We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church . . . must take up. —Cardinal Karol Wotyla who became Pope John Paul II two years later; reprinted November 9, 1978, issue of The Wall Street Journal
Grace and peace to you my friends.
There are many people I have talked to over the past week that have expressed their disappointment, anxiety, and even sadness over the results of the presidential election. With these feelings come even more questions about what is going to happen in the future. Last Tuesday was a incredible defeat for the Church and the cause of life and values that most Christians hold dear. Why was it that more than half of the nation’s Catholics voted for and supported the most pro-abortion candidate the U.S. has ever nominated? Why was it when people were asked about why they voted the way they did, abortion and other moral issues were not even in their top five reasons for choosing a particular candidate? To know that Catholics and Christians and a majority of the country didn’t seem to really care about the most defenseless in our society reveals to me the deep poverty we are in as a country and culture.
I am deeply motivated by the words of Pope John Paul II at the beginning of the column. In a very timeless and prophetic way he is inspiring us young people to realize and understand where we find ourselves at this time in history. We often feel helpless and like we do not have a part to play in our cultural battle. We make excuses and pass on the responsibility to someone else. However, this attitude could not be farther from what we are called to do. We need to be “called out” now more than ever. It is time my friends for all of us to grow up, step up, and start living lives that that proclaim Jesus and the Gospel! We can no longer afford to think that a life lived for Christ is something to put off to the future or something that can be done in a mediocre or average way. It is pretty safe to look around and see where living a mediocre faith has gotten us today. Is where we find ourselves really where we want to be? I am guessing that it is not.
Though there are big issues that we deal with as a nation, abortion, war, poverty, the redefining of marriage, unethical research, etc. are all areas in which the battle for our culture is being fought. I would like to propose what I think is the best way we can make a difference in this battle. It all comes down to the words of St. Jose Maria Escriva: “Why don’t you try converting your whole life into the service of God- your work and your rest, your tears and your smiles.” Our battle does not have to be fought in some far off land because the front line of the battle is fought in our families, schools, sports teams, groups of friends, and work places. If we can reorient our lives and convert everything we do for the cause of Jesus Christ and the Gospel, think about how things would change!
Our own personal conversions would have a deep impact on the major issues in our nation.
Our relationships with our parents would be better because we would listen to them, respect them, and love them in the name of Jesus
Our friendships would thrive because they would be centered around things that would build us up, spark deep conversation, and lead to genuine love and fellowship (away from shallow friendship found at the local party near you).
Our effort at school and work would be productive because everything we do would be in the name of the Lord and giving Him glory (how many of us really go to work and school each day to give Jesus glory as we use our gifts and talents?) It would change the way we volunteer, help other students, and be at the service of others.
Our sports teams would be different and the team would be looked as a community united in a single purpose: to be virtuous men and woman striving to serve God in their athletic gifts.
If we want to change our culture and we want to be a part of the renewal that must happen in our Church and country it starts with our everyday lives. Moment by moment we can change hearts, including our own, to win that battle that is before us. I believe that this is a winning strategy, one that could truly heal a culture and change it for the better.
Contribute now to the battle, don’t just let another day go by.
God Bless You,
P.S. Pray for our new president. May his heart be converted to govern and lead to respect life and work for peace and justice for all people, especially the unborn.