Monday, November 07, 2022

From Fr Frank

I just can’t get used to my glasses with progressive lenses. I’m used to bi-focal lenses, the ones that have the clear line towards the bottom of the lens.
Below the line,  one reads;  above the line, one sees distance clearly. Progressive lenses have no line, not two separate fields of vision,  but one lens,  with numerous, embedded infractions allowing one to see at varying distances, from reading,  to far distance. You just have to point your field of vision in different angles to see clearly. No line, indicating that you are old.

As we prepare to vote, or have already voted, our political system is much like my tried and true bifocal lenses: a line is clearly drawn and we see through one field of vision or a second field of vision. Nothing else. Anything that is “bi,” bifocal, bicoastal, binary,  bi-partisan, bilateral, etc., compels us to “either or” ways of thinking. Most of our politicians, and religious leaders, want us to think in these limiting ways.

Perhaps we can learn from the progressive lens, to seeing life and humanity through various angles of vision. Eliminating the line means training the eyes to “see” differently. When we eliminate the many “lines” that divide us, we start to “see” things in new ways.

We need gospel lens to see life and each other as more complex and mystery filled than categories of separation. When Jesus healed on the sabbath, he wasn’t being a rebel or a liberal, but a person of mercy and compassion. He saw life… sees us… sees YOU through the lens  of love, the lens mercy, the lens of joy, the lens of sadness, the lens of hope. Jesus was a traditional Jew following the traditions of his religion, to a point. Jesus knew the fine art of nuance.

Life is rarely clean cut, black and white, this or that, but a rich blend of many perspectives.  We all need to adjust our politizad eyes to seeing from different angles and different perspectives.  Like Jesus.

I still like my bifocals… but I’m trying to readjust to this new “progressive” vision. I’m writing this with the progressive lenses, and getting a headache!!  No one said it’s easy.