Today we remember the appalling sight of the US Capitol being attacked by angry hordes. January 6 of last year was the culmination of an alternate reality and false information emanating from one man’s ego, abetted by his enablers, spread by a section of the media and absorbed by a large part of our citizenry. It demonstrated the dangerous power of leadership. It clarified how far we have been separated, how fragile our democracy is, and how easily we can be manipulated. And it has continued to be played out against a Congressional backdrop of integrity sacrificed to ambition. It is sobering and it is frightening. Do we realize yet the dangerous path we are on? Is this what we want our nation to be? It is time for reality and accountability. We no longer have the luxury to mince words or ignore evil. Truth is truth and those who lie promote lies and it makes a vital difference. It is time to think, to listen, to choose and to change. It is time to leave behind complacency and be part of honesty and healing. To do otherwise is perilous. May the anniversary of those dangerous and depressing events finally move us to open our eyes and choose to end this destructive path threatening our existence as a democratic nation.
Clara Santoro, CSJ
May God bless and heal America.
Soberly reflect on the events of January 6, 2021. Assess them honestly. Have you considered their implications for the future? Where are you in this? What can you do to make a positive contribution? With whom can you join?
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
1 Corinthians 1:10
People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.
It is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good. Thus will they be able to marshal the moral resources needed to face the demands of the present, and to pass on to coming generations a society of authentic justice, solidarity and peace.
Today is a reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile and to preserve it requires people of good will, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to the pursuit of power or the personal interest, pursuits of their own selfish interest at any cost, but of the common good.
This is a national tragedy and is not who we are as a nation.
Let us put an end to our self-inflicted wounds. Let us remember that our national unity is our most priceless asset.
Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted.
We are all one – or at least we should be – and it is our job, our duty, and our great challenge to fight the voices of division and seek the salve of reconciliation.
In this decisive hour of our national history, union means life and division means death.
It’s when we care for each other – choosing inclusion and love over division and hatred – that this great country is at its greatest.
A healthy democracy requires a decent society; it requires that we are honorable, generous, tolerant and respectful.
Charles W. Pickering
My father once told me that American democracy is a people’s democracy at heart, and that it therefore can be as great as the American people, or as fallible. It depends on all of us. But our system is more fragile than we know. To sustain it, we must always cherish the ideals on which it was founded, remain vigilant against the dark forces that threaten it, and actively engage in the process of making it work.