There was another mass shooting that took place today here in the States that appeared to be a racial hate crime with 10 souls having perished and left this earthly life. May God bless them & keep them, and bring comfort to their families as they mourn their tragic loss.
Catholic churches have also been desecrated with one parish in Tx having had their tabernacle stolen with the sacred hosts of Christ Jesus being lost. The tense battle with the pro life vs. pro choice movement & Roe v Wade abortion legal debate has intensified. The Russian-Ukraine situation, rising inflation, baby formula shortages and other worldly matters are a lot to bear. There is definitely a lot of anger, fear and turmoil in the world today and one may wonder what can a Christian do during such times? Psalm 136 reminds us that God’s mercy endures forever. It’s definitely difficult to find that mercy in troubling times and one may even doubt His existence.
I can recall instances in my life where I even questioned God’s existence because it seemed that I was lost in a spiritual desert. I can also recall those times in which there was a competing dualism of wanting to do good, but turning to evil habits, vices or sins because they were “easier” than following the other path. I always recalled that when I atoned for such sins, God’s presence of peace, goodness & love were still waiting for me. The sense of a spiritual battle and ability to re-channel my very being when my crosses to bear and graces to share were (are) struggles that were made manifest. At one point in my life, I remembered reading Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking” which is an excellent read for an eternal pessimist seeking to be an optimist. Such a work encourages one to change their mindset.
Nevertheless, it was not until I discovered centering prayer techniques that help tremendously to this day. While we can change our thought processes, oftentimes we must suspend such thoughts for true contemplative & centering prayer to occur. Letting go of one’s thoughts, fears and worldly temptations to reflect, meditate and enter into deep contemplation is a powerful practice. By focusing on the silence and seeking to be in union with our majestic & overpowering God is the goal.
Oftentimes we can become apathetic to our surroundings without taking time to “smell the roses” or enjoy those moments that make us see God’s presence working in our life.
As C.S. Lewis once mentioned, “We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship” (The Weight of Glory).
As John’s gospel chapter 13 reminds us, Jesus gives us the new commandment to love one another as He has loved us to make our presence known as Christian disciples.
When the world is crazy, and turmoil in our own life is weighing heavily upon our soul; turn to the silence. We must not lose sight of our mission to go out and be another Christ (anointed servant) to others. Bringing God’s love & mercy to those among us that we may not necessarily like or agree with is our mission. To the driver of the car that cuts in front of you in traffic; to person that cuts in front of you in line…bless them with your kindness. To the one that curses you with vile language; to the one that steals from you or does harm to you; bless them with your kindness. Turn thy cheek when life deals you a difficult deck of cards. Vengeance & hate are contrary to the teachings of the Torah as found in Leviticus 19:18 in which scripture reminds us to “love our neighbor as ourselves” and not hold a grudge against anyone.
As another passage from John’s gospel reminds us of, we must be bearers of good fruit for all of us have been appointed to go out and bring His message of mercy (love) enduring forever to others.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us everlasting life.