One of the inspiring books I read when I was younger was "God’s Smuggler," the story of Brother Andrew, a Christian missionary behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950s. I recently picked up that book again. In it, I find heroic faith in God’s providence, which is answered by God’s miraculous intervention.
I read a passage early in Brother Andrew’s search for his ministry in which he is appalled by the ignorance of the Bible and of the person of Jesus among young people he encounters. The words reminded me of the telling by someone I don’t remember of meeting young people in California who had never heard of Jesus.
Now I know there are a lot of people in this country who don’t know much about Him, but at least they’ve heard His name, if only in vain.
Later on, Andrew finds behind the Iron in places where churches are still l tolerated, that young people no longer attend services. The complaint of one grandmother when asked is that the schools are telling the kids that the old people are uneducated in these things - humor them by letting them do their thing (my wording), but "we know better, don’t we."
This reminded me of the recent commotion in some areas of our country where the educators are acting under the belief that the government has the right to form the children as they see fit, and the parents haven’t got a right to interfere.
The rationale behind the tacitly tolerated anarchy in some of our big cities is that the problem is cultural and won’t be solved by legal measures. This may be true enough…
A few years back there was a push for the New Evangelism - re-evangelize Christians who”s catechesis may be lacking.
I remember being told by my mother that in polite society two subjects were to be avoided in social situations -- religion and politics. We Catholics don’t often go deep in talking about our religion - after all, that’s “the priest’s job.” But I have fears that if my generation and yours don’t get busy evangelizing our children, they will be evangelized -- by anti-Christian, anti-religion elements at work in our society.
Somebody out there will call me a conspiracy theorist. Perhaps at this point, the devil is the only conspirator; he always is. But as God has chosen to work through people, so has Satan.
Any work of God has to start with prayer. “Unless the Lord build the house, those who labor build in vain.” And maybe prayer is the only option you see for yourself. Pray for your country. Pray God’s will be done but know that’s not a cop-out prayer. Occasionally Scripture is clear about God’s will. Praying for God’s specific will is always a good thing.
I feel like the time is getting very short. In the past when good people sat back and waited for somebody else to stop the evil around them -- well, they got Hitler. They got Lenin.
It is the Truth, not gunfire, that sets one free. Truth is in Christ. Truth is Christ. We have to give Christ to the people in this country or lose it. Or lose them.
Rom.13:11: “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
Daphne Berend writes from Subiaco.
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