Almost 50 years ago, when I went to college, it was the heyday of the Folk Mass. Out with organs, in with guitars! Out with “Blessed Be the Tie” and “The Old Rugged Cross”, in with “Kumbaya” and “Let Us Break Bread Together”.
A couple of lines especially of one song popular in the Folk era, “They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love” has stuck with me over the years, and is particularly poignant to me these days:
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love…
One of the sayings at Christian retreats, which has almost become a cliché is: If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict?
I don’t mean for this blog to become preachy on religion, but if I, and some of the readers, profess to be Christians, we need to come to grips with the reality that intolerance is incompatible with the teachings of Jesus.
Another cliché of Christianity holds that when you sing, you pray twice. I don’t pray as often or as fervently as I should – I suspect I am not alone there – but when I do, it’s for strength and improvement. As Paul has written, the good that I should do, I do not.
But we continue to seek strength and improvement for ourselves. We ask to see the person whose dignity must be guarded and pride saved.
We ask for the discernment to realize, truly, who is my neighbor.
We pray twice to “guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.”
 Yes, I know, it should be each one’s pride, but the song was written in the 60’s….