Monday, July 23, 2012

Awake from your Slumber

Dear Theophilus,

A friend recently sent me a link to a blog entry by Canadian Catholic singer Mark Mallett. In writing his blog Mark talks of the need for us Christians to arise from the slumber society has lulled us into to proclaim Christ’s message to an unreceptive world. Mark begins his blog post with:

We are living in a precarious moment, the calm before the Storm, when many are tempted to fall asleep. But we must remain vigilant, that is, our eyes focused on building the Kingdom of Christ in our hearts and then in the world around us. In this way, we will be living in the Father’s constant care and grace, His protection and anointing. We will be living in the Ark, and we must be there now, for soon it will begin to rain justice upon a world that is cracked and dry and thirsting for God.

You can read the entire post here, where Mark delves deeper into our falling asleep and the call to awaken to God’s grace in today’s world.

Reading Mark’s words got me to wondering about the ills of the western world. It seems as though the news these days is full of stories of death and violence. Whether it is the massacre in a Colorado movie theatre, the spate of shootings that have plagued Toronto’s streets this summer or any other news item from around the world; the images of July 2012 seem to be images of pain and anguish. Added to the outcries of horror that such events must be met with, there are questions of why and how such things could have happened.

The answer: we have been lulled to sleep. Lulled to sleep by a false sense of security in our society of abundance. Lulled to sleep by a society that has consumerized everything including the sacraments (think First Communion parties and divorce) and even life itself (think abortion and euthanasia). Lulled to sleep by a society that values individual materialism over communal spirituality.

What can we do then to avoid being the Bridesmaid who fell asleep, letting her lamp go out and missing the Bridegroom’s entry? (Mt. 25:1-13) What can we do to avoid being left outside the gate wailing and gnashing our teeth? (Mt. 13:42) Like Mark Mallett tells us, we need to listen to our modern day prophets: John Paul II, Benedict XVI, St. Faustina, and Cardinal Newman. These are the voices calling out in today’s wilderness; calling us to make straight a highway for God.

How can we do this? We need to be like these modern day prophets and do the hard thing: live our lives according to God’s teachings through the guidance of the Catholic Church. The Church’s teachings in the catechism are not new laws made to take the fun out of living. Rather, they have grown out of the Catholic Church’s 2000-year tradition that is rooted in the covenants between God and His people through Adam, Abraham, Moses and the prophets. This road won’t be easy. It never has been; the Bible is full of stories of righteous individuals who have stumbled. Through the grace of God, however, they managed to find the strength and courage to carry on.

How can we make a difference in this crazy world we live in if we are but a single voice? When you proclaim the Truth through words and deeds you are adding your voice to those already proclaiming the Truth. You will then be surprised that others will eventually add their voice to yours. Before long you will begin to see what a difference your voice can make.

First, however, we must awake from our slumber.

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