At least in the U.S. we are fresh off a major holiday where we celebrate our Independence. Between celebrating as a family and getting caught up on some much needed work around the house, it was a nice reprieve from everything else that has been going on both on a personal basis and in our country.
As always, family, friends, food, and fireworks go a long way towards putting one’s mood where it should be.
Working outside this weekend, I did my best to put a lot of things in perspective. On a personal basis, I have been doing a lot of reflection on the direction of our country. But more important than even the direction of our country, in my view, is the direction that many Catholics and other Christians are taking in opposition of the direction of our Bishops and Priests. A lot of the time I find myself dealing with a sadness that this is so, and wondering what – if anything – can be done to stem this strong tide.
A lot of things bounce through my head, but in the end I am settling on a major line of thinking: only God can stem the tide. I think we, as Christians, have a challenge ahead of us that we are being called to focus on: take care of your own soul, and fight for the souls of family and friends. This is not to imply there is not and should not be a missionary spirit in the Church, and on an individual basis. But we must first defend our own territory, and it may be the case that this takes most, or even all, our time and energy. And if it doesn’t, then we can reach out to others.
The other thought that seemed to suddenly get reinforced is that our joy is in the Lord. Our ultimate goal is salvation. And no matter how bad things get here, we can’t lose sight of that. This is what makes us happy and joyful.
I do not want everything going on in the world to detract from that. My sadness is not for myself. I have some sadness for my family – that my kids now need to fight against things in the culture beyond what I needed to fight when I was growing up. My sadness is for those around me who are capitulating and accepting the secular world’s morals above God’s Law. I’d like to think this is a “productive sadness.” Something to motivate actions that help the fight and make us stronger in our faith. It certainly isn’t despair, nor is it a lack of hope.
God will ultimately prevail. He’ll just do it on His time frame, and we are generally less patient than He is.