I haven’t been blogging recently because I’ve been sort of overwhelmed by the state of the world, the worries of the financial crisis with the threat of civil unrest and possible war. Combined with this I have been discouraged by the complacency and corruption of Christians in the face of evil. We are all so attached to the things of this world–we love money, we love other people wrongly, we love ourselves. If only we could learn proper detachment.
Holy Scripture, with which the experience of the ages is in agreement, teaches the human family that human progress, though it is a great blessing for man, brings with it a great temptation. When the scale of values is disturbed and evil becomes mixed with good, individuals and groups consider only their own interests, not those of others.
The result is that the world is not yet a home of true brotherhood, while the increased power of mankind already threatens to destroy the human race itself.
If it is asked how this unhappy state of affairs can be set right, Christians state their belief that all human activity, in daily jeopardy through pride and inordinate self-love, is to find its purification and its perfection in the cross and resurrection of Christ.
Man, redeemed by Christ and made a new creation in the Holy Spirit, can and must love the very things created by God. For he receives them from God, and sees and reveres them as coming from the hand of God,
As he gives thanks for them to his Benefactor, and uses and enjoys them in a spirit of poverty and freedom, he enters into true possession of the world, as one having nothing and possessing all things. For “all things are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
Come, Lord Jesus, take away scandals from your Kingdom, which is my soul, and reign there, You who alone have the right. For greediness comes to claim a throne within me; haughtiness and self-assertion would rule over me; pride would be my king; lust says “I will reign”; ambition, detraction, envy and anger struggle within me for the mastery. I resist as far as I am able; I struggle according as help is given me; I call on my Lord, Jesus; for His sake I defend myself, since I acknowledge myself as wholly His possession. He is my God, Him I proclaim my Lord; I have no other king than my Lord Jesus Christ. Come then, O Lord, and disperse these enemies by Your power, and You shall reign in me, for You are my king and my God. Amen. Prayer of St. Bernard (helps me sometimes to stay focused…)
And concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out,“Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore,only a remnant will be saved.” Romans 9:27Throughout the earth the story is the same—only a remnant is left,like the stray olives left on the tree or the few grapes left on the vine after harvest. Isaiah 24:13Father, enter by the narrow gate, and what few you can get your arms around, take with you.
Father, I’ve almost finished reading The Silmarillion and can’t describe how intensely helpful it has been as the darkness increases, especially (the most discouraging as you say) the darkness/blindness increasing in the hearts, the members of the Church (Apostasy).I don’t know if you’ve read it or not, but I recommend it to any and all who get frustrated with the emotive ideological onslaught that pretends to be on the defense but is in fact nothing more than over-extended hand-grabs, in various forms, and slavish compromise.The parallels to be found in the book are very illuminating, encouraging and resonant.
I don’t really have any useful advice on correct love and use of people,places and things,having personally failed brilliantly in all these areas myself. I will however, offer my Rosary today for your intentions,and for the perseverance in His Strength, of all Priests.
>As he gives thanks for them to his Benefactor…<Sometimes it is very small things that we can do, like giving thanks to our God and even accepting all these things as passing through His good hands. We choose to find joy in Him despite the darkness that surrounds, despite the suffering we see and experienc. We do not deny it, but we turn our face to bask in His shining light. A small reflection shining in the darkness, like the candles at Easter Vigil which fill the church with light. And I agree, so many of these "small, simple" things are not very easy to live out when it is ourselves who must do them! And yes, Christ's kingship in our own hearts and over all the world would solve everything! And so we continue day by day, fighting the good fight and praying without ceasing.