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Moving toward the kingdom of God?

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Dear friends and fellow journeyers,

I must confess that I am very discouraged these days. I am not discouraged about my own health, but about what is happening in our world.

Some day in the future I hope to write a blog summarizing my theological positions at this time. But for now, let me share one item: For me, the kingdom of God refers to a future when the most important aspects of love will have been embraced by the whole world. I am talking about a time when love, openness, acceptance and understanding of others will have become the state of humanity. In my theology, when that happens, the kingdom of God will have come into being. After all, the only definition we have of God from the Scriptures is that God is love. So, when love dominates the whole world, the kingdom of God will be here

Up until recently, I could see the whole world moving in this direction with baby steps. There was enough progress to believe that we were on our way to making real the kingdom of God. But of late, the direction has changed. Throughout the world we have become less open, less tolerant, less willing to help the weak. This is happening in the United States to be sure but also in most European countries.

What to do? Continue to believe that God is in charge and that God often writes straight with crooked lines. If you are in the same situation, join with me in praying often and heartily that “thy kingdom come.”

More discouraging than that analysis is my recognition that I am becoming less tolerant and accepting of the thinking of others. I have always prided myself with the ability to see and understand the position of others. This reflected my understanding of human thinking. My understanding reflects an age-old understanding which I only discovered in studying atomic physics: During the long debates among scientists about the nature of light [particle or wave], N. Bohr proposed his principle of complementarity, which says that inany serious question:

  • Humans will inevitably surface two explanations.
  • These explanations will inevitably seemto contradict one another.
  • But in fact, they complement one another, and both explanations must be used to reach the truth.

So I have always tried to see the truth in the thinking of the other and arrive at some combination of the two in my own life. But, in this current situation, I am unable to do this. I see those who are creating division, creating misunderstanding, creating distrust, as working against the kingdom of God, even while they quote Scripture. I have sadly reached the point where I cut short many conversations by announcing, “We can’t talk politics.”

I want to change this, but I am discouraged by my lack of progress.

An update on my health: Not much has changed. I amaze people by my ability to walk and climb stairs. My hands continue to be useless, which means that I am more and more dependent on others. But as I wrote in a previous blog, “I like being dependent.” I get tired more easily these days and you will find me resting in my bed quite often. But I push myself to do more things. I organize community events in the house and try to connect people who I think should know one another. It is hard for the staff to keep up with modifications in my routine because of efforts of doctors to accommodate increasing diminishments.

But my spirits stay the same. Please join me in praying that that doesn’t change and that my inability to enter dialogue will improve.

Comments from readers

Josue Luis Hernandez - 09/11/2018 07:48 PM
Amidst the crisis of corruption and faith within the Church it's very disappointing, though unfortunately not surprising, to read this kind of confused, sentimental, Hegelian influenced theology coming from one of our very own religious. To speak as if the world as a whole has been moving anywhere within the vicinity of the right direction, let alone towards the Kingdom of God, in the past few centuries (let alone decades) when faced with the glaringly obvious societal collapse directly brought on by the rampant divorce and contraception that has now left us with the scourges of legalized abortion, feminism, "homosexual marriage" and near universal apostasy is sheer self delusion. Since the advent of modernity sin and injustice seem to not have only increased but now its worst forms have become institutionalized and even enjoy legal protection. In our very own country at least two of those grave evils which the Church teaches us "cry out to heaven for vengeance" are now not only legally protected but praised as "choice" and "love" the opponents of which are labeled as"intolerant" and "hateful". Although there is no doubt that the past decade has seen us take a very dramatic turn for the worst, as can be seen by the ever increasing and vicious attacks on the family, we have, nevertheless, been inching towards this abyss for quite some time now, the long held silence of our shepherds, in large part, being the culprit. Given the recent revelations about the Holy Father, and given that this sort of soft, sentimental theological formation is what we now typically get out of many of our clerics and religious, the faithful are, unfortunately, in for a very rough ride in the coming days and years. God help us all.
Maria - 09/11/2018 03:05 PM
Dear Brother, I am going through a bit of pain myself following a major car accident that has left me injured, but so incredibly grateful to be alive! I may not have a car as it was totaled. But one thing I have done without even realizing it promote the kingdom of God. With most Uber rides I take to get around, I often find myself talking about God in a non-pushy way. I have come to realize, that I may be the only bible anyone ever opens up! And so with kindness and love, and a whole lot of compassion we can have an impact, we can form a lasting memory by bringing on a smile, we can change a world....one person at a time.
Joe Smith - 09/10/2018 10:36 PM
Brother DeMaria, I love reading your blogs. They are truly inspirational and informative. Iím glad to know Iím not the only one discouraged by the outcome of the facts around the country and the world. The US has been a beacon of inspiration to people all around the world. The leader for innovation and courage. In the political realm, we have been represented mostly by people with decency. When that didnít happen, those politicians lost their jobs for one reason or another. God is Love and not only I believed that the US was the closest you could get to the Kingdom of Love but that the rest of the world was catching up quickly. What a sharp turn did the whole world take!!! All of a sudden and all at once! Your cry (of discouragement) reached my cry, and together we will share our prayers for a better world. The tide will turn again, because LOVE WINS.
Josue Luis Hernandez - 09/10/2018 08:37 PM
Yes, Brother. Many catholics find themselves discouraged and even betrayed by those who have been given charge of Christ's flock. We are all deeply saddened and justifiably angered by our Holy Father's silence amidst the grievous accusations that have uncovered the utter rot that lies within much of the hierarchy of Christ's spotless Bride. May God cleans His Church of this filth and heal His children. And may God be with us all and see us through these wicked times that despise holiness and virtue and tolerate only sin. His Kingdom Come. God Bless!
Tomas marin - 09/10/2018 05:00 PM
Brother, always good to hear your thoughts for the journey. United in prayers for your health.
Daniel Joseph Gorman - 09/10/2018 04:10 PM
Lack of charity and tolerance? Charity to the poor is as great, if not greater, than ever. Tolerance is wonderful as long as we aren't tolerating evil. A greater need today would be a clear understanding and love of our Faith.
James - 09/10/2018 02:45 PM
Thank you for your unending effort in trying to improve othersí lives. God Bless,

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