My column at First Things today talks about the ongoing tension between Catholic “Right and Left”, and the conceit behind it:
There exists an undeniable tension between left-leaning “social justice” Catholics and the right-leaning “pro-life” side; they share a conceit of primacy—one side sees itself as more compassionate; the other as more obedient. I personally know “social justice” Catholics who will pretend pro-lifers care nothing for the poor. And I certainly know pro-lifers who think the “social justice” side pays only reluctant lip-service to church teachings on abortion and euthanasia.
That we do not wholly respect each other is inarguable; I credit “nun on the bus” Sister Simone Campbell for speaking with refreshing honesty when she said, “I have allowed a very narrow perspective on what is life . . . I don’t want to be thought of as in [the pro-life] camp. Because of my pride, as opposed to my faith.”
I wait in joyful hope for the day a pro-lifer can admit that, while she cares deeply for the plight of the poor, she just can’t stand the idea of being associated with that “kumbaya hippie remnant.”
Our unwillingness to charitably credit each other with being truly concerned about both “life” and “justice” issues—to see them as shared burdens differentiated only by their weight of emphasis and theoretical “solutions”—is tearing us apart.
Contemplating this past Sunday’s gospel reading could, I think, help mend our rifts.
You can read the rest, here
Deacons Greg’s homily this past weekend struck a similar chord:
…there can be other things that get in the way of following Christ. Other things we possess. Maybe it’s a fear of change, an inability to trust or to love. Maybe it’s a stubborn attachment to a particular sin.
Maybe it’s something rooted in fear, or insecurity, or our own resistance to change.
How hard it is for us sometimes to give up those things, to let them go.
So often, the things we possess aren’t things at all.
And often, we don’t possess them. They possess us.