The architects of a new world order often speak of a global village. Hillary Clinton tells us that it takes a village to raise a child. Are they speaking of the same village?
If there is a benevolent global village then where is it and why is so much of humanity exiled from it? If the world is so "connected" — as we are continually being told by the high-tech gurus and new-age visionaries — then why do so many people feel cut off from meaningful relationships?
In Africa we find countless orphans whose parents died from AIDS, other diseases or war. They wander the parched landscape, yet never find this village that is apparently so global.
If it takes a village to raise a child, where is it when the world's unloved children so desperately need it? They cry out for love yet receive none. They cry out from hunger yet go to bed unfed, they shiver throughout the nights for want of a blanket but remain uncovered and in a huddle waiting for death from starvation and neglect resulting mostly from lack of love.
They need the love of a real family, not the empty promises of a mythical village.
The cruel reality is that the secular vision of a global village does not exist — except in the minds of comfortable, well-fed people, when they happen to feel benevolent or sentimental.
The global village is a myth. It is a myth because the brotherhood of man is impossible without the Fatherhood of God. Human benevolence that depends on feelings is a cheap and unreliable benevolence.
Feelings are unstable: They change based upon our mood or who we've been talking to, the amount of sleep we've had or even something as minor as indigestion. People can become uncharitable (or vicious) over another driver who cuts them off on a road or is driving too slow.
Our Lord told us that evil comes out of the human heart (Matthew 15.19; Mark 7.21). The same mouth that is capable of blessing others is also capable of cursing them. St. Paul said, "the sinful mind is hostile to God, It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do it" (Romans 8.7).
In the previous chapter of Romans, he said, "For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want." Even in a spiritual giant like St. Paul, his carnal nature reigned without the presence of Christ to set him free from his sinful nature. It's true for all humanity.
I readily accept the small measure of goodness in my disposition but loathe to admit my badness.
If you say to me, "You are such a kind, gracious and loving man," I will be inclined to feign humility and thank you in agreement.
If, however, you accuse me of being harsh, callous or peevish, I'm apt to respond by blaming my bad behaviour on my disability, pain or a host of other excuses.
I probably will not take responsibility by saying, "You're right. I'm a nasty man. It's my deplorable nature." But if I were to be honest, that's exactly what I should say.
The Lord told Jeremiah that the human heart is desperately wicked. (I don't know about your heart, but mine is.) Only through Christ am I capable of any lasting good.
Everyone needs a touch of God's love to cool and tame wicked thoughts of evil tendencies in their hearts - and subsequent actions (or inactions). Only through God's grace can human hearts change. Once this happens and we begin to live for Christ rather than ourselves, great things can happen.
As our love for Christ deepens and matures, we will naturally begin to ache with compassion for other people, because Christ dwells in us and his heart aches with compassion for a lost and hurting world. This realization intensifies our desire to reflect Christ's love to those around us.
No longer must we rely on our own unstable and unreliable benevolences to serve other people, the Holy Spirit will convict us and keep a flame of compassion and commitment burning to continually serve our Lord.
The global village may not exist but I know the human family does and God is its Father. Let us go into the world to serve both.