Ecclesiastical and political pragmatism, with a beat
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"Starting Fires": Sermon for 15 Pentecost
The Letter of James teaches, "How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire." Think of the arsonist-set Station fire, which has consumed two lives and a quarter of the Angeles National Forest. Think too of the political firestorm unleashed by Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst during last week's joint session of Congress. Often enough, our tongues get ahead of our brains because our needs aren't being met in a given situation or relationship -- our need to be right, successful, secure, safe, or just needed. The Enneagram personality-type system, as interpreted by Fr. Richard Rohr, helps us understand that our greatest gifts and strengths (such as the willingness to battle for what's right) can also be our greatest weaknesses (such as the unwillingness to listen to others' perspectives). My Sunday sermon is here.