I bet many of you have experienced conversions—or reversions to your faith. Some of you may have lived lives of terrible sin, while others may have gone along well until some spectacular fall occurred—an affair, an unplanned pregnancy and subsequent abortion, a drug or gambling problem, a crime you got pulled into after one subtle compromise then another and another and before you knew it you were in deep. You never dreamed you would do such things, but there you were. The devil had a hand in it every time—using temptations, stoking your fear, pulling you under into despair. But, of course, you cooperated. His arguments sound so very reasonable when your intellect is darkened and your will so weakened by sin.
Perhaps this describes you…or perhaps you can see this in someone you know. Those familiar with alcoholism and other addictions know that change rarely comes without seeing the full brunt of the consequences. When the evidence starts to pile up, and others begin living in truth and holding you accountable, the denial starts to break and only then can healing begin.
We find ourselves today in a world awash in chaos, violence, and division. Fear has been ratcheted up to a frenzy everywhere, stoked by a media bent on fomenting class warfare, anarchy and rage. The riots and violence in every city across the country are stunning.
In a January YouTube message I suggested we pray for 2020 vision. And it seems to me that prayer has been answered in a rather dramatic way. Like praying for the alcoholic to wake up and see what his drinking has done to his life and his family, or like, perhaps you experienced before your conversion, when the full weight of horror for your sins crashed through the walls of your blindness and denial. It’s ugly. It’s scary. It’s terrifying actually. And when you started to see, when you began your turn toward God, I bet it got worse, before it got better. The devil always ups his game when he’s losing. I’ve seen it so much over the years. It’s a frightful battle. The redoubled effort the devil employs to keep you out of the confessional, to pull you back into sin. Without the prayers of others it would likely be impossible to overcome. Whether it’s friends or family, unknown sisters behind a cloister praying for sinners or martyrs giving their lives for the truth and seeding the Church with new converts. We’re all in this together—to borrow a phrase.
Be not dismayed at what you see playing out right now. Like the mold growing behind your walls, the true culprits of society’s disease are being exposed. We’ve known the symptoms—moral decay, pornography, human trafficking, sexual confusion, broken families, racial division, religious persecution, economic disparity, class warfare. They didn’t just happen without cause. There are deeply entrenched criminals that need to be rooted out- in government, in politics, in Hollywood, and in the Church. We’re seeing the true tyrants in Technicolor right now. We’re seeing heroic leaders in the Church stand up and we’re seeing too many that have acquiesced to government tyranny. Many of the faithful feel abandoned and understandably so. The only remedy for chaos is Christ and yet many churches remained locked, Masses canceled and words of desecration spray-painted on their hallowed walls.
Do. Not. Despair.
The same mob that welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday screamed to crucify Him on Good Friday. Were they wicked or simply as easily manipulated by the powers that be as we are? One apostle betrayed him, 10 fled in fear, and one stayed strong and faithful. Those percentages are looking pretty familiar these days, aren’t they?
But just when everyone thought the devil had won, it was game over. What’s playing out now in our world needs to happen. The true criminals and false shepherds need to be exposed. The true shepherds will step forward. The 10 fearful apostles did return, were strengthened and built the Church.
It may be a bumpy ride for a time…kind of like it may have been for you when God called you out of sin and into life. Remember, Jesus can calm the storm with a word…but even the storm served a purpose in building the faith of the apostles.
So we will tremble. We will cry out to God. We will feel abandoned. We will start to wonder if evil really is winning. The devil will focus us on the pandemic, the riots, the FEAR. He’ll sow division and despair.
But he will not win.
Trust folks. Remain in prayer. Pray the rosary every day—and I mean every day. It’s a lethal weapon against evil. If your churches have opened, get there as often as you can and offer your Communions for those still denied. We need to carry each other now. Jesus will prevail against the gates of hell that have been unleashed. They wouldn’t be showing their true colors if they were winning. They would remain hidden behind the walls inflicting their poison.
Do you really want to go back to the way it was? I don’t think so. The status quo was never real peace…it was just a manipulated illusion. There’s no turning back. It’s Christ or chaos.
I assure you. Christ wins.
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