Archive for January 7th, 2021

Imagine doing nothing for four years after a diagnosis of metastatic cancer. That would be the height of folly, right? That is the metaphor that feels apt this morning of January 6 as we examine the state of our democracy with focus on the unvarnished facts.

The Capitol insurgency was engineered and fueled by a virulent Commander in Chief who has trashed all norms of Presidential behavior, decency, public service and the rule of law. It was, in so many ways, a predictable lame duck action after four years of build-up to the full flowering of “the Donald’s” dark passions.

The Republican enablers have now definitively redefined themselves as a nationalist American fascist party. One hundred twenty members of the House and an unrepentant misguided group of senators continued to press their preposterous grievances well into the early hours of January 7. All of this took place after the brazen and barbaric assault on the temple of our democracy.

This political indignity was perpetrated by an unhinged and narcissistic few that even the likes of Lindsey Graham, the chief Trump whisperer and enabler, could not abide!

Pandora’s Box of horribles have been unleashed on our democracy since day one of this incompetent and diseased administration. Trump has certainly been the locus of the malignancy, the tumorous mass projecting a debilitating poison. His immediate removal after yesterday’s acts of sedition is essential (if unlikely).

The question now revolves around what I regrettably see as a poor prognosis for the country. This is the case despite the good news of democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, and the welcome and desperately needed ascendency of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

If we are to restore right order, civility and norms of true leadership, the treatment ahead will need to be very aggressive indeed and unrelenting.

Firstly, those responsible for the rape of the Capitol must be held accountable and brought to certain justice. This includes inquiry into the massive security failure by the Capitol police.

What’s called for after that is no less than the equivalent of whole body radiation for the Nation given the widespread reach of the disease. The beast that lurks among us must be loudly named with consistent vigilance, and countered with a laser -focused servant leadership.

Role models of decency and dialogue need to keep a firm hand on the tiller of enlightened and intelligent governance. In effect, securing a sustainable rationality and resumption of behavioral normalcy will need an intensive, long-term “light” therapy.

That the violence at the Capitol occurred on the Feast of the Epiphany is a case of synchronicity. It was, after all, into a politically fraught, violent and despotic time that the Prince of Peace appeared. The Holy Birth was made manifest in retrospect only after recognition of the Nazarene’s extraordinary destiny through the mystic foresight of the Magi.

At the opening of this new year, we are each tasked with examining ourselves and asking what we are being called to do in the broken country in which we find ourselves. Two things emerge for me as a dual call for an engaged spirituality embedded in the events of this Epiphany: radical discernment and radical hospitality.

We need to hone our capacity to spot false prophets and “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” On spotting them, we need to denounce their malfeasance emphatically while being swift to seek authentic reconciliation.

Our new year opens with a compelling urgency around the real- time meaning of discipleship in action. We must renew our commitment to authentic resonant leadership at a time when those qualities appear in far shorter supply than was the case in years past.

I look forward to embracing the role of informed and involved citizen in support of the new administration with a passionately engaged Franciscan witness.

May we see the promulgation of wisdom, humility, integrity, accountability and pursuit of the common good.

“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”

St. Francis of Assisi

© The Harried Mystic, 2021 and Br. Anton, TSSF. and/or distribution of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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