by Frank Muller
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I approach this subject on yet another solemn day where one child kills another child, and the mind is focused on the horror. We should not hide our hearts though to the reality that this actually occurs every day of the year. In some country, some small town there is a daily ritual of brutality whether it be inflicted on just one or on many.
Evil dances around in circles and when a tragedy makes the headlines what begins is the dance of the people, the press, the pundits and the politicians all railing against the tragedy and then seeking a societal fix for the evil. This is why this ridiculous dance of evil is so easy to see when one learns to see it.
Evil knows that sin is a personal thing. Therefore, to protect the sin the cure is then suggested to be a societal remedy. This is the great lie. Make no mistake, I am not suggesting that society does not have a proper role in legislating for the good, it certainly does. However, that legislation will not be proper if it flows from the idea that the group can fix an individual moral breakdown.
What I am suggesting is that no matter how many laws we write that are good, personal evil will not comply. Further, no matter how many laws we write that are evil personal evil will readily comply regardless of whether they are written or not. Good laws are a byproduct of a just and moral people who understand what the good is and when that point has arrived then the unity of a moral singularity has grown into a unified moral body of the collective. Unity is thus unity in love.
What the evil will not do is to discuss the personal nature and the first causes of all sin. The evil will blame others for the sin in order to mask the real first causes. What the complicit good will not often do is to discuss the personal nature and cause of sin for fear of condemnation and persecution. This is the free cooperation of the complicit good through fear that allows evil to exist.
Both the complicit good and the ignorant evil will wrong headily focus on trying to fix the consequences or the non-first causes pf sin. This is why evil grows because so long as the ignorant evil and the complicit good ignore the first cause then evil will always grow.
The perversity of it is that this mutual dance of the complicit good and the ignorant evil destroy the definition of love and the complicit good and the ignorant evil begin to assert ever greater and greater coercive means to enforce a distorted view of good. Evil all the while smirks in self-righteousness indignation and contempt of both the complicit good and the ignorant evil. Evil seeks only one thing, and that is the death of everyone.
I do not know this young man’s intentions (or that of any evil doer), what I do know is that the thousand influences in his young life led to this moment. From moment of conception to the moment he pulled the trigger there were influences for good and for evil. The scientific method and our own reason demand that we try and determine those first causes and their cascading exponential impact through the years.
The first cause is always the same. There was no true love. The sinner is always motivated because there is something missing or incomplete in their heart, their mind, and their soul. That thing that is missing is unmerited, non-conditioned and all-encompassing Love. Whatever love they did experience was not on those terms but almost invariably love on reciprocity terms.
That ever-widening gulf between the love we desire and the false and hypocritical love we see in the world is the great cause of sin. This truth that we work hard to disguise and not discuss and seek to change the conversation to other things is the rotten root of sin and the resultant broken individuals, broken families, broken cities, broken countries and a broken world.
So many questions to ask in sincere love. Did the mother and father know what love means and demonstrate that in their lives? How did the mother and father love and protect that child in the womb through good medical care, diet and love? How did the mother and father love and nurture that small infant with smiles and proper nutrition and emotional and intellectual and moral training in the good? How did the family of brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles surround and support those parents and this child in his development with true love and care?
How did the Church assist the parents in training the child in knowing and desiring the good of others over self? Did the school teach the child how to think, or just what to think? Was the child surrounded by friends who learned and cherished the good or by others with different motives?
What sorts of books, TV shows, music, videos did this child watch that became the input source for fantasies and dreams? Who knew the child and felt in their hearts that this child needed love that transcends the worldly definition of love and most importantly, did they act on that movement despite their fear and keep acting even if no one is listening?
How many warning signs were there that children and adults observed that were rationalized away by “it’s not my job”, “it does not rise to the rules we have before we can act”, “I am afraid to act because it might get me in trouble, or I lose my job?” On and on there are people right now closet to this situation who are asking “what if or if only” or worse yet saying “I had no idea”.
It is in these daily moments in the ordinary lives of people that we must love. Love is sacrifice and service for the good of another. Love is a one-way street. It is not about receiving; it is about giving for the good of another.
We must learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships which are defined by this notion of reciprocity. Love sacrifices and serves regardless of reciprocity. Sure, loving and reciprocating relationships are wonderful and are the goal, but the goal is achieved by loving non reciprocating relationships because it is those who need us the most.
Love is a one-way street. The beginning of the solution is first accepting that we are fully and completely loved, not by another created person but by the Creator whose love is unmerited and given proactively. It is only after we know we are loved that we can then give that love to others in the exact same way. We learn this love ideally from our parents and so many challenges are preempted by this experience. However, at any point in life we can be pointed to this love by the sacrificial acts of service that we experience from the people who know this love and what it means and act on it.
Thus, parents who know they are loved by their Creator then tap into the source to love each other in this way. They will the good of the other instead of themselves. This is the love that from that union that then surrounds a child in the same kind of love. No sacrifice is too great. If we have to work three jobs, so be it. If we have to make sacrifices like cancelling the DIRECTV subscription then, so be it.
When children see their parents arguing and fighting and never reconciling and forgiving through their actions then from the beginning, they are learning the evil dance. This dance must be stopped or else it leads to the death of a soul.
We do not need a new law or a regulation in order to change our world for the better. We need individuals who seek out those who are hardest to love and love them without conditions or expectations. In order to do this though, those individuals must know what love means. This also means that those who know the good do not conform to telling people that their sinful ways are ok. No, we are to will the good of another and when they are violating the moral law we must speak in love and charity.
The evil will always suggest that love means our own subjective interpretation and that we should enforce and coerce that definition onto others. Evil always lies in the cloak of a false good. Evil will revolt when the good says that love is a one-way street that wills the good of the other by sacrifice. The good seeks to solve the root cause first, not the consequences. Consequences can only begin to be addressed once someone starts working on the first cause.
This is a call for each of us to closely examine our definition of love and the good. This is another call for each of us to look closely into the lives of those we meet and especially those we live with to see the root causes of evil beginning to grow that will later lead into consequences for that person and those that may be affected by it later.
We cannot give what we do not have. This is why evil always says that someone else needs to do the fixing. The good says that it is us personally. Each individual, then each family, then each circle of friends, then the corporate bodies (Church, school, work) that surrounds us must starting from the individual progress to the others by passing on the unmerited love that was given to us and to teach each of these people what it means and how to pass it on.
We must learn the difference between love and relationships. Love is unmerited and sacrificial and unilateral. Relationships are reciprocal if they are healthy and unilateral if they are unhealthy. This is the great paradox of love. We give love (willing the good of the other) with no expectation that a healthy relationship will flourish. We keep loving that unhealthy relationship by sacrifice because it is the only way to save the other and through faith that one day with God’s Grace it becomes a loving and healthy relationship.
So many times, the supposed good will say “I tried but they just did not listen, or reciprocate, or change their ways….” All of these are reciprocity expectations which allows us to justify quitting on others and judging them. If we feel this way, we know we are just as wrong as the other party. This is the false good, or the inconvenient truth we ignore. As evil dances in a circle today spewing one fix or another, do not get caught up in it.
The fix is accepting that we are worthy of being loved (no matter how bad we have been) and sharing that fix with others no matter the consequences, no matter the fear, no matter the criticism …. we just keep trying with our own unique talents to will the good of another through our personal prayers, thoughts, and actions.
Yes, a good and just society will eventually through this process pass good and just laws, but those laws flowed from the individuals up to the collective, not from the collective to the individuals. We take the fight to evil by learning what love is and then doing it one human being at a time.
Love teaches with a smile but is not soft. Love embraces at the first moment in life and never stops. Love forgives and has mercy upon those who did not know what evil it is they are doing and why they are doing it. Love simply wills their good which means that no matter where someone is in their life, no matter the failures of those who themselves may not have known what love is, there is always another opportunity. Love is merciful an infinite number of times but is never condoning of evil.
Let us today, in this prayer, seek that Love that transcends. Let us today, in this prayer, begin to learn what love is and start to practice with friendship and good cheer. Let us today, in this prayer, begin to understand that love is a one-way street. Let us today, in this prayer, stop setting expectations for reciprocity but simply keep willing the good of the other and place the outcome in God’s hands.
Love is sacrifice. Love is service. Love is unmerited. Love is mercy. Love is forgiveness. Love asks for nothing more than to be Love in this way. The great irony is the more we all begin to live this way, we will receive far more than we gave, and it is certain that there will be far, far fewer children who kill.
May Peace be with us all.