Monday, July 15, 2013

Surviving a Tsunami

Ever feel as if you were living in the midst of a "tsunami of secularism" (to coin Cardinal Wuerl's phrase)?  Ever feel battered or beaten down or even swept away by a world which seems less and less open to beauty and truth and goodness?

Maybe it's just me, but sometimes it seems like we are awash in indifference to what's really Real.  It seems like we are surfing on a wave of meaninglessness, with its inevitable undertow of emptiness.  And sometimes I find it very difficult to reach out like a "Good Samaritan"--one who is moved with compassion, and one who puts mercy into action--in the face of so much cultural wreckage.  Sometimes I feel like I'm just in survival mode.

As a Christian, I know that my faith needs to be embodied in concrete acts of love, but I also know that my faith and my love must be rooted in hope.  So where do you see signs of hope amid the current cultural maelstrom?  What can help me remember that the ocean ultimately engulfs even the most mighty storm?

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, emissary of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, once wrote:

The Divine Heart is an ocean full of good things,
wherein poor souls can cast all their needs;
it is an ocean full of joy to drown all our sadness,
an ocean of humility to drown our folly,
an ocean of mercy for those in distress,
an ocean of love in which to submerge our poverty.
So in those moments when we sense the onslaught of the storm, we need to remember where to cast all of our needs.  We need to recall the deeper joy which waits to swallow up our sadness.  And I need to have the courage to repent of my own folly, in order to open my heart to the humility and mercy which our weary world needs.  As Second Vatican Council proclaimed so eloquently, "The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ" (Gaudium et spes, n. 1). 

A "tsunami of secularism" may have its moment, but we have to remember that the ocean of Divine Mercy has already swallowed it up.  And I have to let Christ reach out--in and through my own brokenness--to the other wounded souls who lie in the wake of the cultural tidal wave.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto yours!