So, for reasons I can't entirely explain, (and I say this knowing some of you may find this news unsettling), I'm what some might consider, well, a Catholic.
People seem to feel more comfortable when they can categorize someone's religious and political viewpoints. I suppose actively converting into the church later in life, and attending Mass weekly, would cause some to make such an assumption.
I'm begging of you to not let this news weird you out in any way, or cause you to unlike my Facebook page (I'm still recovering from my comments on the NFL). I still like a good drink, and I still think that well-placed profanity serves and important place in civilized society, as well as many of my daily conversations.
I also like 5pm Sunday Mass the best.
When discussing matters of religion, what can often get overlooked is just how simple and peaceful faith can be when you get the politics of the day out of it.
Love God. Love your neighbor. In the process, love yourself.
That isn't from me. Hat tip goes to Jesus, who is either God incarnate, or was a pretty good teacher, depending on how you look at it. Also, hat tip to our priest, who says it in his homilies all the time (although I'm pretty sure he stole it from Jesus).
Love God, love your neighbor, love yourself really is a simple concept, isn't it? You don't need to have a pre-defined stance on gay marriage, abortion, cops, Trump, guns, or anything else. Just try to take care of each other, and the rest of the stuff will work itself out.
It's so easy, at least for me anyway, to get caught up in the world of back and forth political volleys. I think we forget sometimes, at least I do, that most people just want to peacefully live out their day, and really do want to love one another.
I thought about that desire watching a clip on CNN of a guy who saved the lives of 30 people during the Las Vegas shooting, who then was in tears of gratitude as he spoke with the cop who later saved his life. I couldn't help but notice this was a black guy saving white lives who was then saved by a white police officer. The counter-narrative here is so obvious it practically writes itself. Yet, the real heart of this story is that none of the people involved in that story probably care about the media narrative at all. They just took care of each other, like good people do, and their hearts and lives will be infinitely better because of it. "Nobody suffered alone, and I think that's the takeaway from the whole entire situation," said the officer.
In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, this has been a trying week, and I've said my piece on guns here, here and here. There is an important conversation to be had, and there will be plenty more to say about it. There will be a continued attempt to try to understand better what happened, and it's important that we pay attention and learn from it.
But there's more to the Las Vegas story than just the gun debate narrative, or the attempt to make sense of a thing that we'll never make sense of. There is real love in this story to celebrate, and it's also happening all around us if we can just step aside from the madness for a moment to see it.
We search constantly for the meaning of life. Perhaps the meaning of life is just to take care of each other. Respond to the chaos of this week by doing something nice for someone. Others do it so well and give so much we can never repay them.
The fact that they exist is what I'm grateful for this week, and what I'll take to take to Mass on Sunday.
I'm a politically independent blogger and highly imperfect Catholic who is often wrong but insists on writing about politics anyway. You can follow me on Facebook here or at the link below.