I found out today that there are two definitions to the word universalist, a theological one where you believe everyone will be saved, and the second a person who advocates concern for everyone without regard to national or sectional allegiances. I’d like to think I fit into the latter camp and I’m fairly sure my Catholicism is what puts me in that camp. My Facebook debate about Syria opened my eyes to people who still believe in a national allegiance. That a country should only do whatever is in its own immediate self interest.
Put simply a lot of people still believe that the rest of the world can go to hell in a handcart just so long as my little corner of it is unaffected. I struggle to understand how we can tolerate cruelty and butchery around the world in this day of 24 hour global news. But the answer is a form of parochialism, again an interesting word with religious undertones. You click on the Telegraph website and you have to click world news, to find out what is going on around the world. Isn’t that a bit odd? (It used to be you had to click news, then world news which was even more weird).
Ironically, we as Catholics, can often be very parochial, I like my Parish, its not perfect, but I like it, and I don’t give a damn about the liturgical abuse down the road… Or the fact that the diocesan seminary is teaching heresy… Its so easy to do, especially since we know we do not have the power or authority to change what happens in the parish or what happens in a seminary. We forget that we can write a letter, or pray about it, because we are lazy. The end result of this apathy is that the seminary closes down and that parish down the road closes down and what is the cost of lost souls?
Anyway I suppose we can’t make ourselves responsible for the sins of others, for one thing we’d go mad. But then you look at what some of the Saints did and perhaps it was this strain of madness that got them to heaven, I guess they cared about things that other people didn’t have the heart for because they were filled by the unending love that we can only get from God. Perhaps this resonates with last Sunday’s readings, how many of us worry about not having the strength to finish what we start? We have to rely on God for that strength I think.
Perhaps this is why some people idolize villains, especially the most psychopathic, because they have taken this acceptance of selfish behavior to its logical conclusion. Take the Joker, Tony Montana or Don Vito Corleone. You see people walking around with them on T-shirts. Do they realise how dark that is? maybe they do… Anyway, yes I need to think of something totally trivial to think on and fast.