Friday, March 15, 2013

The Rotunda, Minnesota's 3rd Place

Perhaps one use of the blog format is to serve as a public confessional. The Catholics have a new pontiff this week and this leaves me wondering about what his influence will be on our world.  Although I was baptized Catholic, I was not raised as one except perhaps in a second hand way.  By that I mean that my mother was Catholic and was excommunicated upon her divorce; so like the second hand smoke I inhaled when my mother smoked cigarettes, I was infused with her religious or moral compass just by being in her presence.

Pope Francis the first has a unique opportunity and global influence and the Catholics are not the only ones with hopes and expectations that come with this major changing of the guard. Our elected world leaders seem to have trouble with leading according to a big moral picture and frame their decisions based upon the high alter of "the Economy". Many leaders refer to a religious motivation for their actions and often gain support because of these claims.  In all fairness, our politicians have many obstacles to bring about the changes they envision and they are not sequestered in marble towers studying and meditating without the daily survival requirements of family life in the trenches of the secular world.

After years of visiting Washington Square park I only learned this past weekend that a verse taken from the family Coat of Arms of George Washington was used on the Washington Arch in Washington Square park. In the sculpture Washington is flanked by a figure of Peace on one side and Justice on the other, and in the open book held by Justice is the latin phrase 'Exitus acts probat' translated in English to mean ' the outcome justifies the deed'. Perhaps some will say, yup, that's where the rubber meets the road, the difference between idealists and realists or the difference between business and elected officials versus spiritual leaders, but I wonder.  Is that the motto we really want held aloft on our monument to our 1st President's achievements?

So back to my 3rd place blog, Washington Square park is a 3rd place for so many but how many have wondered what that phrase means to them and to all of us when it comes to our leadership?  I confess that I have grown impatient with the belief that the elected leaders or for that matter religious leaders will do what is right based upon their own scholarly research and meditation. My faith is messier to be sure, but I feel called to exert my influence and education and years of reflection and meditation upon our leaders who get their moral authority from we humble citizens and our laws which thankfully can be changed as we humans grow and shape the world we want to inhabit together.  So therefore, I have been visiting our State Capital and it's beautiful Rotunda and the offices that flank it in order to claim our rightful 3rd place in the halls of power. Amen.