People seem to think that it is in some way a proof that no merciful God exists, if we have so many wars. On the contrary, consider how in spite of centuries of sin and greed and lust and cruelty and hatred...the human race can still recover, each time, and can still produce men and women who overcome evil with good, hatred with love, greed with charity, lust and cruelty with sanctity. Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain
I am seeking the Prince of Peace. He said In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Today I have read about tribulation that isn't even mine, yet I find it hard to be of good cheer, to be brave.
There was another shooting. There is rampant abuse by vile people of the youngest, most vulnerable and impressionable among us. I want to give up - build a fortress, sail away, take the next rocket to the moon with my children and my whole family. I want to give up on humanity, that race so capable of producing monsters - and not the ultra-hip, hyper-sexualized ones with which they spin all manner of mindless entertainment.
What I speak of, this despair, it is cowardice. Sometimes I am appalled by my own selfishness and inertness. What can we do but strive? We stop striving to live morally for ourselves and to live bravely and proactively in the world, and we die spiritually. I have no choice but to put my head into the wind and surge forward despite fear and despair. There is no good option but to respond with love. By the grace of God only can I do this. By prayer and fasting and searching.
I feel overwhelmed by what I see in the newspaper and on the Internet. Sometimes like today I walk about my home snapping at my children because my thoughts plague me; a storm cloud sits on my brow; and my mind is preoccupied with evil that I cannot battle personally, evil that I cannot undo for those who have suffered its consequences - those whom I love and ache for though I don't know them.
Like Martha in the Bible, I am troubled by many things, but on days like today I wish I could sit at Christ's feet, cling to his robes with a steel grip. He would remind me, no doubt, that sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. I should not worry about tomorrow.
Perhaps He would point out that sometimes a simple game with your children can dispel the blackened skies and remind you to live in love and hope. I wandered around my house today, seeking shelter for myself in some distraction. Only when I crossed my legs on the floor, responded to my kids and bent my mind to a game of Candy Land did I find it, and I was so grateful to have it. I cannot give in to hopelessness.
What right have I to be selfish in my despair? I am extraordinarily blessed in the purest blessings of life, and I thank God for it daily. But there are those in the world who have no shelter, who are blessed with next to nothing. I have heard some of their tales of survival and victory, and I have learned through them that triumph over evil is possible and necessary. Like the Jamaican runner, Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who grew up in a harsh neighborhood where young girls are not often given the chance to reach potential, sometimes pregnant at 12. She went to college, and she won another gold. in London. Like the elderly woman who lived next to my husband before we were married. She was abused at age 3 but as an adult became a missionary in South America. Like the Olympian Lopez Lomong who was once a child soldier in Sudan and now helps operate a charity to provide clean water and other necessities in his homeland.
If this world were glowing, coming up roses everywhere - a fairyland of love and laughter- there would be no need to exert ourselves, to show love to strangers, or to use our talents selflessly for others. The weeds affect the wheat and visa-versa. Both must grow together until the harvest. The evil in the world ignites the light of good people and the flame of great deeds. Without this struggle there would be no Mother Theresa, no firemen rushing into the World Trade Center, no by-standers tackling a gunman outside a Tucson Safeway, no policemen removing the threat to innocent people outside a Sikh Temple, and no brave men and women working tirelessly to save children from exploitation and horror. I wish for no evil, but it exists. Through God's guidance and mercy, I pray that I will be brave in having my own role in overcoming it. And we cannot doubt that those who love their children and do their best to guide them in the way they should go are doing their lion's part to make the world stronger, a better place.
Even a smile can do that in some little way. So God bless you, and God bless all of us in our endeavors - in overcoming evil with good and hatred with love.
I have felt this way today, so though I wrote this a long while back, it seems like the best post for my mood on this unique and challenging day I experienced. Sometimes I am absolutely disgusted. Is it better to avoid the news, the internet and be ignorant of the corruption and vulgarity in the world and so manage to maintain a greater hope, a more charitable view of your fellow creatures? I don't know, but I do understand it is unforgiveable to lose hope, charity or love.