Armodoxy for Today: Dreams of the Heart
The song played over the car radio speakers, and I reminisced about the first time I heard this tune. It was a song about reminiscing from a time when I had no need for such sentimental thoughts. But today, I was right in the grove: “Those were the Days” performed by Mary Hopkin. The song deals with reminiscence of both youth and romantic idealism: “Oh, my friend, we’re older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same… Those were the Days…”she sings.
There is much to reminisce on this 11th day of September, especially when we remember our world, pre-9/11. Yes, those were the days: I recall a naïve world of sorts. But even more, I ponder why we continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. Is it because we’ve grown older and yet no wiser? Is it really because our dreams have stayed the same?
Albert Einstein brought it down to a definition of insanity. He said doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results was insane. Yes, that is “getting older but no wiser” to the nth degree. It is insanity. But we continue to opt for the same-old-same-old. We believe politicians, put our trust on material wealth, feel secure with weapons of destruction and believe in superstitious notions of lucky charms and pre-planned destiny. Why? Why have we grown older but no wiser? Is it because our dreams have stayed the same?
Jesus says “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Luke 5:36-38)
The Christian message is a radical departure from anything else. Why else do we call the entrance into the Christian life, as a new birth? We are born anew from the womb of the Church – the Holy Font of Baptism – and thus enter a new life. Our new life cannot be put into the old holding tank. New life demands that we assess our dreams and evaluate them in the context of our new life. There will be cases where the dreams may be different and at times our dreams may remain the same. However, what does change when we encounter Christ, is a change of heart. Within that changed heart, the place of our dreams will guide us to seek solutions not without, but within. After all, we all know that the first step to actualize a dream is to wake up.
9/11 was a terror attack on the United States. It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last. Terror is the means by which humans are controlled in places such as Artsakh, as well as in the Congo, Sudan, Central America, and even on the streets of America.
Let us pray the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.