Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shining Lights

"My beloved... Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world."  ~Philippians 2:15

Photo Credit:  Ankara Üniversitesi Doğa
I once heard a story about a woman who underwent the horrific experience of being raped.  Later, reflecting upon it, she thought about how God was within her during the entire time and she realized that the criminal was not only raping her, he was also raping God.  And looking more deeply into it, she thought about how God is within everyone, even the man who raped her, so he essentially caused God to take part in the evil action against her.  Thinking about this, realizing that God is within every single person, good and bad alike, it makes me want more than ever to be as good and holy as I can possibly be at all times because I cannot bear the thought of offending God by my thoughts and actions-not the God who lives within me or the  God who lives within others.  Through my body and soul and all of my experiences I want to offer the very best of me, to give him glory and honor in all things and contrition and repentance when I fail to live up to all of that to which He is worthy.

Thinking of this in light of the presidential elections in the United States, while I am very disheartened by the results, especially since the candidate who is the most anti-life and anti-religious freedom got the Catholic vote, I can't help but be joyful, too, remembering that God is always in control and He calls each and every one of us to bring His light of love, peace and joy to those around us.  It's really a very simple philosophy, if not always easy to live out.  We are called to be faithful in all things and if we can manage to do that, we will always remain close to His heart. 

I have been encouraged by the recent words of Archbishop Chaput:  "We are Catholics before we are Americans," but I am sorry that many Catholics don't seem to feel that way and want to make the Catholic Church into something it isn't and can never be, that is, a Church that allows death to have the last word.  For we know that in the end our Resurrected Lord will cause us all to rejoice with a hearty Risus Paschalis, an Easter laugh.  God always wins, even if there are dark days when it seems as if that is impossible.

We have to trust that no matter how evil and wicked others may seem to be through their words and actions and in their beliefs, He still shines within our souls.  It is our greatest responsibility to continue to serve Him with joy and love and to do all we can to bring others to know and love Him in such a way as to save their souls.  It's a huge and often lonely task, seemingly insurmountable.  I think about the movie For Greater Glory which portrayed the persecution of the Church in 21st century Mexico, and other horrible events in history such as the reign of Nazi terror and the ensuing holocaust of our Jewish brothers and sisters, and the rise of communism which represses faith in God.  Despite the evident hold of evil upon the hearts of many as seen in these heinous events of world history, God's faithful are plentiful and will remain firm in their beliefs.  

We are called to carry on and bring the light of Christ to those around us, even to those who refuse to accept the light.   We are to hold our heads high in following the narrow path while at the same time humbly serving those around us and doing all we can to see the God that lives within each of us while praying continually in atonement for the sins of our nation and especially for each of our individual sins. 
These are the times in which saints and martyrs will be made.  Let's shine for all we're worth!  For the love of God, are you in?


  1. I'm in!!!Thank you Nancy for these encouraging and truthful words. I really needed them after this election. And yes, let's shine and as Merton wrote we are..."all shining like the sun!" God Bless you...

  2. I'm in, too! May God give us grace to keep carrying the light of Christ... even to those who refuse to accept it. Thanks for a hope-filled post.

  3. What a beautiful post, Anne! Yes, I'm in too : ) Thank you for words of hope on a difficult day! Love and prayers....

  4. Yes, yes, yes! I'm in! How thankful I am to NOT feel lonely when I read posts like yours...You speak deeply with words that I feel (exactly) and cannot express. You are a true soul sister, dear Anne:) And I pray you are (the same) to many readers who connect with your spirit here! God bless you for helping us shine!

  5. I'm a warrior, in for the duration, but right now I think I need a rest.