I have a feeling that there are going to be a lot of relieved people this time next year and more than a few bummed. This is 2012, you know, the year the whole shooting match is supposed to go up in a glorious frenzy of mayhem and destruction. Maybe it will be some Mayan doodah (even though they are saying not so much), maybe it will be Planet X (I cannot remember the actual name of this destroyer planet..it sounds like a Star Trek character that Kirk tries to hit on), maybe it will be a financial meltdown (a little more true to the situation), or maybe God is just going to have a cosmic fit, decrying just how much of a mess we have made of things. Likely answer is will be screaming about the election still next year, with more than a few ready to cue up REM's "It the End of the World as We Know It" because their guy was cheated out of a win. Likely we will still be wondering at what juncture we can collapse the economy. I have a feeling that there are a lot of people who just want it to end...with them on the winning side.
I sense there are a lot of tired people out there. The news has become an exercise in propaganda that takes a break from schilling for whatever candidate they like long enough to let us know of the murder,the natural disasters, and to let us in on whatever the heck the radicals Muslims are outlawing this week. We see the economy in that drunken state of a partier who has a lot of New Year's Eve and will have a really obnoxious hangover tomorrow. We see our own country breaking down along so many ethno/gender/orientation/economic fault lines that the melting pot look more like the 1968 DNC convention rather than the smarmy 70's Coke commercial in which we wanted to play vocal coach to the world. Were the Statue of Liberty made today...well she would be giving a New York City Peace Sign to her own citizens. We are seemingly told to choose between the self-indulgent envy ridden OWS crowd and the greedy too much is not enough unrestricted capitalists. The entertainment industry is so absolutely banal and hyper-sexualized (and mind you pumping their 'art' into our homes and ears at record paces) that it is only a matter of time when we will have shows that make 2 and half men look like Sesame Street. What sane person wouldn't want to see this all crash down?!
Me? No. I mean, do not get me wrong. I would like to see us get along. I would like to see us live within our means and be content with simplicity. I would like to see respect restored to human sexuality. I would like to see and hear aesthetically pleasing music and art. I would like to see people to quit sweating the small stuff and learn how to slow down and just be quiet for a while. I would like the triumph of beauty and grace to trump the ugliness and banality of this mass produced consumer world. Call me a naive fool, but I think this is all possible! Why? Because of my Catholic Faith. I know that God loves his creation so much so that He sends His Son as one of us (which is why we celebrate Christmas). I know that because God loves us we cannot go so far as to be at the point of no return. That people can be made better by God's grace gets me up in the morning. It gets me into the pulpit and education programs. It drives my vision of the future. So I do not give up nor do I want to.
2012 will come and go. The question is will we learn anything? Will we finally learn that material goods do not guarantee happiness? Will we learn that debasing the human person never leads anywhere good? Will we learn to see what draws together in common and not focus on the nitpicking differences we have? Some will, most won't. But such things keep me in a job:) So there you go...no Mayan calender or planet X or financial collapse will save us from having to be better people. Take the chance now to be the person God created you to be and to be the best version of that person you can be. God gives us the help...why not use it. Better to face the future with hope than to await a boogeyman who will save us from having to change. A Happy 2012 to you all!