12 May Living in a Time of Crisis
by Fr. Bob Wild
Wars, economic crises, the growth of the culture of death, threats to religious freedom: How does one deal in faith with all of this?
I’m not thinking here so much of political activity in the ordinary sense, although I consider what I’m about to say to be concern and “action” for the body politic in the deepest sense of those words.
One thing is that these problems create anxiety and, if we are not watchful, they can create or increase darkness, hopelessness, and confusion in our own hearts—the very things which cause wars.
Our very first call from God, then, is to be watchful over our hearts, the only part of the world over which we have any direct control.
And along with our watchfulness, we need to deepen our faith in the Resurrection, to live as “children of the Resurrection.”
The fact is that, no matter what is happening in the world, Christ is risen from the dead. No matter what crisis is going on, Jesus is alive and he will never die again. Nothing that is happening, or that ever will happen, can change that fundamental reality.
The Resurrection is not only the central truth of all of history, it is also the only source of life for the world. To allow anything to dim that truth in our hearts is a great tragedy.
And whatever is happening in the world, let us witness to the Resurrection. Many others need this hope.
The second thing we can do when we hear about any crisis is to pray more. As Christians, we do not believe prayer is escapism or a way of salving our consciences or “all we can do anyhow.” For us, prayer is a real force in the world.
And it’s a good idea to pray for people—that the hearts of certain individual persons be converted: perhaps the rulers of nations by name or any other individuals whom we know can effect a real change. It is people who make decisions and so it is people who need to be enlightened and converted.
The third thing we can do for the world, and for our own wholeness and sanity during times of crisis, is to continue to do what the Lord is asking of us—in our homes, businesses, or wherever we happen to be.
(What good does it do to mope around, thinking about the problems of the world!)
There is a small but important part of the world that has been entrusted to our care. It probably isn’t the whole of America or the entire province of Ontario; for most of us, it’s something very small.
But it is something concrete and definite, something worthwhile and important. And what is more, it is something actual and within our abilities and competence.
To wish we were elsewhere, or to believe that if we were elsewhere, we certainly could effect a change in the critical situation, is pure illusion.
If everyone prayed for and served that part of the world that the Lord has entrusted to him or her, there would be no crisis.
These three approaches, then, I believe, are the first steps Christians need to take before they think of doing anything else: Don’t allow anything to weaken your faith; pray for those who are in positions to effect a change, and continue to do peacefully what the Lord is asking of you.
If all Christians did these things, the world would continue to be transformed into the kingdom, despite what the children of this world are doing.