Today is the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe, priest and martyr, who gave his life for another in Auschwitz. He is quoted with saying "the most deadly poison of our time is indifference". He gave his life for another to fight against that evil, and lived out the verse “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” - John 15:13 .
His quote reminds me of another quote by a man who lived through that time period, and then spent his life fighting against evil. "Indifference to me, is the epitome of all evil." Elie Wiesel.
Indifference, definedby the dictionary as: lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.
Indifference from action. What stops us from acting? Do we not care? I don't think so. I think we care. But I think we give into our fear and comfort and rationalize 'no rocking the boat' for our inaction.
We are a people who live in fear, who live in the fear of that which we may not understand or be willing to understand, and live in fear of being uncomfortable.
When we act in fear, we act in opposition of God, who is love.
When we act in fear, we say that we are unwilling to live boldly for God, we are unwilling to do the work to understand who we deem as other.
When we are indifferent, we think we have an excuse from blame. When we are indifferent, when we don't act, we don't think we can be held accountable for our inactions. When we don't act, we become passive bystanders to evil and hatred, and then we wonder in shock how this could have happened.
When we are indifferent, we fail to see the stick in our own eye, our own contribution to the problem.
If we are to be a people who love, we must do so as God calls us to Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:18
In light of recent events, if we claim we condemn hatred and bigotry, let us start acting like we do and start taking responsibility for the part we play, and realize that inaction and indifference is just as evil as action itself.
Start small, and act in your own life and community. Be not afraid to call out hatred and lies in your own life, your own family, your own friends, even if it 'rocks the boat' and even if you are terrified in doing so. That's what I am going to try and do. To not be a passive bystander to letting hatred spread. Do I know how to do this? No. But God calls us to love, so love is where it has to start.
When we act out of fear, fear wins. If we act our of love and speak truth, love will win.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.