At Babylon's Feet

 

 

I FELT a strong word for the Church this morning in prayer regarding television:

Happy indeed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked; nor lingers in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of scorners, but whose delight is the law of the Lord and who ponders his law day and night. (Psalm 1)

Christ’s Body-—baptized believers, bought with the price of His blood-—are wasting their spiritual lives in front of the television: following "the counsel of the wicked" through self-help shows and self-appointed gurus; lingering "in the way of sinners" on sitcoms; and sitting "in the company" of late night talk shows which mock and scorn purity and goodness, if not religion itself.

I hear Jesus shouting the words of the Apocalypse once again: "Come out of her! Come out of Babylon!" It is time for the Body of Christ to make choices. It is not enough to say I believe in Jesus… and then indulge our minds and senses like pagans in corrupted, if not anti-Gospel programming. God has so much more to give us through prayer: to the one who ponders his Word day and night.

So gird the loins of your understanding; live soberly; set all your hope on the gift to be conferred on you when Jesus Christ appears. As obedient sons and daughters, do not yield to the desires that once shaped you in your ignorance. Rather, become holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, after the likeness of the holy One who called you (1 Peter)

Lord Jesus, our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society’s incessant, tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Fourth Station of the Cross, Good Friday 2006

 

Little Offering of Love

GOOD FRIDAY. That day when we, the fruit of the Cross, seek to console the Consoler; to comfort the Comforter; to love the Lover.

O Beloved Jesus, all I have to offer you is the vinegar of weakness on the sponge of humility. That you would receive my efforts to console you… and my gratitude for so great a gift as your very Life.

     

THE word fell into my heart like the first droplet of Spring from an icicle: “There is coming a “Lord of the Flies” moment.”

If you have seen the motion picture The Lord of the Flies, then read on. If you haven’t, you will need to rent it or read the book before continuing (WARNING: the film’s language is raw, but real). I honestly believe it is a picture of what is happening in the world, and what is coming, and that Christ is bringing this picture back to memory for a reason. When I watched this movie recently, keeping in mind the “word” I seemed to hear from the Lord, it blew my mind.Continue reading

WHAT the heck.

I decided to drive our tour bus down Times Square, New York City.

It was late at night. Our faces stared upwards at block after of block of bright lights, billboards, and video screens. New Yorkers stared upwards at us: six kids, faces plastered to the windows. They were as amused as we were dazzled.

Dazzled. During Eucharistic Adoration after Mass this morning, I pondered on these brights lights which lit Broadway like daytime. And the words came to me, “It is a false light.” Indeed, behind every bulb was the promise of some “thing”: visual pleasure, money, sexual gratification, souvenirs, liquor… things. But no where did I see a promise of lasting happiness–inner peace and joy which can only come from the Light of the World.

It was all alluring… but in the same way, perhaps, that a moth is drawn to a bug zapper.

IF Christ is the Sun, and his rays are Mercy…

humility is the orbit which keeps us in the gravity of his Love.

Threshold of Hope

 

 

THERE is much talk these days of darkness: "dark clouds", "dark shadows", "dark signs" etc. In the light of the Gospels, this could be seen as a cocoon, wrapping itself around humanity. But it is only for a short time…

Soon the cocoon withers… the hardened eggshell breaks, the placenta depletes. Then it comes, quickly: new life. The butterfly emerges, the chick spreads its wings, and a new child emerges from the "narrow and difficult" passage of the birth canal.

Indeed, are we not on the threshold of Hope?

 

The Great Sifting

 

 

THERE will come a moment when we will walk by faith, not by consolation. It will seem as though we have been abandoned… like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. But our angel of comfort in the Garden will be the knowledge that we do not suffer alone; that other’s believe and suffer as we do, in the same unity of the Holy Spirit.

Surely, if Jesus continued along the Way of his Passion in a certain abandonment, then so will the Church (cf. CCC 675). This will be the great test. It will sift the true followers of Christ like wheat.

Lord, help us to remain faithful.

The Master Painter

 

 

JESUS does not take away our crosses — He helps us to carry them.

So often in suffering, we feel God has abandoned us. This is a terrible untruth. Jesus promised to remain with us "until the end of the age."

 

OILS OF SUFFERING

God permits certain sufferings in our lives, with the precision and care of a painter. He allows a dash of the blues (sorrow); He mixes in a bit of red (injustice); He blends a bit of grey (lack of consolation)… and even black (misfortune).

We mistake the stroke of the coarse brush hairs for rejection, abandonment, and punishment. But God in his mysterious plan, uses the oils of suffering—introduced into the world by our sin—to create a masterpiece, if we let him.

But not all is grief and pain! God also adds to this canvas yellow (consolation), purple (peace), and green (mercy).

If Christ Himself received the relief of Simon carrying his cross, the consolation of Veronica wiping his face, the comfort of the weeping women of Jerusalem, and the presence and love of his Mother and beloved friend John, will not He, who commands us to pick up our cross and follow Him, not also permit consolations along the Way as well?

Prepare Your Heart!

WITH URGENCY I write this tonight… we must put our hearts right with God. We must look squarely at our sin, and repent of it — leave it behind, at the foot of the Cross.

CONFESSION… we must go regularly. St. Pio said every 8 days. Pope John Paul II said every week. Once a week… come to the Father, pour out your heart, and let him speak words of forgiveness and healing. Why be afraid of so great a gift?

I can hear objections. But it is more important than work. More important than kid’s soccer. More important than watching television. Our soul is more important than these things.

We must prepare our hearts to receive a great Light by ridding anything in our heart which would create a shadow.