Life seems really difficult right now. We still have the pandemic raging on with no end in sight. So many people have been affected by this pandemic, either with people getting sick or dying, losing jobs and their livelihood and ways of providing for their families. The fires raging in the West Coast and so many losing their homes and their lives; the country’s elections being just about 40 days away with so much division, instability and even hatred in our country.
There is so much injustice in our world, in our country, and even in our church. There is so much corruption in our world’s countries and so much suffering caused by the greed, selfishness, and lack of compassion in so many people, people who could actually do something if they cared to.
There seems to be a lack of compassion in our own country, with so many people angry and hateful toward others. Even members of their own families, have found themselves at odds so much so that marriages are contemplating divorce over political differences. The country again has erupted into protests because of the lack of charges against the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor in her own home. There is so much unrest and lack of peace all around us.
And our own church also seems at times to not be willing to stand up to injustice in the country and in the church itself. So many clergy, bishops and priests, are taking sides in the political game of our country, when they are not supposed to do that. They are supposed to remain neutral and guide the people to making their own informed decisions about who to vote for this coming November.
In my own life, I have been trying to figure out how to deal with the injustices that I personally have had to face these past months and it has been hard. You know that I have prayed, have cried, have spoken to different people of what to do, all to no avail. I have been angry with you because you seem to be nowhere in sight. How can you be so quiet where there is so much suffering and so many things wrong going on in this world?!
But when I sit quietly, as much as possible, before the Blessed Sacrament being livestreamed from my parish, I can sometimes hear your still, small voice saying to me, “I too am saddened by the choices that so many of my children make when they end up hurting others and causing so much suffering. It is not something that I want to happen. However, I gave my children free will and I will not take that away from them. So when they make choices that are hurtful to others, that are unjust and lacking compassion, I will take those results of their actions and will work in the hearts of those who are open to my grace and bring some good out of it, but sometimes it takes a long time.”
I understand that in the sufferings that are happening around me and to me, I am participating in the Passion of Christ and living my own Paschal Mystery. Not that I like it. I don’t like it one bit and I have said that to God many times. But I also understand that God will respect my free will and the free will of others too, despite the fact that I don’t like it. But I can’t change things, as much as I have tried to change some things. I can’t. I am weak, helpless, unable to do much. But I can pray. And I can offer a kind word to someone who might be feeling sad. I can offer congratulations and a happy birthday to my nephew and niece to let them know that I remember them and love them for the gift of themselves. I can remember that I have a husband who loves me and supports me, who is there to give me a hug when I need one.
I cannot change much of anything, but I can place all things in your Sacred Heart, and I have to trust and believe that, even though, most of the time, you are quiet, you are still there, giving me life, holding me in your arms, caring for me and for all others who are your children.I choose to believe that, even if it seems to not be true, because otherwise, there is no hope.And I choose hope and faith in you, Jesus.