As the news shows scenes of disrespect for law, private property, and due process, reason itself seems to be going up in flames. Which is why St. John Paul II wrote his prophetic encyclical Faith and Reason—he saw the divorce from reason coming in the Western world. G.K. Chesterton saw it coming more than a century ago.
But even in their time, it was nothing new. In the garden of Eden, Eve decided she’d rather follow a lie than the truth. And at the other end of the Bible, in Revelation 3:2, Our Lord warns the loose-living church at Sardis to “be watchful and strengthen what is left.”
That’s still some good advice. Because reasonable people are still reasonable, and there are a lot of them. Generous and godly people are still generous, and there are a lot of them. They’re the drivers who motion us to go first at a 4-way stop. They’re the full-cart shoppers who tell us to go ahead because we have only two items to check out. They’re the friends who encourage and support us in our sometimes-wavy path to union with God.
This is what is left: we are still accompanied by people who live the virtues of respect, generosity, selflessness—in a word, love. This is “what is left,” and this is what Our Lord is asking the church at Sardis, and us, to strengthen.
Here are three ideas. (Hint: it starts with ourselves.)
“We must go into the society — darkened, corrupted, and depraved — as children of light. We must be witnesses to this beautiful light of Jesus, this light of truth, justice, and purity. First, we must begin in our own hearts.” — Ven. Al Schwartz
Pray. It’s the only way to be sure we remain part of “what is left” and avoid being among those who are driven by anger. It’s the only way to keep our focus on God instead of on those who hate what God loves. And that includes praying for the conversion of God’s enemies, and of our poor hearts.
“Troubles melt sway before a fervent prayer like snow before the sun.” — St John Vianney
Confess. When we see what we love being attacked, we’re tempted to sinful anger, which cannot end well. In fact, it makes us part of the problem. The solution is to cultivate purity of heart, which we can obtain only by the grace of the Sacraments.
“Confession is an act of honesty and courage – an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.” — St. John Paul II
Stay encouraged. St. Paul writes, “every day…keep encouraging one another” (Heb 3:13). In this time of isolation and turmoil, we need to follow Paul’s advice by keeping up our contact with those who encourage us in the faith. Not only online videos and conferences, which are great, but person-to-person contact with faithful Catholics who help us grow in our love of God. If you don’t have that already in your life, you may benefit by what I’m offering right now: click here to learn more.
Finally, when we’re running short on hope, we can drink in these words of St. Josemaria Escriva:
“Remember this and never forget it: even if it should seem at times that everything is collapsing, nothing is collapsing at all, because God doesn’t lose battles.”
And isn’t that what we’re celebrating in this Easter season?
Thanks Rose! Such good reminders!
Very uplifting, Rose. Thanks!
I look forward to your post. It is so uplifting thank you
Thanks for the reminder that all is not lost and that “strengthening what remains” begins with us.
Thank you I needed too read this. I feel much better .
ARRIVED BY EMAIL:
Bless your holy work. I print them out and keep them in a special 3 ring binder for rereading and study.
Luv your email. Thanks for the Hope inspired by it.
Love this weeks post!
Thanks for these thoughts! My schedule has been off for a couple of months and I’ve missed starting my week reading your words of wisdom.
ARRIVED BY EMAIL:
Thank you so much. A perfect way to start the day and a new week. Blessings!🙏🌼🙏
I love the power of your words and that love, trust and hope remain no matter what falls away. Thank you, Rose.
Thank you Rose for your inspiring messages. It’s hard not to get angry. If we change our reaction from anger to prayer, just maybe we can make a difference.
I appreciate your seeking truth and virtue in daily living. For the past year, many of us have been in a bubble. It is time to set aside self and go forward unafraid in Christ’s love and mercy.
That was truly helpful, life-lifting and refreshing.
Thank you so much.
3. Stay encouraged -I like to cruise the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Wisdom per square foot of text is really high.
I’d wallow in despair as if it was the natural outcome of misfortune. “Why me?” was my ticket into the tunnel. Then I saw in the CCC index that despair was one of the individual grave sins, a sin against hope: CCC 2091. I wasn’t having despair, I was doing despair. That offered the possibility of NOT doing despair. It takes some prayer and meditation to decide that despair isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Among other things it doesn’t sell very well. Maybe it’s a “guy” thing but I see prayer and meditation as a job with a paycheck. It’s important to show up for work on a daily basis: no work, no paycheck.
Excellent reminders to stick with the basics; prayer, confession and person-to-person socially distanced contact. Thanks Rose. I love the photo, too!
I love the way you intersperse the wisdom of the saints into your own wise insights. “God doesn’t lose battles” is most encouraging.
So glad it was useful!
Such encouraging and helpful reminders! Thanks, Rose
Thank you, Rose, I needed to hear this message today.
Sr Patrick Joseph, Noga, , SND
Thank you for your insights ! I stay connected with God through prayer and my music. Your thoughts most encouraging!
😇🙏🏻❤️ Sr. P.J.SND
Beautiful message, one of my favorite, Miss Rose! I look forward to reading it over and over!!
You are truly gifted in sharing God’s Love and Understanding. I feel a weight lifted!!
Much love, Diane