Our country is spiritually sick. I’ve especially noticed it since I assumed leadership of a parish in West Philadelphia last year. Back then, the embers were not yet cool following the riots that had engulfed the city in the summer. Since that time, I’ve seen political polarization and pathetic feuds continue to isolate us and affect our national mood.

We are no longer formed in basic virtues. Two recent experiences made this clear to me. The first happened recently. As I was taking an afternoon walk through the neighborhood, I overheard two people conversing. One said gleefully, “Lindsey Graham has the virus.” The other looked around to see if anyone was watching, then pumped her fist in the air.

In the middle of supposedly progressive and tolerant West Philadelphia, two people were celebrating the news that a sitting U.S. senator had contracted a virus. One cannot help but think of Seamus Heaney’s poem about “open minds as open as a trap.” …

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