With the debt crisis causing financial woes for households, the mortgage crisis, and the Federal debt surpassing the $16 Trillion mark their is looming uncertainty and gloom and doom in the air. In addition we need to continue to fight the good fight against evils such as abortion, contraception, pornography, and sexual immorality. We are called to look to the Lord for guidance and trust in His will as we go through these turbulent times. Deacon Mike Bickerstaff of The Integrated Catholic Life gives us five ways in which we can turn ourselves and the world around and get on the right path.
- First – Remember that Jesus Christ came to rescue us from sin and its division. He is in charge and we who obey Him are under His care. Be not afraid. Be not afraid to do the right thing, no matter the consequences. Trust in the Lord always. Remain in Him in prayer and sacrament. I mean it. These are not simply nice words. They reflect a reality and have force. Wait and see what St. Paul has to say in the last bullet point!
- Second – Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God and called each of us to be responsible members of that Kingdom. He gave us a new beginning at personal holiness and holiness as a people. The solution to our problems begins with each of us. Only from our personal conversion (conformed to His love) will come the transformation of society. Political parties are not our salvation, Jesus is. Be involved with proclaiming the Gospel to the captives and the blind. It is not only material matters, but also spiritual matters that should concern us. But remember that no matter how much we abhor the conditions of our times and how hard we work for change, God’s change will come only through us as we surrender in trust and obedience to Him.
- Third – We cannot sit idly by while so many suffer and die. Our feelings of compassion must lead each of us to acts of mercy… for the unborn, for the elderly, for the vulnerable, for the hungry and the naked and homeless… for those who are alone, for those who are ill, for those who are captive. We must work within our society for true justice. We are made for heaven, but our present place is in this world. We must embrace this reality and call upon the Lord to guide us as we seek both our personal sanctity and the fulfillment of our duties and responsibilities as members of society. These responsibilities bring with them the difficult choices before us to get our fiscal house in order. Whether you are for limited government or expanded government, it is immoral to spend beyond our means today and saddle future generations with our debt which they have no hope of paying off. We can help no one if we are bankrupt.
- Fourth – We must teach our children of the great gift that Jesus has announced and pass on to them the sense of responsibility that is needed. Monitor and limit your children’s access to TV, music and internet. Teach them to love and honor the Lord. Teach them manners and civility, honor and fidelity. Teach them to live simply. Teach them the value of work and sacrifice. Don’t forget, if our children see us practicing the virtues joyfully and faithfully, our words of wisdom will not appear to them as hollow lies.
- Lastly – In today’s first reading at Holy Mass from Nehemiah, we hear the instruction that we must take to our hearts if we are to find strength, peace and the power to make a difference. Do not allow discouragement to lead to despair. Fix your resolve and hope in the Lord, “Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!” Friday was the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Let his words strengthen your resolve, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).