Often coming to mind is a photo I saw several years back when ISIS was first mounting their heightened persecution of Christians in Syria. It was a group of children with bold smiles on their faces. Arms outstretched, palms down, they proudly showed the backs of their hands. Every child had the Cross tattooed on their hand. As villages in the region were being brutally ravaged, for them this was the mark of death. They were going to let their future killers know they belonged to Christ.
They kept their sights on the end-game. Do we?
As a society, we have lost our capacity for kindness. The gift of our faith is that it—we–are the storehouse of kindness to bring to the world. We need to be in continuous contemplation of God within us and about us to do so. This comes through living a discerning life, for prayer is meant to transform, not just inform. From simple habits come profound wisdom and authentic holiness.
The month of July is dedicated to His Precious Blood which He shed for each of us personally. Yet 70% of Catholics do not know or believe that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. 40% of Americans raised Catholic permanently leave the church not understanding what they leave behind. We must become Faith ‘first-responders’.
Sometimes healing and relationship seem forever out of our reach. Whether short term or lifelong, if I can’t develop a meaningful relationship with another person—my neighbor, my coworker, my family member—how could I possibly develop one with a ginormous God?
George Floyd’s tragic death has unleashed insanity throughout the country. We have had civil unrest before, even civil war. But we had a different society then. People were presumed to have intrinsic value given to them by God. The ‘spirit of the law’ intended to bring prudence into decision making. There was a common definition of the word ‘civil’ in ‘civil society’ and of ‘good’ as in ‘good citizen’, ‘for the common good’. Virtues provided the benchmarks. Now, 60 years of social engineering in the US has redefined the meaning of life and personhood.
The only true solidarity is in the Triune God, and the Christian life is color-blind. The non-Christian world does not understand this, but they should be able to see and experience it in action through us. God gives us the ‘formula”.