Sunday, September 2, 2012

Helping others reach the goal

This morning on my way home from church, I caught from the corner of my eye a wee box turtle attempting to cross 601! He was about 18" into the traffic- just where a tire would squish him.
In my alarm, I did a u-turn (as fast as you can at 55mph) and hurried back to the rescue. As I flicked on my hazards and pulled onto the shoulder, a pick-up truck zoomed passed my little friend. I watched anxiously to see if it was his end. Phew! The truck missed him.

I jumped out of the car with little concern for the oncoming cars- they were at least a half mile away- and plucked up the little turtle. He immediately retreated into his shell. I walked directly across the road without changing his orientation and deposited him a good few feet into the meadow-like shoulder. He was a bit frightened, I think, because he didn't emerge from his shell, but remained in hiding.

Helping others get to the goal was also the topic of Deacon Jason Christian's homily at church too. Deacon pointed out that we should rush to the spiritual and practical aid of fellow human souls to help them get to our earthly goal: heaven. Much like how readily I went to the aid of the turtle in danger of loosing his life on the dangerous highway.

Of course helping a friend- or a stranger for that matter- to make better choices isn't quite as easy as diverting the path of a turtle. It takes a lot of love, compassion and prayer. I've even heard holy people say that God doesn't always allow us to see the changes we've brought about in people's lives lest we become prideful.

However, Deacon Jason pointed out that two "modern dogmas" inhibit us from being our "brother's keeper." Tolerance and diversity.

"Why would we tolerate that we would watch another human soul go headlong into hell?" Deacon said. "But a Christian must have an interventionist policy because tolerance is trying to convince us that there is no sin. True diversity is dimished, and false diversity is praised, and underlying that is the attitude that there really is no truth."

To many, truth is considered relative, however when the good of all human persons is taken into account in every situation, we can see that there is always an absolute truth.

For example, we can say it would be better for a woman to have the chance to finish school rather than divert her life to motherhood before she is ready. But, that is really only a good argument for abstinence. If she is already pregnant, they we also have to consider the life of the child, who though hidden and easy to forget, also deserves to fulfill the goals and dreams and destiny of his life. A woman has no more right to an abortion than I have the right to shoot dead the valedictorian of my class so I can take her spot as smartest in the school.

(And to convince her she won't feel guilty or regret it afterwards is silly and ignorant. People normally feel awful after they hurt another; why should it be any different for a mother who has been been convinced to abort her little one?)

Moral of the story? Even when it's unpopular or really, really risky, let's help encourage one another to desire and strive for heaven through lives of virtue and love.

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