January 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 22
Hope Springs Eternal
This being the 28th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. and in the aftermath of all the hatred and mudslinging of the election, post election and confirmation hearings, and the wars in the mideast, and elsewhere, and the manner in which satan attacks God's loyal ones in trying to divide and conquer souls, things can get hectic. It's a battle out there. Tempers are on edge. You'll see it today with the demonstrations in Washington D.C. as both sides march guardedly. One group launches an assault against the other; the other makes an accusation and sparks fly. The abortion issue has truly divided this nation and our Church.
But it is not just abortion that can rile a person or push them over the edge. It can happen anywhere anytime, satan has no preferences other than grabbing as many souls as he can. It can happen so suddenly that unless we are aware we'll surely get trapped. It's our human nature, it's the result of Original Sin. It can happen so quickly. One moment of peace and tranquility can turn into rage. A person can be on edge over the silliest things that can mushroom from a molehill into a mountain. This can happen in the workplace, in politics, in the store while shopping, behind the wheel in traffic, in the home with family, with in-laws, with parishioners, even with our clergy and bishops. Whether it's ideology, frustration with the way the world treats virtue, or, well you get the idea...the reasons are endless, the excuses even longer. The world seems content to put everyone at everyone else's throat. It would seem a hopeless situation and then we remember that prayer changes things...
Lord, Make me an instrument of Your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Even if in doing so we are accused of not loving because love doesn't mean saying that everything is okay. Love doesn't mean letting our children play with matches if they wish and love doesn't mean looking the other way as though something isn't our concern. We cannot always walk in another's shoes, just as another cannot walk in ours. Only Christ knows our heart.
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Even if it appears we're not going with the flow, doing the popular thing. We cannot be occupied with what the world thinks, we must stay the course.
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Even if we're called ignorant, stupid, and backward; even if we are labeled extremists for being fools for Christ, we must hold high the truths of the Cross.
Where there is despair hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Even if we are called on the carpet for being against ecumenism, or hateful to those of other denominations and religions; even if we are perceived to be holier-than-thou because we adhere to the rules of our Faith, we must strive to carry the lamp of hope to illumine those in the fog of hopelessness.
Where there is sadness, joy;
Even if we are called uncaring and callous; even if we are considered insensitive or intolerant to agendas that go against God's will, we must be a balance of the strong shoulder to cry on and a loving bosom to reconcile.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
There is a lot of pain in the world, brought about by people with the best of intentions. Let me bring my suffering to you, attach mine to Yours, to join You as You weep in the Garden. Only You, O Lord, can be all things to all people. Everyone else fails in this and the devil celebrates the confusion.
To be understood, as to understand;
So many messages, so many influences, so many things that block Your truth and love that it's easy to miss it.
Let us recall that as the Temple Guards and Sanhedrin hurt and abused You, you loved them and died for them as well.
That the Roman Legions, who scourged and beat You, were also loved by You. And that Your heart broke when the unrepentant thief rejected Your love for him. When we are criticized, when our feelings are hurt, when we are frustrated and impatient, that is the time to turn to Jesus and give it to Him. Let Him wash it away in His Most Precious Blood. After all, that is why He died for us!
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in forgetting self, that we find ourselves;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
(The Prayer of St. Francis; St. Francis of Assisi, Omnibus of Sources; pgs 1930-31)
I leave you with this letter from St. Francis to St. Clare and her fellow Poor Clares in encouraging them to keep going:
"Live always in truth, So that in obedience you die.
Do not look to the life outside, for that of the Spirit is better.
I pray you with great love that you have discretion as to the alms which the Lord gives you.
Those who are weighed down by infirmities, and others who labor for them, all of you bear it in peace.
For you will see this labor as very dear, For you are (or will be) each a Queen crowned in Heaven with the Virgin Mary"
(A Letter from St. Francis of Assisi to St. Clare and the ladies of the Order of Poor Clares)
Stay the course and seize the day for God and His children, especially His holy innocents in the womb. If we do, we will realize it was all worth it.
For past columns by Pat Ludwa, see VIEW FROM THE PEW Archives
January 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 22
Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW column
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