by Jon Dephouse
Author Christopher Hale used this phrase in writing about Pope Francis and Lent. Francis describes a phenomenon he calls the globalization of indifference.
“Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.”
He goes on to say, “I distrust any act of charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.”
I appreciate Pope Francis’ outward focus to Lent, and maybe even naming the dualism of “outward/inward” is a mirror to the globalization of indifference that he describes. The Narrow Road is Gritty, but it isn’t Sterile. Maybe said another way: stepping out of self into care for others is the movement towards God, and it hurts, but it won’t be dull or un-interesting. Even in this last line, God help me out of my own fear, self-protection and self-interest into the recklessness of self-giving love.