Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Wisdom of Faith Is Love


Are certain conditions necessary to be loved? That is the feelings that many have when it comes to receiving respect and love. Does a person have to be worthy of love before it is given. In the Light of the World column of the Catholic Times the priest writer gives us his thoughts on the subject.

Isn't the love of God, love of neighbor, and human dignity emphasized in social doctrine, recommending  we sincerely express: "we love you" and "you are precious!" What is the feeling we have when we hear those words? How often do we hear these words? Who are those who truly feel those words and address them to us? They seem improper and difficult to utter but they are the generative power of our existence.

On the other hand, what would our lives be like if love was determined in direct proportion to the success made by our efforts. "You don't deserve to be loved because, you got poor grades on this exam!" Life would not be the same. However the writer wonders if this is not the direction we are going in society.

In the Abridged Social Doctrine of the Church paragraph 526  has the expression: "to place the gospel message in the context of our social reality." What does this mean? Even if the Gospel cannot completely be in harmony with society, first, it means interpreting social reality with the Gospel, and secondly, it means not giving up the possibility that all people, made in the image of God, can be saved.

Have you seen the Squid Game? Netflix's 'Squid Game' became the first Korean drama to take the top spot in the US market, gaining worldwide popularity and a historical success. It boosted the potential of K-drama. Although violent and provocative, it is evaluated as a masterpiece with a unique setting and excellent acting. But at the same time, the work satirizes the gray areas of Korean society, such as competition supremacy, social inequality, and survival of the fittest. 

The huge prize money of 45.6 billion won, and the setting of dying if you lose in the game is obviously unrealistic, but while the writer was watching the drama, he was reminded of the socially underprivileged he meets. For whatever reason, many people who are driven to the fringes of society are drawn there because of gambling, addiction, or their own sins, but in many cases, their birth and circumstances are so terrible, they are forced to the edge of the cliff without any help. 

Even in the era of per capita income of 30,000 dollars, 13,799 suicides a year (2019), 2,000 industrial  accidents ending in death every year, non-regular jobs accounting for about 40% of the total, the poverty rate of the elderly in the 40% range, including the elderly, women, and the disabled. The poverty experienced by the socially underprivileged, such as foreign workers and low-educated and low-skilled neighbors, is not an entertainment drama, but a real life squid game in the world around us.

More than the drama: "Reality is more of a hell! Do you still trust people?" It's a provocative statement, but it's hard to deny. That's why when Jesus sent out his disciples, he said he would send them out like sheep among wolves (Matthew 10:16). There are pains and tears while saying that we are in solidarity together, we say we love each other, and that we should be a blessing to each other and acknowledge that it is a reality that is difficult to overcome with human strength alone. That is why the writer refers to grace with a sense of urgency. 

In the "Social Doctrine", it is said that grace is necessary to break the vicious cycle of frustration and violence, and the social doctrine itself has the effect of truth and grace. Faced with the harsh reality, what we need now is a belief in faith and grace. And it starts with love. The confession that love does not fade (1 Cor 16:8), is stronger than death (Song of Songs 8), and that love is God (1 John 4:16) is the confession that we have experienced change and restoration in the face of a painful reality for thousands of years. It is growth in wisdom.

Saying "I love you" is like the sigh of
A white wild rose blooming in a thorny bush.
Saying "I love you" is
A branch that is moved by a slight breeze
Saying "I love you" is a huge night sky that pours out countless stars at once.

A face that shines brightly even in darkness
A word that grows tall even in despair.
What an amazing and enchanting confession it is.
When we say we love each other. [With apologies]

"The Word Love" Enchanted Confession

 Sister Lee Hae-in (Claudia) Korean  Poet


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