'The US cannot by force impose the American way of life on Islamic societies, as democracy on the basis of secularism would not work (in the Islamic world)...Islam is not just a decoration in our lives, contrary to the West where the Vatican is decoration,'Ali Larijani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, said in a meeting with religious scholars in Tehran.
Unfortunately, Larijani's criticism is not entirely without merit. Due to the mass apostasy from the Christian Faith in the West, the Vatican and more importantly the Church, has become no more than an old discarded decoration and a vestige of the past. Only when our faith becomes more than mere decoration, will our eyes be opened to the devastation that Islam poses to our civilization.
Aramis wonders, how many, oh how many of us, simply wear our Christian faith as decorations keeping it on our shirt sleeves, not ever risking a chance that it would seep into our hardened hearts, turning them into soft and pliable instruments of Christ?
Seems to me that a priority among Christians should be the deepening of our faith and a prime source for this journey would be to become a student of Pope Benedict XVI. Another way is to become involved in the Emmaus Road Initiative with Gil Bailie. Gil so aptly wrote about the project:
Pope Benedict XVI has written of the need "to reinvest with some concrete and particular meaning theological statements about the uniqueness and the absolute value of Christianity." Pope Benedict has also pointed the way to accomplishing this by suggesting that a collaboration between theology and anthropology can lead to "the truly most exciting part of Christian faith." The Emmaus Road Initiative is an effort to rediscover this excitement by drawing on René Girard's extraordinary anthropological insight into Christian uniqueness and on the rich theological tradition to which Girard's work makes an invaluable contribution.Today we honor St. Bartholomew and in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, "we can say that despite the scarcity of information about him, St Bartholomew stands before us to tell us that attachment to Jesus can also be lived and witnessed to without performing sensational deeds. Jesus himself, to whom each one of us is called to dedicate his or her own life and death, is and remains extraordinary."
Don't so much worry about the splinter in the other's eye, but get to the removal of the log from our own eye - the log which weakens our attachment to Christ - so that like Bartholomew we may forever be decreasing so that Christ might increase, in our lives as well as in the lives of others.