The world, it seems, is falling to pieces. Each day brings ever worsening reports of war, violence, and devastation. Protests, riots, bombings, beheadings, rapes, kidnappings, persecutions—the list goes on and on. Yesterday, yet another horror unfolded in Paris, one of the most devastating yet in the Western world, and we feel with foreboding that it likely will not be the last such act of terror.
The weight of such tragedies weighs heavily on us. It is hard not to be downcast when we see evil engulfing all we hold dear like a great and ominous storm cloud, its lightnings and blackness overwhelming all. Neither is it a wonder that a growing number of Americans are on anti-depressants and anxiety medication.
What should we do then? How should we respond? I will leave the difficult answers of a public response to those wiser than myself. But faced with a world broken and bleeding, a world in the throes of a great crisis at once moral, social, and spiritual, I want to issue a call to true, personal conversion, a call to sincere repentance.
What should we do? We should fall on our knees and cry out in the words of the Psalmist, Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri….Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. We should turn from our sins and toward the living God, the God who loves mankind and who is full of mercy and pardon.
Whom the Lord Loves, he Chastens
Throughout the Scriptures and the earthly sojourn of the Church, it is undeniable that God permitted times of great suffering frequently to chasten the people he loves. While God is never the direct cause of evil (we are, through our sin and disobedience), he permits it as a remedy to drive his forgetful people back to himself. And forgotten him