Wonferful, Wounded Humanity

18 Sep


Reaching Up


There is such beauty, comfort and power in life: the beauty of creation—mountains, clouds, the deep and light blue of the heavens.

And then, there is us, all of us spread throughout the world.

We are each a distinct creation, each of us an individual, but there is the mystery and comfort of our kinship, in our being one nature. We go about our own personal business, we each pursue individual agendas—but we all breathe the same air, travel the same highways and byways, shop in the same stores. Each of us has come to life in the same way—each conceived in his or her  mother’s womb, born into the world and all someday to die.

Though individuals, we are a massive movement of humanity from one day to the next, from generation to generation—a seemingly perpetual flow of life.

Each of us, creature and part creator, makes life happen. We affect and are affected by all things in life. We each have preferences—ski slopes or sunny beaches, gourmet foods or hot dogs, lemonade or beer.

But we have the regrettable ability to make a mess of what is supposed to be a perfectly good world.

Wounded Humanity

There remains for people of all nations much pain, fear, grief and suffering: the death of loved ones, polio, cancer, mental illness, broken families, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam “conflicts,” the tensions of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Now there are terrorism and conflicts in Afghanistan, the Ukraine, Iraq, Kuwait and Syria—as well as the nuclear threat posed by Iran. And the tensions remain with us today—including the serious challenges from Russia and China.

Need I list the domestic ailments of our nation—political division, doublespeak in government, the plight of the unemployed? The list could go on.

We must rediscover the power and wonder of belonging to and with one another, the great blessing of individual freedom which is fostered and strengthened through personal responsibility, adherence to a moral code, and the belief that truth cannot contradict itself.

It Comes with a Cost

But such rediscovery, I am afraid, will come at a tremendous cost to many modern Americans.

It’s the cost of getting real, of rejecting the lie that the individual is the center of his or her own universe. That’s the attitude of toddlers and juveniles.

It’s the cost of personal responsibility for oneself and one’s family. People must recognize the value and dignity of work—that their labors offer others what they need to live; our labor helps society become safer, stronger and happier.

It’s the cost of realizing that objective truth is not subject to change.

It’s the cost of realizing and accepting the fact that God is real, eternal, and all powerful. It’s the challenge of believing in him as he reveals himself in Scripture, especially in the words of Jesus Christ.

Next: I Surrendered to God.





5 Responses to “Wonferful, Wounded Humanity”

  1. Ralph Poyo September 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    Thank you, Brother, for siting the cost to change. It will require each person to do as the Spirit calls.

    • Henry Libersat September 20, 2014 at 12:50 am #

      God bless you Ralph. I hope to be in Steubenville next June.


  2. canatc1 September 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    Quoted from Fr/ Richard Rohr:
    Most of us were not raised to understand that we are participating in something that is already happening. Rather, we were given tasks to accomplish individually and completely. This placed the entire burden on the single isolated person. That’s not participation. That’s perfectionism—thinking I have to do it all or that I can do it all (the American myth). I’m convinced that’s why we have so much of what we call negative self-image in the West—because of this impossible spiritual burden put on the separate individual. The Good News is that it’s not about being correct. It’s about being connected. When the Spirit within you connects with God’s Spirit given from without, you are finally home. Now you know that your deepest you is God, and Christ is living his life in you and through you and with you.

    The Apostle Paul does not primarily talk about individuals. He describes something much larger in which we are participating. His most common phrase is “in Christ.” Paul uses it 164 times. How we participate in this reality that is larger than our individual lives is precisely to be in Christ. We are saved by standing consciously inside the force field that is Christ—not by getting it right within our private selves.

    In 1 Corinthians 12 we find Paul’s foundational metaphor of the Body of Christ: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). Paul is not talking here about water baptism. He’s talking about a universal initiation experience of death and resurrection that all human beings go through, whereby they can come to know what’s Real. Many do not, I am afraid. You must surrender to the death of the small self to discover the Big Self in God. That is the price, that is the baptism in the Spirit.

    • Henry Libersat September 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      So good stuff here, Jack, but I think it’s in part “getting it right,” otherwise you end you with Cafeteria Christianity. Richard Rohr has long inspired and challenged me. I recall, many years ago, sitting in on a session he was having with our diocesan priests. He said many good things, but one that has stuck with me is what he told the priests: “Before you can be Father, you have to be brother.”

  3. canatc1 September 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm #


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