Recently, a teacher at St. Mary’s Ryken high school suggested that I read a book on the challenges that confront us as Christians. In these times, when society has almost completely transformed from a Christian culture, built on moral norms that descend from scripture to an increasingly atheistic secular society, where norms change frequently and further and further away from the Divine Law and Natural law. Because of this rapid change, Covid-19, the reality of continued racial injustice, riots by various groups, and political upheaval that is unprecedented in our nation’s history, not to mention world history, many have said they feel like the world has turned upside down.
This has led some to become very hopeless or at least very discouraged with the state of the world. The book I read spoke of this transition from Christendom (when the culture was a Christian culture) to Apostolic Mission (Christians are now a minority in a hostile environment to the faith, called to spread the gospel like in the time of the apostles). Because of this reality, we can lose focus on the good that lies before us and Him who is with us as we enter a new era of evangelization.
While this is all good, the current situation still looks bleak. Huge numbers of the faithful no longer practice the faith (and that was before Covid). Many young people are apathetic, if not hostile, to the faith, and the morals of the wider culture are not only moving away from that of the Lord but are increasingly hostile to the mere mention of them.
Ok, Father! Ok, I get it. Times are not good! Any good news for me, Father? YES! In the second Book of Kings, the prophet Elisha was dealing with an invasion of an alliance of hostile powers that invaded Israel. Things were looking very bad. The prophet’s servant was very discouraged and felt they were done for (sound familiar)? The prophet then said, “Don’t Be Afraid; those who are with us are more than those who are with them”. This seemed like a crazy statement to make. Then the prophet asked God to let him see the truth of the situation with spiritual eyes. He was then able to see the genuine reality. He then saw “an army of heavenly horsemen and chariots around Elisha more than equal to the task of handling the enemy forces.” This is the reality for every one of us who profess the name of the Lord and hold to His teachings!
We are never alone in any situation or circumstance. We are loved. Even those who have turned away from the Lord, those who have turned against His teachings, are loved and sought by Him. So, we have a reason for hope, despite the lack of numbers, money, political capital, or all the other things that are seen as essential by the world. The Lord provides all that we need. Let us ask for that faith and spiritual sight to see it, believe it, and act on it! Let us be on our way to spread the message of the gospel to everyone! Be Not Afraid!!!
Your brother and father in Christ,