“Say but the word . . . ”
Words are very powerful. In the beginning, God created everything by just speaking the words. “Let there be light!” Man gets to own this creation by naming things and events with words. He experiences the beauty and goodness of creation. He puts what he experiences into words and the experiences are forever in his mind and memory.
A priest says the words of consecration and ordinary bread and wine become the body and blood of my Savior. I fervently believe this truth. In the fullness of time, the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. Today, His words are my strength in times of weakness. They are my source of comfort in times of sorrow.
A man feels the stirrings in his heart and says “I am woman!” and he is in every respect a woman but in his body. And today she is happy as the gay community attains and celebrates a new and higher level of recognition and equality. I rejoice at this new level of human consciousness and acceptance. Words are again made a reality. But there are also worrying words at the back of my mind. There are still a number of things about this new development that I do not understand.
A woman declares “I am a black person.” She is physically and genetically a white person. Do her words change the reality of her race? She has been living and accepted as a black person by most in her community. If I truly believe in the power of words, I should believe what she is saying. But what happens now to truth? Truth is the congruence of words to reality.
Words are powerful but they can also be the source of confusion, dissemblance and even of outright lies. In prayerful reflection, I struggle with these questions and listen for the words of enlightenment from the Lord.