During the season of Lent, we are called to renew our relationship with God through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as we prepare to celebrate the Passion, death, and Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This year, we ask you to join the CatholicTV Webathon Novena by dedicating a portion of your prayer to the New Evangelization. We will pray a novena as we seek to strengthen our mission of evangelization through television.
Today, the final day of our novena, is the International Day for Tolerance. Tolerance for others who think or act differently than we do is certainly an important step toward living in peace with one another. As we continue to heal from any spiritual ills we have endured, tolerance is a good thing to strive for.
It is not, however, a stopping point. More than simply tolerating one another, we are called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is a goal for which we must never stop working.
One of the hardest things in life can be standing with (or, even more so, standing up for) those with whom we fiercely disagree. Yet Jesus said, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
Disagreeing with a person does not make your opponent any less human. Even if someone is severely misguided or malicious in their opinions and actions, that person is still a human being and a child of God. As Catholics, we believe that, by God’s grace, redemption is possible for such a person.
If you were to think of a single word to describe this election cycle, that word probably would not be “gentle.” In fact, it would probably be something a lot closer to its opposite. But elections and difference of opinion do not inherently lack gentleness. It is in our approach to conflict that we find a place for gentleness to rest.