Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Taking Responsibility

I read an article yesterday from Christianity today. If you don't have time to read it, basically a woman decided not to get an abortion, but after witnessing several closed-minded fundamentalist in her Christian ethics class, she felt for those that decide to get an abortion and the grief they must go through. Her and her husband decided to stop in at a local abortion clinic and apologize for Christians who are mean, judgmental and hateful toward the people that work there and those that are patients. As Dorothy Day says, "Love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not bombardment of open cities. Love is not killing, it is the laying down of one's life for one's friends." Again she states that "we must all admit our guilt, our participation in the social order which has resulted in this monstrous crime of war."

Listen to Father Zossima (monk) on this matter. "When he realizes that he is not only worse than others, but that he is responsible to all men for all and everything, for all human sins, national and individual, only then the aim of our seclusion is attainted. For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. For monks are not a special sort of man, but only what all men ought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows soft with infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one of you will have the power to win over the whole world by love and to wash away the sins of the world with your tears. Each of you keep watch over your heart and confess your sins to yourself unceasingly. Hate not the atheists, the teachers of evil, the materialists, and I mean not only the good ones. Remember them in your prayers thus: Save, O Lord, all those who have none to pray for them; save all those who will not pray. And add it is not in pride that I make this prayer, O Lord for I am lower than all men."