I have firm beliefs against abortion and strong feelings about the subject. Last November I found myself troubled with thoughts about how the injustice of abortion would continue and even increase under a pro-abortion Obama presidency.
I knew I needed to get a grip when one day, while running on the treadmill at the gym, I found myself holding an imagined abortion debate with the woman running on the treadmill in front of me. She happened to be wearing a “pro-Obama” t-shirt. Not only did I debate this complete stranger in my my mind , but, I also found myself judging the heart of this woman that I didn’t even know. (And yes, I won the debate 🙂 )
Later that week I sat down with my journal and this is what came to me. It seems appropriate to share given today’s gospel reading from Mass found in the 6th chapter of Luke:
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
Why burden your heart with things you cannot control? Why worry, fret and grow angry over things you cannot change — at least things that are not within your direct influence? If your burden leads you to prayer, fasting and acts of love and mercy then by all means it’s a worthy load to carry. But, beware of burdens that consume your thoughts and energy and keep you from doing God’s will with regard to your vocation in life.
If you are not careful your righteous anger over injustice can easily become self-righteous indignation, full of condemnation and judgment of things and people over which you are not called to be the final judge. What good to God is a conscience that loves justice but then becomes consumed with anger, pride, condemnation and judgment? What good does it do for your soul or the souls of others?
Do what you can to promote truth and work for social justice but do not let your emotions consume you and carry you away from the peace of Christ. Remember this truth: The Lord your God is in control. He is the final judge. He will bring all to account for their lives here on earth.