|OUTSIDE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY|
AFTER 5:30 MASS AND ADORATION TUESDAY
WE HAVE A NEW SEMINARIAN FOR THE YEAR, JOSH!
A gun is an anti-sacrament. It signifies hatred and fear and shooting one, or practicing shooting one, brings into being more hatred, more fear, and always, always, always, more, unending guns.
Gun ownership is about way more than guns; it’s about a whole way of seeing and being in the world, and thus is at bottom a spiritual, a mystical issue.
Clearly, the time has long since passed, if it ever existed, when private citizens could amass enough weapons to rise up against the tyranny of the government. Clearly, gun ownership simply allows us to arm ourselves against each other.
To own a gun is to live your whole life on high alert for a moment that, unless you’re a gang member, run a meth lab, work in organized crime, or have enlisted in the military, the overwhelming odds are will never come. It’s to stand eternally in front of the mirror like Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver and sneer at an imaginary foe, “Are you talking to me?”
I’m a human being; I know how these things work. I have spent way, way more time than I’d like to admit planning revenge on my adversaries, picturing the shining moment when at last, at last, I WIN. All that does is make me think everyone else is plotting revenge against me, too. All that does is make me imagine that everyone else is as jumpy, as hollowed-out, as fearful, as paranoid, as untrustworthy, as me. All that does is make me start obsessing about how I can get them first, before they get me.
To see with the eyes of Christ is to live in a different world.
To walk through the world quietly, peacefully, unarmed, is to “win” every moment of your life. It's to live your whole life in freedom, in peace, in joy, in the freedom to observe, ponder, praise. To be sure, someone may come along and randomly shoot you but a building may fall on you, a drunk driver may plow into your car, or you may be struck by lightning, too. To be sure, the violence our culture worships will continue to erupt in ever more berserk violence, most of it committed with guns. Meanwhile, though, you get to enjoy each moment to its fullest, secure in the knowledge that you will never, ever, randomly or intentionally, shoot someone else.
If we want to live in a world where guns are not needed, we get to act as if we live in that world already.
That's how we bring into being the Kingdom of God.
That's a start to the call of Pope Francis: "No more war. War no more."