Friday, October 31, 2008

The Rejected

"And all is at one,
in keeping us secret,
half out of shame perhaps,
half out of inexpressible hope"
Rilke, Duino Elegies

The things we say, the position we assume towards others, can cost. They can bring upon us catholics the hilariousness of colleagues, perhaps the hostility of the boss; sometimes even physical violence. We can say, however, that we're not badly off, it is easier here than in other parts of the world. We risk very little: only our face. In the middle east, in places where christians had already been living for generations when Mohammed was a child, today violence makes christians flee if only they can. Elsewhere things are even worse. In certain parts of India if people get to know that you are a christian, you are cast out. Thrown out of the caste system, you are no longer part of the community; you are rejected, no longer considered a man. There is no direct violence; but your water and gas supplies are shut off, they will not sell you food or even speak to you. And you had better pray not to fall ill.

Two thousand years of christianity have changed mankind a little. We can no longer ignore those who die of hunger next to us. Children's suffering tears us, tears move us. 

But it is not like this everywhere. Just move a little, leave christendom, and you will see supreme disinterest for others, for those we christians call "our neighbour", reappear. For all others, all over the world, the christian is the different one, the stranger, just as for the christian all others are his neighbour, his brother.

Taking care of the other is not obvious; nor is it obvious that a community look after those who cannot take care of themselves on their own, even when they are not part of the community itself. The orphanage, the hospital, the elder care centre are not obvious. Did you notice that in films about far countries and even in japanese cartoons this sort of building almost always has a cross, and is often run by religious? Without that cross those buildings would not exist. 
Little by little, the truth, the better humanity rising from christian history caused the spring of a new conscience never existed before. Also the believers in different faiths, also the non believer must agree tha this kind of life is better, fuller, worthier; and will follow the same way. But with what purpose, what ideal surge?

Without Christ one cannot understand why bother to take care of the weak, the insignificant, those who don't count. An orphan who dies of hunger, where there are no christians, quickly becomes a body to bury. Or worse.

Christians are a nuisance for this reason too, because they don't accept that humanity be destroyed, used by the one in power and discarded once useless. For this reason too they are driven away everywhere, as the Pope recently denounced. Strangers in their own countries, always exiled, silenced. Yet never subdued, always ready to witness a joy present even in the midst of suffering, a joy stronger than persecution. Always ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks them for a reason for their hope.


g2r said...

perhaps all of us are "stranger in this world" without knowing "who we are", without being loved.
and that's what Christ does with us.
he loves each one of us through any of the others.
it is a chain, a community, a different world, as you say. if you think that is possible to eliminate Christ you have to try to eliminate his way to operate.
if you can.

Berlicche said...

Yes, I agree.
You cannot eliminate Christ without eliminate his visible body, that's the Church, that is us.

NightOwl87 said...

Your last comments reminded me of a conversation I had last night with an ex-classmate of mine.
He said he thinks that Vatican shouldn't exists because, according to him, makes no sense that Catholics have a state for their religion and he also told me about his plan/hope to chase off, some day, all the Christian from his college.
This isn't the first time that he tell me about this "loving plans", and I think you can believe me when i say that he is among the nicest one in the group of those ones that have these "hopes" for world future.

I try to tell him Christians are not the evil (the problem) on this earth, I try to tell him it even with my behavior: keeping calm while I talk with him (believe me, it's pretty difficult)... but I see that these ideas are catching on day by day... so I start wondering if they will ever be able to really destroy Christ's body on this Earth. Hope no.

PS (Just to confirm how goofy I am I messed up words in the first comment... that's why i removed it. I hope this one is clear enough :). )

Massimo Iaquinta said...

NightOwl87... "so I start wondering if they will ever be able to really destroy Christ's body on this Earth. Hope no."

I think Jesus already answered to this... Matthew 16:17-19

Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

I think He's right, as always!


Berlicche said...

The problem isn't that the Christian are not the evil of the world, it is that Christians are not the world. So the world thinks that he can go on all by himself, and hates everyone telling him that this is just not possible.
Just yesterday talked with some friends about the way we receive what we truly want only in the moment we agree to cease pretend to obtain it with our forces only. But about this more later.

Anonymous said...

"I start wondering if they will ever be able to really destroy Christ's body on this Earth"

meanwhile, they're are doing anything they can:

Oxford to axe Christmas, celebrate Winter Light Festival

LONDON: In a controversial decision, Council leaders in Oxford have decided to replace the word 'Christmas' with 'Winter Light Festival' from this year's celebrations to make the series of events more "inclusive".

Berlicche said...

More on this in the next post.

NightOwl87 said...

"the way we receive what we truly want only in the moment we agree to cease pretend to obtain it with our forces only"

Interesting! This can be disadvantage for them... they tend to count on human force only... because it's, usually, they only one they consider "available".
Is mine a mean thought? :/

Berlicche said...

It is paradoxical, as Mr.Chesterton would have said.
But it's true.
As long as we pretend to be God, that's to have the complete control of our lives, we fail.
It's called original sin.