Left, Right, and Centre

Have you noticed how the world is divided into left, right and centre? Those who are on the right of the political spectrum spit the word ‘leftist’ whenever they wish to disapprove of something (I’ve even heard it used of cooking!); those on the political left tend to prefer ‘fascist’ or, in this country, ‘Tory’, to express deep, inner loathing of something or someone. Most of the time what provokes their ire has nothing to do with politics as such, which leaves old-fashioned centrists bemused, because they are apparently disliked by everyone as lily-livered wimps. Applied to the Church, the preferred terms are ‘traditionalist’ and ‘liberal’, which leaves those of us who prefer just to call ourselves Catholics in an awkward position, because we clearly have no real identity — save for the one that matters, in Christo. I say that, not to be ‘smart’ or score a point, but because I believe it to be true. So much of daily life has become a battleground, but not a battleground of ideas and arguments, but of slogans and sound-bites. That is dangerous because we can end up failing to examine what lies behind the words and may even find ourselves advocating views we do not genuinely hold.

Today, in Britain, we face a crisis of government with the resignation of David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, and all that flows from his decision. The pundits are already busy and Social Media will soon be awash with accusations and counter-accusations. I shall be taking a day offline, as I do from time to time, but today with a particular purpose in mind. I believe we need to pray for wisdom and right judgement, and I know I can’t do that if I am tapping into other people’s anger and abuse all the time (it comes up unbidden on my Twitter stream, for example). Perhaps you will join me: not in a total fast, perhaps, but in setting aside a definite time when you will pray for the Holy Spirit to inform our politicians’ decisions, and for them to be free of the left, right and centre stranglehold on thinking that has become characteristic of our age.


10 thoughts on “Left, Right, and Centre”

  1. What a positive suggestion. As we are currently in the Alps a few moments what an ideal place to pray for the Spirit’s guidance.

  2. ‘Battleground’?- searching for this article I discovered my new internet browser asks me to ‘keep’ or ‘kill’ pages.

  3. yes… and, when a significant portion of the “right”, is doing significant violence to both people and the planet (in many cases around the world, at the behest of Putin and company), we must confront that directly and strongly – and quickly; we slide further down the slope, every day.

    • You will find many people who will argue that the ‘left’ is doing just the same. I’m sorry you were not prepared to accept my blog post as a call to prayer but chose, rather, to to use it as a vehicle for the expression of your own political views.

      • With respect: A call to prayer was exactly my understanding of your post – and we have responsibilities in addition to that.

  4. Dear Sister

    Thankyou for your invitation to join you in prayer for our Government – for wisdom. We are setting aside time right now to do so

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