The news from around the world is now almost intolerable to read. The desecration of the Eucharist; the ins and outs of ISIS and their daily evil; the trafficking of women and children in Asia; the plight of families in Africa; the abuse of children; the invasion of Ukraine; our manifold challenges here in our country; evil and chaos appear to have the upper-hand, and hearing about it every day can wear down our hope and resolve to make a difference. Because faced with these horrifying wide-spread realities, any normal person is bound to wonder what difference he can possibly make and worry if he, too, will simply be swallowed up by the blackness that seems to be spreading.
It’s good to remind ourselves often and it is actually we, who in the person of Jesus Christ, have the ultimate advantage. Our God who humbled Himself to take on our nature is far more powerful than any evil we could encounter. And when we give ourselves totally to Him, He can make use of us in such far-reaching ways that we could only dream of. The lives of the saints, especially those who lived hidden lives such as St. Therese of Liseux, are testament to this.
In The Three Ages of the Interior Life Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, reminds us of what God can do with us when we offer to Him totally free and loving gifts of prayer and sacrifice:
In all these questions, whether good or evil is involved, particular attention must be paid to what proceeds from our higher faculties, the intellect and will: that is, to the act of the will following full knowledge of the case. And, from this point of view, if an evil act committed with full deliberation and consent, like a formal pact with the devil, has formidable consequences, a good act, such as the oblation of self to God, made with full deliberation and consent and frequently renewed, can have even greater consequences in the order of good; for the Holy Ghost is of a certainty infinitely more powerful than the spirit of evil, and He can do more for our sanctification than the latter can for our ruin. It is well to think of this in the face of the gravity of certain present-day events. The love of Christ, dying on the cross for us, pleased God more than all sins taken together displeased Him; so the Savior is more powerful to save us than the enemy of good is to destroy us. With this meaning, Christ said: ‘Fear ye not them that kill the body and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.’ Unless we open the door of our hearts to him, the enemy of good cannot penetrate into the sanctuary of our will, whereas God is closer to us than we are to ourselves and can lead us strongly and sweetly to the most profound and elevated meritorious free acts, to acts that are the prelude of eternal life.
In the face of great evil we can choose to ignore it, despair, join it, or resist, through offering Our good Lord all of ourselves. The next time we’re confronted by upsetting news, we can lift up our sorrow to Him, with love, hope, and trust, and truly know that we are doing something and something very powerful, to help fight the tide of sin and death in our world.
How do you battle the tide of sin with hope? What do you “do” that gives you hope when the news is intolerable?