The Wine That Dazes...

Featured below is an outstanding reflection by our General Superior, Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, on "the wine that dazes us."

I think we can all agree that our country seems to be paralyzed in so many areas. What is really going on? Sr. Anne explains the crisis--

May God give us keen insight and awaken our sleeping hearts as this election draws near.

Pass this on to everyone you know--

The Wine That Dazes Us

Recently, while speaking with a dear friend, I found myself sharing some of my personal experiences of growing up during the 60’s and 70’s.  I lived my grade school, high school and college, during the great movements and turmoil of that time:  the civil rights movement with its urban riots,  massive and active anti-war, anti-establishment activity especially on the campuses, women’s liberation, changes in the Church with Vatican II and shortly thereafter, the exodus of thousands of Priests and Sisters from their vocations.  I vividly recall the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, from the impressionable and uncomprehending  perspective of youth.  

My friend asked me what I thought, out of all that, had had the greatest impact on our culture, our society today.  While there is a case to be made for the progress we’ve made in civil rights, and while I believe the Church  has been tremendously blessed by Vatican II yet is also still reeling from the effect of the thousands who left their vocations, I responded without hesitation that the sexual revolution, to my mind, has had the greatest impact on where we are today. 

Shortly after this conversation, I was praying the Divine Office and was particularly struck by Psalm 60.  Psalm 60 speaks about what happens when God’s people are unfaithful.  In Vs. 5, it says:

“You have inflicted hardships on your people

        and made us drink a wine that dazed us.”

But then it says: 


“You have given those who fear you a sign

To flee from the enemy’s bow.”

I was moved to ask what is the wine that dazes us?  In my prayer, it clearly seemed to me that the wine we tasted in the sexual revolution was the wine of sexual permissiveness.  And now we crave this wine.  We, as a people, have become addicted to this wine and over these last decades have brewed some very potent varieties of it.  Some are so potent that they say one taste (pornography comes to mind), immediately hooks you. 

In the space of a relatively short time, we have become like the chronic alcoholic who rationalizes his use and denies the devastation and destruction all around him, because he wants free and unfettered access.  Never mind that marriages and families are destroyed, babies aborted, children traumatized and stripped of their innocence.  Never mind that violence against women increases, along with every other imaginable form of degradation and perversion.  Never mind that disease, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, can be directly traced to the devastating effects of this addiction.  We just have to have it.  We tell ourselves this makes us free, adult, normal, uninhibited.  Exactly what the alcoholic says. 

Our denial with regard to what we are drinking, is so strong now, that we are blind to our own enslavement, except when the despair this creates in us sometimes seeps through to the surface.  We can no longer help ourselves.  And because we do not want to be judged, we try to convince everyone else this is a good thing.  “Try it, you’ll like it.”  Thus have we exported the wine of our own lewdness to the nations, or as the book of Revelation puts it:  the “maddening wine of her adulteries.”   (Aren’t we the biggest exporter of pornography in the world?)

This is one addiction that also helps paralyze this country, that makes it passive, indifferent in the face of the grave moral challenges we face.  It’s as though people are collectively saying:  “As long as you leave me free to do what I want, go ahead and do whatever you want.”  That seems to be the thinking of so many.  It accounts for the apathy that exists in place of a vigorous defense of justice and right and all that is good, truly good.  How can there be moral indignation in a people who are not living moral lives?  Could this be why so many people are silent in the face of the gross attacks on human life and dignity that exist in our world today? 

Psalm 60 says that God gives those who fear Him a sign to flee from the enemy’s bow.  Perhaps one sign can be found in the Wedding Feast of Cana.

Jesus wants to give us a different kind of wine, the wine from this wedding feast.   This wine is given to those who are rightly ordered in the gift of their sexuality and who celebrate it in the context in which it was given to us by Our Heavenly Father.  This wine, the best wine, fills us with love for life, excitement at the promise it holds, joy in the divine love it expresses.   It is a wine which is available to all, and which can be had by following Our Lady’s counsel:  “Do whatever He tells you.” 

This is the wine the world truly craves, the wine we were created to drink freely.  This is the wine that will not enslave but will bring all of us into the true freedom of the sons and daughters of God.  May the Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady heal us and bring us to be worthy to receive this wine.

Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT


Jim said…
Thank you Sr Anne!!

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