considering the dogma of absolutes

Our journey through life is complicated by its very nature, filled with unforeseen twists and turns, and traversed without benefit of foreknowledge of what lies ahead. Yet we dare to blindly travel that road, without a care or serious thought as to where life might lead us, and almost certainly without any consideration for the destination that awaits us at the end of our wanderlust.

Irresistable vs. Immovable

Irresistable vs. Immovable

Like a laser beam, we focus and devote all our energies on matters that are only of direct importance to “ME” (what shall I wear, what shall I eat, whom should I call, where shall I go, whom should I see, how do I feel, what’s in it for me?) and ignore what is not. We give short shrift to what awaits outside the immediacy of the magnificence of “ME”, wallowing in our own self-inflicted importance. What we know, we know absolutely. What we believe, we believe absolutely. We know and believe absolutely in the truth and that absolute truth is found only in the Dogma of “ME”.

The Dogma of “ME” is by its nature a dogma of absolutes and exclusivity, holding only “ME” in great esteem. The Dogma of “ME” is, by definition and declaration, in direct conflict with the dogma of “you”. “you” are not “ME” and therefore your dogma (what “you” believe to be incontrovertibly true) is without a doubt, absolutely untrue because it conflicts with mine. To varying degrees, we have become self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner of “you”. “I” judge, “I” decide, and “you” are found wanting.

It is not much of a stretch to observe this phenomenon as it occurs throughout any given day. When was the last time you found yourself admitting to the rightness of someone else’s beliefs? When was the last time you questioned your own strongly-held belief in the face of another’s? When have you ever discovered your “facts” to be in error? Have you ever judged another based solely on assumption, innuendo or presumption?

Pope Francis in a recent homily suggested that we often lose sight of the fact that the journey of life is merely a path and not an end in itself. Speaking of God’s law, he further added that we should “know that this holy law is not an end in itself.”  God’s law is intended to show us the way to Christ, and “if the law does not lead to Jesus Christ, and if it doesn’t get us closer to Jesus Christ, it is dead.” He asked us to seriously consider, “Am I attached to my things, my ideas. Am I closed? Am I at a standstill or am I a person on a journey? Do I believe in Jesus Christ, in what Jesus did?

Jesus saw everyone as wondrous creations of God and treated them accordingly. He never judged them for how they looked, who they were, what they believed, or what they did or may have done. Jesus was often critical of those who judged others and looked with disdain upon those who did not believe as they believed. He taught acceptance and peace, forgiveness and redemption, and the power of God’s love. As Christians, we must not only believe in Jesus Christ, we must also act, live, and love as he did. Jesus gave everything, including his life, for the salvation of others, and as his disciples we are called to do the same.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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