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Posts Tagged ‘Evil’

At Palm Sunday liturgy last night, the Passion of Christ was read.  I listened and as I heard this, it gave me pause:

“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me;
weep instead for yourselves and for your children
for indeed, the days are coming when people will say,
‘Blessed are the barren,
the wombs that never bore
and the breasts that never nursed.’
At that time people will say to the mountains,
‘Fall upon us!’
and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’”
(Luke 23:28-30)

I ponder that.

I know scholars agree that Jesus was talking about the upcoming fall of Jerusalem and the terrible suffering that was coming upon her people. And perhaps in a larger sense, it describes all calamities where people watch their loved ones suffer terribly.

But last night, I “heard” it in a different way, a different layer.

Today, we hear people calling abortion “sacred,” “a blessing.” Today, the call to make assisted suicide and euthanasia legal is gaining voices.

Are they not saying “blessed are the … wombs that never bore?” Are they not calling to the mountains to “fall on us! cover us!”

Jesus tells us to weep over this.

And indeed, I do.

 

 

 

 

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I began a novena this morning and read this passage from Matthew:

“… and now she will bear a son.
You shall call him ‘Jesus’ for he will save
his people from their sins.”
(Matthew 1:21)

Is this really the first time I noticed?

“He will save his people …. ”

Not from other people on this earth – to this day His people are being killed for their love of Him and their faith in Him. Since His death Christians have been hunted and hated “the world” has tried to eliminate them.

Not from petty discomforts on this earth, nor was He born to elevate us in an earthly way with wealth or comfort or earthly power.

Not even from terrible suffering in this life, even from oppression or slavery or starvation.

No!  “… for he will save his people from their sins.”

Jesus did not suffer and die on the cross to save me from other enemies, real or imagined. He did not die to shower me with earthly blessings (though He certainly does that).

He died to save me from my own sins – the very things I have chosen that harm me and others around me, that are killing my soul and separating me from Him.

That’s a lot to digest this morning. It’s so easy to look at how messed up this world is, to observe how much evil is in it and devouring people every day and to pray in earnest for those people and against those great evils. And that is important to do.

But it is also important to remember to reflect and to pray: “Have mercy on me, a sinner.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have always felt like a bit of a freak whenever I hear a news story about someone brutally abusing others. Whether it is a murderer who tortured victims or a dictator who murders his own people, like others around me I am horrified by how evil man can be and I am heartbroken for the suffering the victims endured.

But as soon as the discussion turns toward the person who committed the evil and I hear comments like, “he deserves to fry!” or “get rid of this waste of human life!” my heart also aches for that person.

I don’t have a romantic idea that the person isn’t “that bad” or that he didn’t truly, deliberately choose evil.  I don’t “like” the person or imagine that he will ever change his ways; I don’t want him free to go on harming others. I want him put away.

But I don’t wish evil back on him; I don’t wish him to suffer or to have his life taken. And I don’t rejoice with his death, even the assassination of someone like Osama Bin Laden. I feel great sadness over such events.

I have been pondering the life of St. Therese of Lisieux. She was led to pray for those who chose evil and were unrepentant, feeling compassion for their lost souls. I am fascinated by this, and wonder if this may be the type of prayer ministry the LORD has in mind for me.

I believe every person on this earth was meant for God; He didn’t create any to be lost though we are free to reject Him. Maybe that is why God made me to be a freak – to feel compassion for those who chose evil – so someone (me?) will pray for them, that they may repent and experience God’s mercy.

Even as I was pondering all of this, I read a passage in 1 Samuel 30:21-25 that made me laugh out loud. How perfectly it fits these thoughts this morning! Coincidence? I think not!

“When David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him, whom he had left behind at the Wadi Besor, they came out to meet David and the men with him. As David approached, he greeted them. But all the greedy and worthless among those who had accompanied David said, “Since they did not accompany us, we will not give them anything from the plunder, except for each man’s wife and children.” But David said: “You must not do this, my brothers, after what the LORD has given us. The LORD has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiders that came against us. Who could agree with this proposal of yours? Rather, the share of the one who goes down to battle shall be the same as that of the one who remains with the baggage—they share alike.” And from that day forward he made this a law and a custom in Israel, as it still is today.”

Dear God, help me to remember those who were too exhausted to follow you. Even though they turned away, chose evil, rejected you … still, you created them in Your image and You “will everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4)  Show me “the little way” of St. Therese; continue to teach me how to pray even for the most lost souls; please fill my heart with compassion for the most difficult to love and use me as a vessel of Your mercy. In the name of Jesus with the Holy Spirit, I pray!

 

 

 

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I read this blog several days ago and it really struck a chord with me. Here is an excerpt:

On April 26, President Obama, the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood, not only thanked that organization which aborts around 300,000 children a year, but added, “God bless you.” Evil, be thou my good.

 On June 13, Nancy Pelosi said that the abortion issue is “sacred ground.” Evil, be thou my good.

 On June 20, a New York Times Op-Ed contributor described the aborting of her 23-week-old son, who had a heart defect: “I felt my son’s budding life end as a doctor inserted a needle through my belly into his tiny heart. As horrible as that moment was — it will live with me forever — I am grateful. We made sure our son was not born only to suffer. He died in a warm and loving place, inside me.” Evil, be thou my good.

It brings to mind this passage from Isaiah 5:20: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

This week came news of a battle in Texas as lawmakers attempt to pass laws restricting late-term abortion. As pro-lifers sang “How Great Thou Art,” opponents were chanting, “Hail satan!”

Evil, be thou my good.

It wrenches my heart for anyone who would say such a thing. They might think they are being clever, but “make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)

Father forgive them … they know not what they do.

 

 

 

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In his homily for the opening of the Year of Faith on Oct. 11, 2012, Pope Benedict spoke of the “desertification” of the world, describing society today as a kind of desert or void wherein godlessness runs rampant.

As we have seen in the recent defeat of the marriage amendment, today’s majority has turned away from the will of God, as known through revelation and the natural law, in order to seek lives built on self-desires and self-interests. Into such a secular context, this Year of Faith calls us to bear witness within society to the Kerygma or truth of the Gospel in new ways that are both attractive and persuasive.

I very much appreciate these thoughts from Pope Benedict. I have been feeling very detached lately, and his description of the world being a desert or void captures how I feel, although I don’t think it’s something new. Noah lived in a wicked world and Lot lived right in Sodom; both were so wicked that God completely destroyed them.

I guess I partly feel defeated – I think society has long been heading the wrong direction in areas of families and marriage, morals, and in issues of pro-life such as abortion, euthanasia and war (drones are a very spooky development to me). We have handed away too many of our freedoms that our ancestors fought so hard for – simply handed them away until now we don’t really notice a new law that tells us even what we can or cannot eat.

But it also feels good to be “detached” – I’m tired of worrying and struggling against it – it’s a losing battle. The world is going to do what the world wants to do. The desert is there, I can’t change it; I can only do what I can in my own little world, trying to help people in the ways God leads me.

I feel sad though; I think it is a snowball that’s rolling downhill and growing quickly. Besides the physical cost of immorality and evil in our world (shootings, human trafficking, etc.), there is an even greater spiritual cost. I know my part is to pray. And dear God, I do pray: Forgive us Lord for we know not what we do. Protect us from being deceived; protect us from evil; protect us body, mind and spirit. Please guide our leaders and open the eyes and minds and hearts of people around the world to You, to Your goodness and Light. Help us all to see you, to seek you, to follow you; help us to find Hope in You. In the name of Jesus I pray with the power of the Holy Spirit to our Heavenly Father, amen.

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I haven’t blogged in a while. A lot of “BIG” things have been happening in the world around me and I’ve been absorbing the news stories, blogs commenting on events, and facebook chatter as people discuss it.

And I am greatly disheartened.

The Catholic Church has long advocated for a healthcare system that covers all people. But when it finally comes to be, the system requires religious institutions to provide insurance that includes contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs … all of which are in direct opposition to Catholic teaching.

On the heels of this comes a news story about “medical ethicists” who advocate “after-birth abortions.” The opening paragraph says it all:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not
have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing
that both fetuses and newborns do not have the
same moral status as actual persons, the fact that
both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and 
adoption is not always in the best interest of actual
people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth
abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all
the cases where abortion is, including cases where the
newborn is not disabled.

I am horrified; I cannot believe my eyes. Have we really gotten to this point?

If you would like to read the entire thing, you will find it here.

I deeply grieve for this world and for all of us in it.

Jesus wept.

“… do not give the devil a foothold” (Eph 4:26)

 

 

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OSAMA BIN LADEN DEAD

So say the headlines this morning. I heard the news last night when Joe came running downstairs, telling us to turn on the news. The first reports were that he had been killed a week ago but the news wasn’t released until DNA tests could confirm his identity. Geraldo Rivera was reporting and was positively giddy with joy at the news. The report this morning was a little different … a raid on a compound just yesterday had ended with his death; he has already been buried at sea to prevent a martyr’s shrine.

I’m feeling very mixed emotions. It simply is not in me to rejoice at the death of anyone. It’s always been this way for me – no matter who, no matter how evil; I take no joy in the death of another.

And it hurts my heart to hear brothers and sisters in Christ rejoice and celebrate at the idea of anyone “rotting in hell.”

Ezekiel 33:11 I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live

Proverbs 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth

I understand feeling patriotic, though. Being glad “one of the bad guys” is gone, especially one who was the mastermind behind a great act of evil.

It’s a little surreal, reflecting on nearly 10 years of the aftermath of 9/11. The world has changed so much … daily life has changed. I wonder how things would be different if those events had never happened; or if the U.S. had responded differently; or if …   ? And I wonder what will change now, with his death.

Mostly my thoughts are with the people who lost loved ones on that day; the people who lived while others died; the responders who were heros in the aftermath of the tragedy.

I’m glad it’s all in God’s hands. He will judge rightly; I cannot. I simply leave it with Him and pray for all of us. What a world we live in; forgive us because we really don’t know what we do. Holy Spirit please pray for us.

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