Thursday, March 01, 2012

YOU talkin' to ME?!? The gospel according to Travis Bickle

Mr. Scorsese and Mr. DeNiro, my apologies; this has nothing to do with the film "Taxi Driver."

An excerpt from-

“…(W)hat is love? As I’ve said previously, love is not primarily a feeling or emotion…it is willing the good of the other as other. When we love, we escape the black hole of our own clinging egoism and live for someone else; to love is to leap ecstatically out of the self.
And this is why, Paul explains, “Love is patient, love is kind” (I Cor 13:4). Many of us are good or just to someone else so that he or she, in turn, might be or just to us. This is not love, but rather indirect egotism. When we are caught in the rhythm of that sort of reciprocal exchange, we are very impatient with any negative response to a positive overture that we have made. If someone responds to our kindness with hostility or even indifference, we quickly withdraw our benevolence. But the person characterized by true love is not interested in reciprocation but simply in the good of the other, and there he is willing to wait out any resistance. He is long-suffering and kind. This is also why, as Paul insists, “[love] is not jealous, [it] is not pompous, it is not inflated” (I Cor 13;4). Gore Vidal, the American novelist, described with admirable honesty the feeling of envy this way: “when a friend of mine succeeds, something in me dies.” True love hasn’t a thing to do with this sort of resentment, for it wants the success of the other. And the person who loves is not conceited, because she feels no need to raise herself above the other. Just the contrary: she wants the other to be elevated, and hence she takes the lower place with joy….
Because the one who loves is not focused on himself but on the object of his love….he looks ahead, hoping against hope, attending to the needs of the one he loves…
In heaven…even faith will end, …hope will end….but love will endure, because heaven is love. Heaven is the state of being in which everything that is not love has been burned away.”
As has been denoted, debated, debunked, decried and all sorts of other “de-“ prefixed terms on many blog, forum and webnews sites, the so-called “Echo Chamber” more than ever resounds with pettiness, bickering, insinuation if not libelous ad hominems hurled around the compass. And it all has to do with religion! Of all things, RELIGION! And of course, for we who call ourselves in and by His Name, Christians, this is a deplorable state of abject misery to witness. Fr. Barron himself has been a scorned and maligned object of hateful and repugnant rhetoric, none of which he earned, nor should or could he have been regarded as a justifiable target of personal derision. We have seen and heard, then accepted without challenge, assaults upon any and all folks whom WE let into our homes after opening the cyber doors of our monitor screens, and then more often than not (and under the cloak of the walls within of cyber distance, assailed and lectured these alter Christis (Mt. 25) about anything we deem to find unworthy or distasteful we can manufactor and then project from our hard hearts and minds all manner of vitriol and venom. Even within the universally acknowledged beauty of the art of music, one cannot find a forum dealing with the myriad concerns about the greatest type of music, sacred music, without some measure of rancor injected into the discourse.
My friends and colleagues in ecclesia, in musica, are we no longer able to look into the mirror of our souls that is given us by St. Paul in I Cor 13? How do any of us prosper by parcing each other into division based upon human principles or perceptions alone? Why bother to open the Bible, or a Breviary or Missal at all, if we are unable to accept being convicted by each and every word written therein?
This issue is not about civility, manners, etiquette or even charity/(ironically “caritas.”) This issue really is not about even “love” per se as a terminal concern. This issue is about life itself, both in this plane of existence and in the next, if we truly aspire to live “in love” for eternity.
I don’t know what else can be said.