Saturday, 3 April 2010
Evil in practice
As I spent good Friday in prayer and fasting, I was alerted to the horror that is a group of so called Christians who are committing acts or evil in the name of our savior.
I speak now of a "church" that goes by the name of Wesboro Baptist Church (the WBC) which can be found at http://www.godhatesfags.com . This so called church stages anti-gay rallies, spews messages of hate against our Jewish brothers and sisters, and most recently, has begun to stage protests of funerals of fallen soldiers who gave thier lives in the fight against terror.
When you approach the website, you are inundated with images of children holding signs with hate language, and people trampling American Flags. It is ironic that the very freedom our soldiers fight to preserve, allows this behavior.
This is evil in practice. The messages they spread are not the teachigns of Christ but rather the opposite. I offer now a call to prayer that these people be shown the TRUE light of Christ, and that the Holy Spirit descend upon them and soften thier hearts so that they may hear the voice of God, and see his truth.
Those of you that "Facebook" can find a group entitled "Caring Humans would NEVER protest a funeral!!! at: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=19&post=49&uid=107434842622229#!/group.php?gid=107434842622229&ref=mf
I would encourage you to join this group which has begun a prayer-filled fight against the spiritual and psychological terrorism practiced by this group!
Posted by Fr Abbot Kenneth L. Hasty, S.O.S. at 12:07 AM EDT
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Evil lies not only in the hearts of men who perform evil acts but also in those who do nothing to stop them.
The first act of evil is to convince you it is good. This is a lie that breeds more lies. I have never heard anyone have to justify an act of kindness.
Posted by Fr Abbot Kenneth L. Hasty, S.O.S. at 9:49 AM EDT
Is Good the Opposite of Evil?
Many people believe that evil is the opposite of good. Such a belief lends a measure of equality to evil. Evil is not the opposite of good. God is good and he created evil so that mankind would recognize acts of good when encountered.
Because evil acts are temporarily gratifying, they are more attractive to humankind. Often evil requires less energy to perform, and the acts themselves provide an immediate form of gratification. A driver cuts you off in traffic, and you curse them with verbal shouts and somatic gestures and one might get a sense that they have been vindicated. Or one might speed up, go around the driver, get in front of them, and touch the brakes emphasizing your frustration; this too might provide a sense of gratification. The problem is that evil acts such as this only provide a fleeting and temporary gratification because the very nature of evil is to lie. It lies to you making you feel that you have done right, the other person has “been taught a lesson”, and “got what they deserved”. Most likely, the person that cut you off had no idea they did, and by exacting your revenge, you now have put them in a position that requires them to make a choice between good and evil. Who knows how their quest for instant gratification will end on this day?
This sort of euphoric reward for acts of evil is so fleeting, that it starts to require more and more evil acts to obtain the same feelings of satisfaction. The example I used above with the traffic, would provide such a temporary feeling of satisfaction that most likely by the time you have reached your destination, you no longer feel satisfied, but instead maybe guilty, angry, resentful, and your mind has already thought of several different ways you might have exacted your revenge upon the inconsiderate driver or may do so encountering another in the future.
This is the lie of evil that following its path will make you happy. Think now upon the same example but this time instead of listening to evil, think about what would happen if you overlooked the inconsiderate act of the other driver. Think about what would have happened if you instead of cursing the person, you prayed for them. Pray for their safe delivery to their destination, pray for their happiness and contentment, pray for their family and other people they will encounter on the road.
You will have an opportunity to calm down from the experience but you will not have an immediate sense of vindication or wrath induced satisfaction. However, by the time you reach your destination, and for the rest of the day, you will have a feeling of happiness when reflecting on the moment; for in that instant you chose to ignore the lies of evil, and listen to the truth of good. You will have made a spiritual bond with God, and the inconsiderate stranger. As you then reflect upon the choice you made, you will obtain a lasting and genuine satisfaction in knowing that you just gave evil a bloody nose.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
One day my daughter Meah got too close to the stove and burned her hand most greivously. As we treated her wound and gave her emotional comfort, my younger son said as he stood aside in disbelief, arms crossed and brow furrowed: "Wow she's really carrying on about that burn!"
I said: "Michael, burns hurt and the pain lasts for a while you remember..."
Michael replied: "no dad, I don't. I've never been burned."
"Surely you have son, all kids get burned" I said trying to fathom how one of my children might have escaped a simple accidental finger burn. Michael insisted he had not. I then continued: "well consider yourself lucky boy, and take my word for it, burns hurt a lot!"
As my wife and I sat there we tried and tried to think of a time Michael had been burned and we were simply unable to recall him ever having received one. It just never occurred to us with having 5 children that one of them was bound to escape a burn injury, especially considering how often they help with preparing meals.
After Meah had calmed down a bit, Michael emerged from the kitchen holding his hand, with tears streaming down his face. He immediately went to Meah offered her a hug, looked in her eyes and apologized to her ever so softly.
"What's wrong with your hand Michael?" I said. "I have burned myself on the hot stove daddy." was his reply.
"On purpose?!" I found myself asking in the most concerned of parental tones. Voice changing pitch upward a few octaves.
"Yes." He replied. "What on earth for son?!" I reached for his hand to examine the injury and again my voice had elevated in pitch. I now thought I had two burned children I must tend to one of which had taken it upon himself to inflict the wound deliberately!
"Because I did not know how Meah felt, and I did not understand her. Now I know what she felt...and I am really sorry I acted the way I did."
Compassion is essential in loving our neighbor as Christ instructed. We must often put ourselves into a state that can identify with those who suffer around us. Even if only figuratively, we must learn to identify with those who suffer. If children can learn this lesson, why then can we as adults, not see the message as clearly as Christ delivered it?
Have compassion for your enemies, and for your neighbor, and evil will grow weak in the knees.
Posted by Fr Abbot Kenneth L. Hasty, S.O.S. at 1:45 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 21 March 2010 2:06 PM EDT
Monday, 15 March 2010
Good and Evil on a walk
Evil and Good were out walking in the garden one day.
Evil said to Good: "I like being evil".
Good replied: "I know that, and I like being Good."
Evil then said: "I know of your existance and I choose to stay evil."
Good replied: "I know that, and I choose to stay Good."
Evil then said: "I am evil and so I can do whatever I want to you and not feel bad for it."
Good then replied: "I know that, and I forgive you for it."
Posted by Fr Abbot Kenneth L. Hasty, S.O.S. at 3:43 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 15 March 2010 3:47 PM EDT
Sloth said to Greed one day...
Sloth said to Greed one day in the voice of Envy "Look at all of the great things you have, all of your wealth and your fame and I have nothing." Greed replied in the voice of Pride "Yes I am the embodiment of greatness, I have toiled to obtain all that I have while you have sat about with nothing but contempt for work." Sloth then said in the voice of Lust "I do not fear toil for I am willing to do whatever I must to have what you have." Sloth then added with the voice of Gluttony "I will have all that I want and use whatever means necessary to get it!". Greed responded with the voice of Wrath and said "I will do whatever is necessary to stop you from having it".
What is Evil?
What is Evil? Is it an incarnate being? A tangible force? A way of life?
Evil is all of these things and more. It may begin as an intangible being that influences its surroundings. Say we have two children, one has a piece of candy, and the other does not.
The child without the candy notices the candy and desires his own. Evil may then suggest that having this candy is of paramount importance, and so the desire may raise to a heightened state. Further influence may create such a strong desire in the child that he considers stealing the candy.
First the child tries clandestine measures, as it is natural to feel shame taking something that does not belong to oneself. In the process, the child's methods were clubsy and he is found out immediately by the child with the candy, who protests the act.
Now the candyless child grows angry and violent, choosing to strike the child with the candy and while that child is distracted with pain, seizes the candy by force with threat of a follow up act of violence.
It is easy to see the evolution of evil. One can identify the evil at work in each turn of events in the short tale above, but can one identify the origin of the evil?
The origin of the evil lies in the child who had candy and knowing the other child did not, refused to share it.
Posted by Fr Abbot Kenneth L. Hasty, S.O.S. at 12:11 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 15 March 2010 12:33 PM EDT
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