Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our Times

We seem to be living in a whirlwind of events, ideas and changes. The Pope is resigning. Values that we cherish: marriage, priesthood, life itself are challenged and ridiculed. St. Paul said it long ago: "These are evil times." However we, like St. Paul, are called to preach the Good News of Jesus "in season and out of season", whether our audience likes it or rejects it.
There is evil in our times. Yet Jesus promised to be with us until the end of time itself. He is Goodness itself, the essence of Good. Again looking at St. Paul's assurance, we can say too, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (See Romans 8:28 and following.) The Lord Jesus also said--when speaking of earth's "end times"--that nobody knows when that will be. The Anti-Christ will show up to deceive people then. The Devil, the Father-of-Lies, never sleeps either.
However it is not for us to say who or what is the "Anti-Christ." When atheistic communism in Europe formed repressive anti-religious governments, some said communism is or was the Anti-Christ.
Rather than using a form of name-calling, we Christians believers have the anchor of hope and the cross of faith to steady us. To those whom we think act like an anti-Christ, we direct the intentions of our prayers for their conversion of mind and heart. To those who may hold political offices whom we are convinced are weak, and irreligious, we respect their office. However we pray for their conversion and work to insure that in the next election to whatever office more qualified candidates are put in place.
St. Thomas More 1498-1535 by Hans  Holbin the Younger

St.Thomas More is quoted as saying about a certain political office that he would rather take that job than have someone else whose standards were lower and values were questionable. In the book and the film, Amazing Grace, about William Wilberforce, we see how this man discerned that he was called to do more good as a politician than as a clergyman. His untiring efforts in Parliament led to Great Britain's abolishing the slave trade in 1833.
William Wilberforce 1759 - 1833
Our Founder, Blessed James Alberione, preferred that we Pauline Family members speak well of all persons, no matter how they act. Blessed Pope John XXIII reiterated the phrase, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." Of course this does not mean that we condone evil. Rather we pray and work that those who commit evil will turn and do good.
The years of  World War II, especially for those who endured the fear of invading troops and violence must have been trying times. In the midst of war's chaos, the Holy Spirit comforted and inspired Gabrielle Bossis. Each day she was open to what she recognized as the Spirit's guidance. Wisely she wrote down the conversations which we can learn from. "He and I" the book which preserves for us today the Spirit's conversations with Gabrielle has been reprinted by Pauline Books & Media of Boston. On the Pauline website you can see what it looks like and order it for yourself or for a gift.

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