Read the daily quote from Pope Francis

 

2016 DF 40

Dear Friends,

As the years go on I wish I could say that we are better off than our parents when they were our age.  A case may be made that financially we are far better off than during the Great Depression but as we see in Charlotte there is a discontent and perception that life is better off for some and not for others.  We are fast approaching a time when violence becomes the response to injustice.  This is something that Dr. Martin Luther King and others would have found impossible.  “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.  Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.  Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.  Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.  So it goes.  Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

                As the years go on I wish I could say we are stronger and more committed to our Catholic faith than were our parents when they were our age.  Instead I see confusion and sometimes even a deliberate misread of Catholic faith.  If Catholic faith is about salvation, heaven and hell, then that can be very dangerous.  Joseph Sobran wrote 15 years ago, “[Catholics of the future] certainly won’t accuse us of excessive zeal.  They might be shocked by our lukewarmness, our cowardice masquerading as tolerance, our laxity, our willingness to countenance heresy, sacrilege, blasphemy and immorality, even within the Church itself, our eagerness to ingratiate ourselves with the secular world…” (Subtracting Christianity, p. 268).

                If we are to weather these years we must hold on to authentic Catholic faith.  I believe times will get better when the world realizes that its platform for human life is impossibly flawed, exhausted of hope or joy, bogged down by an oppressive focus on the individual, broken and detached from God.  The Christian message has always been the antidote.  When the world finally searches for real meaning, forgiveness and love, the words of Jesus make sense.

                It is easy to become jaded and to think that there isn’t hope for our country or our system.  However, we are a people of hope and we believe in the promises of Jesus Christ who can make all things better and new.  Did not the angel say that and much more to the Virgin?  “Behold nothing is impossible for God!”  We are on the cusp of something.  Can’t you feel it?  The clash of God and non-God is here.  If it isn’t in our lifetime then we are still prepared to meet the Lord.  But if God’s promise of a new moment for the world is near, then we will be the ones to usher it in.  Either way, we must be ready.

Fr Al