Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is there a beam in your eye?

Open letter to Canadian Members of Parliament

Dear political leaders,

Next week you go will back to work. You will lead. But before you can lead, you must see. And before you can see, you must ask yourself the following question: Is there a beam in your eye? The beam of prejudice. Against the unborn.

May I suggest you set aside 25 minutes and listen to Father Frank Pavone's recent sermon on leadership? It's well worth the listen.

Fr. Pavone's sermon is based on Luke 6:39-42. Don't worry if you aren't a Christian, that's okay. Jesus is pretty easy to understand:
JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES A PARABLE: Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,' when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye.

Fr. Pavone starts his story by telling us about a particular leader, Saint Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest.

Fr. Claver ministered to the slaves as they arrived in the slave ships in Cartagena, Colombia during the slave trade. Fr. Pavone tells us that some people criticized Father Claver and what he was doing. They said to him:
"they are just slaves, why are you getting so worked up about slaves?"

Fr. Pavone answers the question:
"...leadership means you must take the beam out of your eye first before you can see. The blind can't lead the blind. See first, then lead. We have beams in our eyes. We have to take them out. One of those beams is the beam of racial hatred. Racial hatred is just one category of hatred in general...we judge entire groups of people...we put them lower than other groups of people. This is a persistent mistake in human history and in the human heart."

So why are people so blind to it--that beam in their eye called prejudice? Because:
"It's so powerful, it's so subtle, it's so persistent, we are blinded by it. We try to be politically correct: Some will pride themselves and say oh yea, we got to be against racism...I hate racism, we got to eradicate it... and meanwhile they think about the unborn children and they say--oh it's only a fetus..."

This is what Fr. Pavone thinks about these politically correct people:
"You hypocrite...can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? Equality! Social justice! Freedom for all! Legal abortion! You hypocrite. You blind guide. You fool. How and why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, and do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? Prejudice."

Are we hypocrites? Is Father Pavone right? Do we say we stand for equal rights for all--except the unborn? Are we leaders? How big is that beam in our eye? Can we lead with the beam intact?

I really hope you listen to it. Thank you.

Patricia Maloney

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