Leticia Ocha Adams made this observation yesterday, and it’s one to challenge us all:
The hard truth of Catholicism is that even when humans are doing hateful things, they have an innate dignity, because they are created – even the people we cannot stomach — in the Image of God. That inherent dignity must always be respected, and assisted toward its greatest potentiality, even when those humans are neo-Nazis. To fail to do that is to become exactly what the enemy wants.
…My Catholic faith, which is rooted in a relationship with the living God, requires me to respect the dignity of all human beings. In simplest terms, it mean that, while I get to call out evil behavior for what it is, I do not get to relish the thought of punching these people in the face. I don’t get to call them names, or gleefully enjoy it when others do. The only option for me is to recognize the evil acts as evil, fight for justice, and pray for the conversion and redemption of those people carrying nazi flags, because Christ hung on a cross for them just as much as he did for me.
Yes, my only option is the difficult option, because Catholicism is not for the faint of heart. Holiness is not something comfortable or easy; it is other-wordly. “The world offers you comfort.But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness,” said Pope Benedict XVI to a group of German pilgrims. At this moment, my Catholicism is calling me to strive for greatness, and that means choosing the more difficult path, just as my Lord Jesus did.