy conscience and in the maintaining of Godly convictions. The Lord had both and moved us with His Love. It should start and end in the domestic Church, the family. It can be corrected in the Catholic Church, through the Sacraments. Societies will be the great beneficiaries of it and we will all be eternally grateful for it.