A Note Of Information: I have been a spiritual director since 1998, earning this formation from the Dominican Centre of Formation at Saint Francis Retreat Centre, DeWitt, Michigan
I follow a blog called Peg Pondering Again. Today she wrote on the crisis in Mosul.
In her post she quotes from a posting of Fr. Dwight Longenecker, he writes for the website Pathoes.
On her blog post she asks: “How much more brutalization of Christians will convince you that this is evil.” I doubt that anyone would not feel this situation is anything but evil, what I believe is being asked is why aren’t we doing more to physically stop it. I understand the frustration of someone of faith wanting to help and feeling impotent, unable to help. This begs the question what can we DO.
Know with ALL our heart that God is not causing this!
Know with ALL our heart that God is grieving greatly over this!
She quotes Fr. Longenecker. Now this is the first time I have ever heard of Fr. Longenecker, and I wanted to learn more of him. I found this while doing my research, it is from the National Catholic Reporter: “A few weeks back, I called attention to an especially inappropriate blog post by Father Dwight Longenecker. He has replied here. I am not a psychologist, but his suggestion that those of us who voice sadness are really repressing anger tells us rather a lot about what motivates Fr. Longenecker and why his bishop should be concerned that someone such as Longenecker is entrusted with the care of souls.”
After reading the post and the references that were made in it; it makes me very nervous when I read in Fr. Longenecker’s blog that he refers to other people as “wargs in Lord of the Rings–demon dogs–wolves possessed with demonic power.” ~~Fr. Dwight Longenecker. If we view others as something less than human and purely evil we can feel justified in our retaliation, an eye for an eye. Biblically the phrase meant a judicial system where disputes and grievances were to be dealt with equally: not giving precedence or favour to a more powerful party over a less so.
In Jesus’ time the Pharisees transformed this God established judicial system to hear claims and determine penalties into an excuse for personal vendetta. Jesus knew this and rebuked the Pharisees reminding them: Matthew 5: 38-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
Jesus clearly is not suggesting that retaliation is a Godly way to live or to deal with others. What he says in response to the rebuking will create a life of love and hope is to: love your enemies: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
So it must mean that to say and treat the Isis as wargs, demon dogs, is not only inflammatory, it is UnGodly.
Let us pray for our enemies.