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A Leaven In The World… Take A Knee For God, Not Man

June 10, 2020 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

After the killing of George Floyd by a corrupt white police officer in Minneapolis, America took to the streets in protest. Peaceful protesters were quickly infiltrated by bad actors, likely funded by nefarious interests under the guise of Black Lives Matter and other causes, and things turned violent.
We don’t know for certain if the motive which took another life in that case was racism or simple colorblind hatred. It would take a trial and witnesses, even better a confession, to uncover the true reason for such evil. But the result was a mass gut reaction verdict of racism based on the video of a white on black assault resulting in death.
Once the flames were fanned and emotions were engaged, the stage was set. The many with upright motives demonstrating in the street day and night became one element of the recipe for violence. Pallets of bricks began appearing — pre-positioned in numerous locations, ostensibly stolen from construction sites nearby — as potential weapons.
We don’t know yet whether some of the protesters were paid to fan the flames of passion. Authorities say that anarchists and simple lust for violence were involved. However it happened, passions boiled over, resulting in destruction and theft of property and, more significantly, additional injury and death.
The lives that were then lost included those of policemen. One had his throat slit and another was stabbed in the neck. One particularly heartrending killing involved a retired officer attempting to defend a private business from potential looters. As he, David Dorn, also a black man, lay dying on the sidewalk, someone recorded his demise rather than attempting to help.
Violence doesn’t solve the problem of violence, and more hate is not the answer to hate. Sin cannot wipe away or heal from sin.
One thinks of Newton’s third law at such a time. Physicsclassroom.com states the principle thus:
“Formally stated, Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object.”
The doctors who counseled a total shutdown of society should know better than most that any action taken in respect to human persons has one or more side effects. No doubt the months-long Wuhan flu lockdown bottled up energies better spent on tasks at work and at school. The sight of the Floyd killing on their media devices was like a fuse which set off a bomb for the many restricted to their homes and unable otherwise to vent their ideas or emotions.
As well as suicide, poverty, and other ills, imprisoning persons in their homes for extended periods also has the potential for fueling social unrest.
Every organization must work constantly to safeguard against and eliminate injustice. It is simply the fact of the defectibility of human nature that requires our constant vigilance. This is especially the case with power, given that power corrupts. Power existing to serve others can be perverted into oppressing them instead.
The answer is not to deny power or to eliminate it, but to recognize the need for an accounting of human nature.
Faith is the symbiosis of God and man. The One who created human nature is best situated to instruct us about its goodness, which coexists with its weaknesses.
The loss of faith on the part of many has had a concomitant result in the lack of awareness of or accounting for the constant potential for sin as a simple fact of human existence.
In the end, it is sin that caused the death of Floyd and any human person whose life is taken by another human being.
The policeman’s knee on the neck of Floyd, a weapon which may have been the decisive instrument of murder, demonstrates that it is the evil intentions of men, whether of racism or simple personal hatred, against which we must fight.
But this evil is a malign spiritual force before it manifests as a physical one.
The protesters demanding that mayors and policemen “take a knee” in solidarity are getting closer to the mark, targeting as they are the intentions or thoughts, as the heart of action whether good or evil.
But to whom are they taking a knee in such cases?
Catholics take a knee for God alone at Mass. To Him alone do we owe the fealty of worship and loyal submission. Taking a knee to or for men is not the answer to the sins or injustices of men. It will lead only to more of the same.
God alone, perfectly good and willing our best interests at all times, is worthy of our worship and trust. Kneeling before God enables us together to seek His guidance and justice for the right ordering of human affairs.
As I write, we celebrate the octave of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is the love of God poured forth into our hearts. God’s love within each one of us alone has the power to bring “a peace which the world cannot give,” the only peace worthy of the name and which will bring humankind into the love of authentic communio and equal rights. This is the only reality upon which one can build families and societies.
Until America returns to God, recognizing, as President Trump said, that religious worship, taking a knee for God, is an “essential business,” we will lack the true cement that holds our society together.
Seeking a godless Utopia on Earth has been the cause throughout history of some of the worst atrocities visited upon the human person.
America, take a knee for God, not men. Worship the same God to whose perfect justice and eternal love we entrust those who, like George Floyd, died because of the injustice of men.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
(Between weekly columns visit Fr. Cusick’s blog at APriestLife.blogspot.com)

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