What a month it has been! From Charlottesville, Virginia, to Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we have seen two very different snapshots of America.
In Charlottesville we saw Neo-Nazis, members of the KKK and other white supremacist groups carrying clubs and torches down the streets of an American city in a show of force that ultimately led to the death of a woman who was mowed down by a vehicle-turned weapon.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastating destruction, we witnessed a very different scene. Ordinary Americans risked their lives to rescue people in nursing homes, hospitals and those stranded for hours on roof tops. A citizens’ flotilla of fishing boats, canoes, air mattresses and anything else that would float was unleashed. Contributions of food, water and money are pouring in from all parts of the country in a flood of compassion and generosity every bit as big, or bigger, than the waters that inundated so many Texan communities.
These two very contrasting pictures of American life remind me of the Native American tale of the two wolves. It gives us food for thought.
An old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside of me,” he told the little boy. “It is a terrible fight between two hungry wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment and ego.”
“The other,” he continued, “is good – he is joy, peace, love, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you and inside you and every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The wise, old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Which one will we feed?
See you at Mass!