When he gunned down five police officers in Dallas, the sniper didn’t really state, “Black lives matter.”
What those murders said, instead, was “Blue lives don’t.”
We all want to turn this train around, but what’s the remedy? How do we heal the unrest, the division, and the violence?
I’d like to quietly suggest that the answer just may involve mass distribution of pocket Catechisms. Listen to this:
“God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.”[i]
That’s the very first paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church…and every other paragraph in this book could really be drawn from that one. God’s love for each human person is the foundation for every teaching in our faith.
Catholicism immerses us in the knowledge that Christ came to earth to save each individual human life. It reaffirms to us daily that He gave His life for every one of us—the ones we adore and the ones we really have to grit our teeth to tolerate. This is the faith that reminds us that He died to save Pope Francis and Stephen Hawking, Abby Johnson and Gloria Steinem. It’s the one thing in this world that can unite us all…because the Father’s love for us is the one factor that we all have in common.
The more deeply we immerse ourselves in the truths of this faith, the more we see our own nothingness. The closer we draw to God, the more we love, the more we forgive, and the more we understand that we each need His mercy just as much as the next person—whether that person is black or blue, unborn or elderly, gay or straight, atheistic or consecrated to God’s service. Catholicism teaches us to care for the souls Jesus died to save…all of them—not just the ones who see the world the way we do.
That doesn’t mean we won’t say, “This is right, and this other thing is wrong.” We have to do that. But we do it from a place of gratitude, remembering that it was a great mercy when someone first said it to us, too. Catholicism isn’t just a bunch of rules; it’s a guide for living Christ’s love.
In the face of the overwhelming chaos and confusion ruling our lives today, this faith offers clarity and truth. The culture is poisoned with hate, but the Church teaches charity. Our culture is divided along every line imaginable, but the message of Catholicism is unity and peace.
If we’re going to stop the violence—if we’re going to have a world full of care, compassion, and mercy—we have to spread the word about the faith that teaches that, no matter where we’re from, how we vote, what we think, or how we identify, we all have one thing in common: every one of us is a beloved child of an all-good, all-merciful, all-knowing Creator.
The world is wounded like never before. The good news is that real Catholicism is a healing salve—good medicine for every wound we carry.
[i] Excerpts from the English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for use in the United States of America Copyright © 1994, United States Catholic Conference, Inc. — Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with Permission.
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