Darkness cannot drive out darkness, but love can!
Recently I had the good fortune of vacationing in Australia’s Outback. Every evening when the cavalcade of stars appeared in the sky, everyone had the urge to raise their hands and pluck as many stars as they fancied. The stars seemed that close and bright. In fact, each stars’ brilliance competed with the moon’s rich glow. This entire nocturnal panorama was astounding.
However, the star attraction of each evening in southern sky is the dramatic sighting of the Southern Cross. Finding its easily recognized six stars, as seen encrusted on the Australian flag, is a cross which is every star-gazers’ delight. I was no exception. The more I gazed at its mesmerizing gleam the more I was drawn towards its light.
I thought of this bright shiny light as I heard the terrible news of the double mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. The Southern cross with its lustrous sheen and cross shaped stars recalled these powerful words: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Memorable words of Martin Luther King Jr. written after battling much hate in his lifetime. He never believed hate’s darkness would win.
Today we hear more frequently hatred’s numerous voices mingled often with the noisy bursts of multiple gunshots from Texas to Ohio, from schools to mosques, from synagogues to malls, and from country fairs to churches. All in the name of making America white again or some similar misunderstood purpose.
Don’t they know that their hate only darkens America, stains America, breaks down America and spreads divisiveness? Jesus walked this earth to teach us this, Martin Luther King Jr. died showing us this, and every follower of Jesus Christ is asked to believe this. That’s why Jesus, savior of our created world, gives his fundamental mandate to make creation prosper: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” These shooters under the cover of hate’s darkness only leave more darkness in their wake.
These misguided mass shooters wielding multiple firing guns simply smother Jesus’ words to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. They prolong hate. We who believe in Jesus’ message have to help Jesus be heard. We need to speak Jesus’ message more clearly and help smother the noise rapidly firing guns make, while seeking leaders who believe deeply “That darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Everything through love, and nothing through fear.
-St. Francis de Sales
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