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church:vicars_letters:april2014mag

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“IF YOU can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you……” Rudyard Kipling's famous poem provides a key to understanding the story of Noah and the Ark as much as any scriptural commentary.

  Like other bible stories this is not to be taken literally. It’s a story of the human heart, a story which is true in that it happens again and again in ourselves, and Ronald Rolheiser recasts the story this way: 
  Every so often there comes a time in history when there is so little vision, faith, idealism, decency, and charity left on this planet that there is a real danger that the world itself would sink, would drown, and revert to a chaos that would kill everything that's precious. 
  But one person, despite all that is going on around him or her, would keep their eye on what's higher, keep faith intact, protect life, and refuse to compromise charity and decency.  Eventually the earth would drown in chaos, but because of this person's vision, idealism, faith, decency, and charity, a pocket of life, that still contains all that is precious, would be preserved and given a new chance to grow.    
 Noah's Ark is a story of faith, vision, idealism, decency, and charity. These virtues give us the capacity to sail above the chaos that drowns everything good.   Moreover, our decency, charity, faith, and vision contain within themselves all that's precious and that needs to be     protected and given a continued chance for life.
 So we might paraphrase Rudyard Kipling as follows:
   If you can keep your faith when all about you they are losing theirs and if you can keep giving others respect when all about you this is seen as weakness, and disrespect is held as strength and passion for truth;
   If you can remain courteous and retain your manners when all about you courtesy is seen as quaint, and crassness and crudity are paraded as sophistication;
   If you can live in tension when all about you there is compromise because it is judged that it’s better to let the devil take tomorrow than to live in tension today;
   If you can refuse to settle for second-best when all about you accept that this is all that life will offer;
   If you can make room for Sabbath amidst the pressures of life when all about you those pressures have begun to dictate all of life;
   And, if you can bear down even more in charity and forgiveness, loving and forgiving those who hate you, when all about you they are advocating hate for hate; 
     Then, just as surely as Noah did, you will have built an Ark!                                                     
                              (Written by Father Peter Knott SJ)

Dear Lord, There are so many people affected by the floods and this terrible weather, there is so much that needs to be done. Show us how we can help, and send us a warm, dry, spring and a kind summer. Amen.

church/vicars_letters/april2014mag.txt · Last modified: d/m/Y H:M by admin