What to Do in Crises

by Fr. Robert Wild

There are so many crises in the world today, and it seems like every day brings to our minds another one. I don’t need to name them.  But “How does one relate in faith to all this?”

I’m not thinking here so much of political activity in the ordinary sense, although I consider what I’m about to say as concern and “action” for the body politic in the deepest sense of those words.

These crises create anxiety and, if we are not watchful, they can increase darkness, hopelessness and confusion in our own hearts  . . . the very things which are causing the crises.

Our very first call from God, then, is to be watchful over our own hearts, that part of the world over which alone we have any direct control.

The first and very best thing we can do, whether in times of crisis or not, is to deepen our faith in the Resurrection, to live as “children of the Resurrection.”

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 deed of the Father.

This is not only the central truth of all of history, it’s the only source of life for the world. To allow anything to dim that truth in our hearts is a tragedy.

We can be sad and concerned about the world, as we should be. But it’s crucial that our own hearts do not participate in the darkness by a weakening faith in the Resurrection.

The second thing we can do when we hear about a crisis is to pray more. Prayer is a real force in the world. And how about praying specifically for individual people’s hearts to be converted: the rulers of nations by name, or other government leaders or people in the media or any other people we know of who can effect real change?

It is people who make decisions and so it is people who need to be enlightened and converted.

Thirdly, the very best thing each of us individually 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 of the problems of the world!

There is a small but important part of the world that has been entrusted to our care. It may not be the whole of America, or the entire province of Ontario 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! The best thing you can do for the world in times of crisis is to care for that part of the world the Lord has entrusted to you. If everyone did that, there would be no crisis at all!

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; continue to do peacefully what the Lord is asking of you.

If all Christians did these things during crisis and did not dissipate their energies through lack of faith, failure to pray and neglect of their duties, the world would continue to be transformed into the kingdom, despite what the children of this world were doing.

Excerpted and adapted from Desert Harvest, (2019), pp. 43-45, Wifp and Stock Publishers, available from MH Publications