Friday, December 14, 2018
Am I ready? I probably whine and worry too much, but the author of the above is correct: that the non-Christian world would dislike Christians like me should be expected. We were told to expect it, after all, and now that I think about it, this dislike is no more than the first reaction to a massive challenge against how the non-Christian world thinks. Since that challenge is so radical, i.e., the gospel, then of course the reaction would be one of deep suspicion and a lot of opposition. Something worth noting is that this should not have been necessary in previously Christian societies, but that ball was dropped and so here we are.
On a personal note, I have some experience in the challenge of a cross and, thankfully, embracing it. I went from asking for the cross to be taken away to, finally, embracing that it is a necessary burden for Love's sake. Not that the cross itself is the end-all. It simply means that struggle that comes with striving for something truly important. For me, it was for my loved ones, and thankfully, something I read about awhile back finally got through my thick skull: abandoning my cross - my post - meant that people I love would have to carry it for me, more than their share.
So it seems to me, reading the above article, that we cannot let fear of opposition - and any desire to fit in - deter us from that commission to evangelize the world. After all, when we stop preaching the gospel, others preach their own doctrines, which have brought and continues to bring sorrow and disaster to the world around us, even inside our own homes to our families.
We may not live long enough to see the end result of our evangelization, but we can plainly see the result of our lack of evangelization. So persecuted or not, whether softly or at the point of a knife, we can't drop the ball. We've let this madness go on for so long already. The world needs Christ. There is no relief from the evil and madness otherwise.
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Pope St. Leo the Great, writing about St. Peter healing the lame (Acts 3:6), notes how, healing the man's legs, he also, by the power of God, and only by the power of God, healed the hearts of the multitude who then received the gift of Faith. Earlier I pondered at the idea what this gift of supernatural Faith was for. Why do I pray for an increase in Faith? For many months I prayed for the power to move the mountains in my life. But it occurred to me today to dig deeper. What do the Scriptures say? We live by Faith.
To be broken-hearted is like dying slowly. There is in it a keen feeling of asphyxiation, suffocating in anguish and despair. Faith in God lifts that up and off because there is Someone who saves, Someone who cares enough to journey with us through our sorrows and consoles us with a better tomorrow. This is also why the compassion of Christians, walking beside the downtrodden, is crucial, because it delivers the compassion of God with that human dimension in space and time. Yes, Jesus is the Son of Man, and that indeed is who we Christians are.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
I once heard a magnificent talk given by Bishop Robert Baron where he points out the irresistible power of the Church, promised by Jesus at Caesarea Philippi: "and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it." And Bishop Baron points out that gates do not attack, so this is not about the Church being impregnable, but rather it is the Church that marches onward, and the gates of Hades must give way.
How much marching have we been doing, each of us, in or families, in our parishes and schools, in society? For me, not much.
From Haggai 1:1-2:9
The Lord of Hosts says this: Reflect carefully how things have gone for you. The abundance you expected proved to be little. When you brought the harvest in, my breath spoilt it. And why? – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks. Because while my House lies in ruins you are busy with your own, each one of you.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Keeping in mind that love does not refer here to an emotion, but an active will to the good of the other, Christian charity (caritas, love, aggape) becomes they most potent form of destroying one's enemies by making them enemies no more. This is in keeping with how Christ exceedingly fulfills the old Law in every way, and God's way is not our way.
Saint Hilary (c.315-367), Bishop of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church
On Matthew, IV, 27
“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”
“You have learnt what is said: Love your neighbor and hate your enemy…” In fact the Law required love of neighbor but allowed freedom to hate one’s enemy. Faith demands that we love our enemies. By means of a universal feeling of charity it breaks the movements of violence in man’s spirit, not just by restraining its vengeful anger but even more by pacifying it to the point of making us love those in the wrong. To love those who love you belongs to the pagan and we all have an affection for those who show it to us themselves. So Christ is calling us to live as children of God and imitate Him who, through the coming of his Christ, gives sun and rain to the good and the guilty alike in the sacraments of baptism and the Spirit. In this way he forms us according to the perfect life by means of this bond of kindness to all by calling us to imitate a heavenly Father who is perfect.
Thursday, May 31, 2018
After the disastrous but salt unsurprising results from the Irish referendum on protecting the unborn (the answer was apparently "No."), my mind keeps turning to the question of where we go from here. Wiser heads than mine have answers, if not matching orders, e.g., evangelize like hobbits would. Or by domestic church. The practical reality though cannot exclude other means: in schools and in parishes.