Last time, the discussion was about the importance of self-control. Especially in these times, little support from the general community exists for the exercise of this fruit of the Spirit. In American culture the media and educational institutions encourage the cultivation and expression of inordinate desire. Lack of restraint has become a virtue. This attitude is the legacy of the 1960’s and 70’s, and earlier. The want of sexual restraint is at the top of the list. But also, we find such moral dearth in many other areas. Deficiency of restraint of speech is one that is particularly relevant to this blog.
Name-calling, distortion of facts, invention of facts, hearsay, and threats characterize our nation from Washington to communities spread throughout the land. This sort of behavior is usually done in the name of ideology, mostly of the secular brand, but also of the religious. The result is bedlam, because we do not morally restrain ourselves. Too often some Americans confuse forceful speech in defense of a perspective with calumny.
The Christian must cultivate self-control in the midst of the pandemonium of our society. Few leaders or leading institutions will do so. In fact, they will encourage the opposite by words and deeds. Such is a major challenge.
To God we offer prayer that we may be inspired to be both effective witnesses and also ethical defenders of the faith.
Michael G. Tavella
Ash Wednesday, 2020