Retrospect & Prospect...
Retrospect and Prospect
October painted autumn’s awesome palette on the trees and hillsides of southern Ohio. For the past weeks the colors and the weather were spectacular. Gentle rains mixed with mild temperatures to bring about nature’s finest display. Certainly, it’s easy to find the transcendent in beauty, just as it is difficult to see God’s presence in powerful, destructive storms.
It is also difficult to find God manifest in the sufferings that currently plague civilization. October unleashed terrible threats. Ebola now frightens the world while the war against terrorism is bringing humanity to a new nadir. Beheadings and mass executions are primitive, insane forms of violence. Many believe these evils can only be stopped by unremitting, irresistible force. Sure, such action can change the world but usually it provokes more violence and plants the seeds of future wars and inhumanity.
It is important to keep faith alive in this time of cruelty and epidemic. But how do we go forward in this time of suffering? Some people have chosen to ignore the evil at loose in our world today. But it is impossible to ignore reality. It appears to be unchristian to bury our heads in the sand or to allow ourselves to be lured into the distractions that are so pervasive.
I am struck by the great realism in today’s reading from Ephesians (6:10).
“Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.”
To turn from violence, to love our enemies takes the great strength of character shown by Jesus as he endured his passion. Never forget, Jesus told Peter to put away his sword in the garden of Gethsemani (Jn 18:11). May God grace us with the strength to resist whatever evils come our way.
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