Learn to Get Along Here, or in Purgatory

Learn to Get Along Here, or in Purgatory October 8, 2021

“I could be having a great day and a nasty exchange on the Internet will always bring me down. Whether I am involved or not, uncivil discourse sucks the joy out of the Internet for me. I suspect it does for most people who are not secret psychopaths. I am especially discouraged when I see Christians ripping each other apart for the whole world to see. “
Rebecca Taylor: My Rules for Discourse on the Internet: (Jul 10, 2014) Catholic Lane

My beautiful wife just fell into the arms of slumber. This is after she listened to me complain for awhile about a decision that she had made that I didn’t like. It really upset my timetable of how I wanted the next day to occur in terms of the sequence of events. I mean, I was really upset and thrown off by her choice that she had made, that directly affected me. I could have given her a pleasant evening on a momental night of our life, but I let those pesky emotions get in my way once again.

After witnessing the many online disputes between writers that I like, arguing and calling each other names, I thought, ‘Hey we should all try to get along for the sake of unity in Christ.” Afterall were planning on spending eternity together and will probably be in purgatory till we learn how to love the person we least like. I honestly believe that we will spend time in being purged until we all learn to play nice with the people we exchange sharp jabs with online. So we all better try to get along NOW. This series of thoughts made me want to forgive my wife and not be mad at her anymore, and to ask for forgiveness in return for carrying on about what I was upset about as opposed to offering it up and adjusting.

I think politicians once upon a time could argue fiercely with one another about the issues of the day in front of a live studio audience for all the world to see, but then go out for drinks afterwards. We all tend to get passionate about whatever issue we strongly believe in and tend to not give the other person the benefit of the doubt when they express a thought diametrically opposed to it. Legitimate argument is a necessary thing. But slamming other baptized believers with ad hominums and silly derogatory names isn’t the same thing as pointing out flaws in someone’s arguments. In all honesty we just got to stop bashing one another. It doesn’t look good. If people are to know we are Christians by our love, we should start loving one another. We should view our fellow Catholics as those whom Christ loves and died to save.

Joe and Jane Catholic don’t care about the catholic culture wars and want to follow God to the best of their ability.

We all forget sometimes….

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” –Rupertus Meldeniu
I’m reminded about one particular individual,  a former Patheos writer, who pops up very often in places that I frequent and spews out ad hominems as if they were in short supply. I challenged him about this and he replied that the time to be silent has ended and that I just defend people I should be criticizing. What a jerk. Who does he think… Em sorry. I mean… Emmm.
That reminds me of this quote that i think we should all take to heart.

Matthew 23 deals with Jesus being nasty to the leaders of the pharisees.  If Jesus can do it, I can do it as well, right?  This is one chapter.  We have to take it into account but it’s one chapter.  The four gospels contain a total of 89 chapters and in one of them, Jesus is exceptionally harsh.  In the other ones, He is mild, calm, articulate, firm, and even mildly angry.  Still, 1 out of 89 is 1.1% of the time.  Taking the words of 1.1% percent of the gospels and applying them to 80% of your behavior is not following Christ, it’s an excuse to act how you want, when you want.

The same case could be made with St. Paul.  He has one chapter that’s extremely harsh and in the other chapters, there is a range of ways that he articulates his message.

Here are a number of saints who are known for their harshness and even nastiness.  We must remember that saints, being holy men and women are still flawed.  No saint is perfect.

St. Thomas More argued against Luther, Tyndale, and other Protestants quite viciously.  It’s almost painful to read at times.  St. Francis de Sales was the exact opposite.  He was gentle, mild mannered, but firm and spoke the truth when he needed it.
Allan Ruhl Nasty Internet Stuff October 9, 2019 allanruhl.com

And here is an accompanying quote that says basically the same thing by another Catholic  from a different part of the web.

Everyone wants to imitate Jesus in the one time He showed some temper with the whip in the temple. Dude, you are not Jesus. It’s a much safer bet to imitate Him in the other 99% of the Gospels, like when He preached the good news, when He fed His sheep, when he gave over His body, and when He fixed His eyes firmly on the Father and then told us to do the same.

It’s really easy to imitate outward actions. A saint did this, so I will, too! But let me tell you: The real work that every Christian is compelled to do is interior work. And it’s hard. And it doesn’t get a lot of views on YouTube. But it is what will save your soul.”
SIMCHA FISHER The only thing I will write about the Amazon Synod, October 21, 2019 I have to sit down.

Just want to end with an example of someone who specializes in civil charitable discourse.

In his podcast ‘Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World’ Jimmy Akin devoted an episode to the question, ‘Is the Earth Flat?’. Instead of ripping apart the viewpoints of flat earthers, which he could have easily done, he presented their arguments seriously and constructively critiqued them without out ever insulting or belittling them as people. That’s the kind of guy that he is. A knowledge of all things biblical and Catholic, a worldview that sees God in Sci-Fi and the mysterious world around us, and a gentle and caring nature makes Jimmy Akin one of my favorite Catholic apologists and a good example of how to play well with others.

So learn how to get along with others now or you will do it later. Your gonna learn how to love your neighbor before you can gaze on the face of the God who is love. May God purge us all of annomisity and annoyness  towards are brothers and sisters.


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