“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’
And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’” (Revelation 21:3-5)
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus, come and make all things new!
How broken the world is! The signs of the times are all around us, coming ever faster and more furiously. It is hard to be people of the Good News when the bad news artillery relentlessly falls on our heads.
The past few weeks I have felt bombarded by bad news. Yes, we must continue to fight ceaselessly against injustice, but in the face of bad news, we must keep the Good News of Jesus Christ in the forefront. It is our only hope, and it is a sure hope! To quote St. John Paul II, “We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song!”
As if God wished to bolster the troops, he has also bombarded me with inspiring quotes and messages. God is on the march and he wants us to know that, as at the resurrection, the evil one will be supremely defeated. We must remain faithful and attentive to the Divine Will, that His Kingdom may come and His will be done on earth as in heaven.
Come Lord Jesus, and make all things new!
In the Bad News / Good News format, I want to share with you a few of the inspirational quotes and messages that have come my way. May you also be inspired and encouraged in your particular mission in a desperately fallen world.
Bad News: According to opendoors.org, five years ago, only North Korea was in the ‘extreme’ category for its level of persecution of Christians. In the 2019 World Watch List, as in 2018, 11 countries score enough to fit that category and a further 29 are in the “very high” category.
Good News: A Dutch Christian, Andrew van der Bijl, a.k.a. “Brother Andrew”, began in 1957 to smuggle Bibles into communist countries and everywhere Christians were being persecuted. In 1967 he published a book of his memoirs, titled God’s Smuggler, which has sold more than 10 million copies in 35 languages. This eventually led to the formation of Open Doors, an organization devoted to helping persecuted Christians worldwide.
There is a lot more information on their website, http://www.opendoors.org/, but one simple quote that inspired me was:
“PRAYER IS NOT PREPARATION FOR THE BATTLE; PRAYER IS THE BATTLE.” – Brother Andrew, God’s Smuggler
God is on the march and the signs are all around us. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. And Jesus said, “If they persecute Me, they will persecute you too!” This too is Good News! The Church has entered into the passion of Christ. Christian soldiers, run the race before you and endure to the end. Rejoice and be glad for the Resurrection is near!
Bad news: This week I read a disturbing document written by Rebecca Oas, Associate Director of Research for the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam) in Washington, D.C. The article outlines how the United Nations “population” funding is often based on the skewed metric of “lives saved”. She writes:
The most popular modeling software to measure lives saved in global maternal and child health strategies is the Lives Saved Tool (LiST), developed Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Using LiST, users can predict reductions in maternal deaths in two ways: by deploying interventions that prevent or treat complications of pregnancy and birth, such as hemorrhage or infection, or by reducing the pool of pregnant women by scaling up contraceptive use.
The article ends with this chilling paragraph.
The claim that the best and cheapest way to save a child’s life is to prevent that child’s existence is indefensible. Those who would make such a claim tend to rely on the fact that they will not be called upon to defend it. While the pro-life movement must regularly contend with the brazen assaults on the rights of children in the womb, we cannot ignore the subtler attempts to redefine human life in global health policy that lead to funding for the abortion agenda. Taking a stand against “therapeutic nonexistence” in lives-saved analyses is ultimately a pro-life position. There is no life saved without a living survivor.
Upside-down world! Archbishop Fulton Sheen further illustrates the principle at work here:
“Suppose a family had five children but they had enough money to buy only four hats. Do you think they would be permitted or should be permitted to cut off the head of a child in order to bring the economic to the level of human and the human to the level of the economic? Suppose a husband says that he can no longer support his wife. Ought he be entitled to shoot her?”
According to the UN metrics, that would be the most economically viable solution. Huh?
Good News: C-Fam is Good News for the pro-life army, but not surprisingly they are under constant attack by the anti-life forces in the UN. Please pray for them.
“The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” (Jn 3:19-21)
Bad news upon bad news: On June 17, 2016, euthanasia became legal in Canada. According to the Fourth Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada, published by Health Canada one in every 100 deaths in Canada is administered by doctor! They also say the statistic is likely higher because some areas of the country are not yet reporting. This is a government report!
Truly Evil News: There has been much reported about the sexual abuse of minors by priests, and this must be taken seriously. But when God cleans house, he starts with his own. Many more abusers are out there. This week I stumbled upon an article by John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute on the topic of child trafficking in America. I can’t bear to remember, let alone repeat, what I read in the article, but the “business” of trafficking humans is almost as lucrative to the depraved traffickers as are guns and drugs. It’s big business in every country in the world, even in America! The statistics of how many children are sold and abused each year in the US are shocking. May Christ, the Light of Truth and Justice, expose all these heinous acts and free the victims!
Good News: In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was “sorrowful unto death” as he saw the sins of mankind whose guilt he took upon himself. His anguish was so great that his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground. The Good News is that His fiat to his Father, his obedience unto death, death on the cross, won for all who would repent of their evil, immersion in the ocean of Divine Mercy.
Come Lord Jesus, and make all things new, especially for the little ones!
More Good News: St. Athanasius, who died in the year 373, fought courageously against the Arian heresy and was an outstanding defender of the true faith. As I was reading one of his writings in the Office of Readings, it occurred to me that without the heresy we would not have the writings to guide us centuries later. It encouraged me to be confident that God is working in all this bad news. “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) God is not silent in all this turmoil. He is working to make all things new! Maranatha! With God it’s all Good News. His justice and mercy will triumph.
Good News from a Canadian Saint: April 30 is the Feast Day of St. Marie of the Incarnation, first missionary woman of the New World. She was a mystic born in France in 1599 who received revelations concerning the Incarnation, the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Trinity. She joined the Ursuline order and sailed to Quebec with two other Ursulines in 1639 where they opened a school. It was a difficult life as we can only imagine. But her interior life sustained her. She once said:
“If we could, with a single interior glance, see all the goodness and mercy that exists in God’s designs for each one of us, even in what we call disgraces, pains, and afflictions, our happiness would consist in throwing ourselves into the arms of the divine will with the abandon of a young child that throws himself into the arms of his mother.”
Our Lady has called us to offer all we can for the souls she and Jesus love so dearly. If we are consecrated to Our Lady, the Good News is that all our spiritual goods belong to her—and they are in the best of hands.
I leave the last word to Fr. J.P. de Caussade:
“There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action.”― Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence
Come Lord Jesus, and make all things new!
I was amazed to see that Mark Mallett’s May 3 blog post also has a similar theme. Come Holy Spirit!