Friday, August 29, 2014

Offer Up, Speak Up, Prayer Up

We know that the world is a mess and I know sometimes we tend to think "That's just the way it is."  The overwhelming nature of suffering and evil can lead one to shrug one's shoulders, because there is nothing we think we can do.

But if we think at all about what we know about human nature, what we love, what we seek, what we hope, we know the way the world should be, is a warmer lighter welcoming place than what we tacitly accept as we let the news of Iraq, Syria, the border of the United States, wash over us as simply the baseline of every day.  We haven't as Christians, adopted a strategy for dealing with evil, but it is time we should.  

Speak up.

Failing to speak is the equivalent of coming to accept that the trains run by our towns, and we will have to answer for our desires to remain uninvolved, to stay out of it.   It is lazy to think, "What could we do?" or "What can we do?" or "What good will my speaking out do?" It demands nothing, it risks nothing, and it allows one to pretend acting would mean nothing.   Rationalizing tepid comfort allows the evil to progress unhindered. 

The answer is, we must speak up, or evil flourishes in the silence, in our unwillingness to even raise the slightest hint of noise.  We can name evil evil, otherwise it pretends it isn't and people let it. 

The forced moving of Christians under threat of genocide is evil.  Beheading of journalists, of children, of anyone, crucifixion of people by these extremists, is evil.  Failing to name these acts and the sufferings caused by those who support/follow/act on behalf of ISIS as evil, is moral cowardice.  

Here are the web pages for the The White House, The United Nations,, The Senate and The House of Representatives, Catholic Relief Services and Samaritans Purse.  I don't know who else we should contact, but ask the Holy Spirit where to speak and who to speak to, and then get talking.   Get them to talk.  

Offer Up...
We can stand here with those far away, offering up the trivial petty small pains of an ordinary day for those for whom, there is right now no such luxury as normal and ordinary.   How?  By contacting your senators and leaders, by writing about it, by reading about it, by pondering what would we leave aside for our faith? What would we be willing to sacrifice and surrender?

Right now, there is the ice bucket challenge for ALS. Only someone living under a rock does not know about this trending method of providing a jovial moment  on the internet for a charity, but here is a different challenge, would that it became viral.   

Today, offer up a drink at dinner.  Be thirsty.  Why?  Because fasting and prayer matter, and offering up a little something for those who have nothing, has meaning, even if the world thinks otherwise.  No one will see that you aren't having a drink. You can't post not drinking or show it in a picture.  It won't even make a good tweet.   It won't make sense except in the context of solidarity with those who suffer.  The Beattitudes say, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice...they shall be satisfied.   So be thirsty.  

You'll know it though, with everything in you, because you'll want a drink, and that will remind you of everyone who doesn't have anything, because they had to leave everything, just to hold onto the one thing we take for granted in this country, their faith.   We will be thirsty for the less real water, because those not here, were willing to be thirsty for the life giving water which flows from Christ.   And every time you think as you eat your dinner, "I'm thirsty,"  smile.   Ours is a terribly tiny sacrifice, but it should be a gift willingly given. 

Prayer Up...

Remember when all hell seemed to be breaking loose in Syria and Libya and Pope Francis asked for people to pray and fast for peace back in 2013 and the knots which seemed intractable for a time, loosened, and the war which seemed inevitable, abated.  It seems to have returned.
 44"Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.45"Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation."  Matthew 12:45

And so the demons have returned, worse than the first.  No one can think the acts we've witnessed in recent days are not demonic. The acts we've seen harken to September 11th, to the bombings in other countries on the anniversary, and worse.   

And as we all know, some demons can only be evicted with prayer and fasting.  So offer a Hail Mary, a decade, a rosary, a chaplet, an hour of adoration, a mass, time with scripture, with your family.  Every scrap of prayer is counted in Heaven against the darkness we inflict upon each other, by what we do and don't do, and helps bring about the healing of the world.  And man, does this world need healing.  Everyone in this country has a 3 day weekend before them, so no one can say, I didn't have time.  Now, it becomes a choice.  

If we want justice, pray for peace.  Time to make this Labor Day weekend, one remembered for more than Bar-b-cue, beaches and baseball.   

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