Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Better Angels of Our Nature .....

I don't know how others in Midland - especially in the virtual neighborhood - will greet the news of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy's death ... sadness, satisfaction, maybe even celebration?

Me? I'll opt for prayer.

I offer prayers of thanks that he has finally found that ultimate wholeness and healing from a cancerous brain tumor and the accompanying pain, the surgery and a grueling regimen of radiation and chemotherapy.

I ask God to comfort Kennedy's family and friends at this time of their loss, and comfort also the people of Massachusetts who have lost one of their greatest advocates in Washington.

I will not pray for Edward Kennedy's soul, and that it may someday find purification in Purgatory, then peace in Heaven ... not out of vindictiveness or condemnation, mind you, but simply because he and I worshipped God on opposite sides of that door in Wittenburg, where Luther nailed those 95 Theses. Whether we Protestants are better or worse than Catholics when we celebrate one's entry into the Church triumphant at death, I'll leave for you to decide.

I will pray that, in the discussion/debate of Edward Kennedy's legacy, that we might listen to the better angels of our nature. Can we all acknowledge that he had his faults, and that some of them were great? At the same time, can we also acknowledge that he had his virtues, and that some of them were great, as well? I suspect that Kennedy was neither the ultimate saint nor the ultimate sinner ... but somewhere between one and the other ... just like the rest of us.

3 comments:

Rob said...

I'll admit that it's more in my nature to find fault with this man's deeds rather than the virtues. Thanks for the very well-stated reminder that none of us are above reproach and that we'd do well to seek (and celebrate) the good in others. Would that we be fortunate enough for others to extend the same decency and civility towards us.

Jeff said...

Rob, you put your finger right on one of the problems with trying to have a civil discourse. My mom used to remind me that 'two wrongs don't make a right' ... and she was absolutely correct. Though we may, indeed, not be fortunate enough for others to extend the same decency and civility towards us, we must strive to extend it to others nonetheless. Thanks for visiting, and contributing.

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