Monday, July 07, 2008

Hate and Fear

I've been trying to finish up some books that are due back at the library. One, Hope Against Darkness by Richard Rohr has a number of cogent points very useful for understanding the crux of what Christianity is all about. Here is his quote about hate, and why it is so prevalent:
Hate unites a group quickly, it gives a person identity even if it is a negative one, and most of all it takes away doubt and all free floating anxiety. It gives us a place to stand that feels superior and in control. Hate settles the dust and ambiguity that none of us like. Hate is more common and more immediately effective than love.
This does a great job of explaining why loving as Jesus would have us love is so difficult, if we try to do it all ourselves. The 12 step programs call this "white knuckling"--hanging on for dear life trying to do what might be completely against your nature. As Saint Paul said, "I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate" (Romans 7:15)

When the inevitable failure comes, we fall into despair. It is then that hate becomes easy. We either hate ourselves for our failure, or we hate the other for "making" us fail. Hate gives us the temporary power at a time when we feel completely powerless. But of course, the consequences of such hate are all around us. Jesus came and showed us exactly what such unbridled hate and craving for power does. And yet, we still chase after its false high.

What is needed, according to Rohr is to be "ready to live the emptiness of not knowing" for
You do not have to create all the patterns and you do not have to fix all the failures. What else would be the beginnings of peace? Only people who have moved beyond ego and controlling of all outcomes, only those practiced at letting go, see fear for the impostor that it is.

To be trapped inside of your own small ego is always to be afraid.

Perfect love casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18)


Laura said...

"To be trapped inside of your own small ego is always to be afraid."

This quote spoke to me because I seem to be afraid more often than not. I've been this way all my life and how wonderful it would be to cast off this constant fear and 'let go and let God' in a real and daily way. Please pray that I'll be able to do so, even if only, little by little.

Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

Its so difficult, Laura! But you don't have to shoulder the burden alone. Jesus carries the cross for you.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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