Posted by: Thomas Richard | April 16, 2010

How Close is the Day?

When the angel came to Zechariah, the future father of John the Baptist, to tell him of Elizabeth’s surprising motherhood and the remarkable vocation of his coming son, the angel said this:

Lk 1:16  “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God,
Lk 1:17  and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

The phrase “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children” echoed in my ears as I pondered the truly massive U.S. debt that is the inheritance of our children and grandchildren for generations.  And the debt continues to increase, and the interest on the debt continues to increase, and the increasing burden continues to be loaded on their backs.  Meanwhile we – their “fathers” – seek to protect and expand our entitlements, prop up our inflated home values, bail out our corrupt investors and investment managers, and expand our over-paid and over-benefited army of bureaucrats.

The phrase “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children” haunts me.  Abortion funding increases, child pornography increases, child abuse continues.  Our children are abused not only individually, sexually, by predators of every stripe and origin.  Our children are abused corporately, institutionally, in schools that warp their minds to the progressive agenda, in movies and music and television that deaden their souls with immorality and atheism.

But can the children not find solace, protection and righteous direction in their homes, and from their mothers and fathers?  Our families have been so fractured by divorces and remarriages,  so preoccupied with material and temporal concerns, so distracted  by perceived economic “needs,” so poorly formed themselves in the saving Faith of the Church – so persistently busy! – that the children in many cases are left to raise themselves in front of a television, or later with their friends.

When will they come – those in the spirit and power of John – to turn the hearts of fathers to their obligations before God?

May the Lord keep us, His Church, from the unbelief of Zechariah when he heard this from the angel.  The passage continues:

Lk 1:18  And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

The Church has become “old and advanced in years” in many respects, in our time.  What are the concerns of the typical parish in the U.S.?  What are our parishes and parishioners working toward?  Is it evangelization, with the zeal and vigor of young adulthood?  Is it faith formation for adults and parents, with the humble hunger of young believers to grow in the Truth?  Or rather are they the preoccupations of the “old and advanced in years”: maintenance, preserving the status quo, keeping the grounds pretty and our reputation in the “community” intact?  Have we not lost our first love?  Where is the passion; where is the life?

Zechariah was unable to speak, because of his unbelief, until the birth and naming of John.  Is our prophetic silence the same judgment?  Will the Church not awaken until the very end?  Let us please pray.  We need supernatural intervention; too many of our leaders are dozing, content with their managing and their buildings and their budgets.   We have become “evangelized” by the world, secularized and socialized, hardly able even to see that there is a problem!

Meanwhile, the symptoms increase and the darkness advances.  Pray, brothers and sisters.  Pray!  Daybreak is coming!

Thomas


Responses

  1. Prayer is indeed our first act of love for one another. We need to seek the Lord in prayer for light to discern and strength to do His Will.

    You are right, Thomas, the world has secularized too many of us in the Church. We have not gone forth and evangelized the world as zealously as the world has zealously come into our lives! It is the children who suffer most. By God’s Grace, we need to begin afresh, from Christ.

    You stated it well:

    “… Our families have been so fractured by divorces and remarriages, so preoccupied with material and temporal concerns, so distracted by perceived economic “needs,” so poorly formed themselves in the saving Faith of the Church – so persistently busy! – that the children in many cases are left to raise themselves in front of a television, or later with their friends.”

    You ask when will those come to turn the hearts of the fathers toward the children? I believe that God’s Grace is present in every generation to raise up His saints. Each of us must pray and do the Truth we hear, lovingly, to build up the Body of Christ. We must become the saints we were created to be.

    If we do not “see” or “hear” many saints in the public squares or in our Churches yet, then it may be that right now there are silent warriors, who night and day are praying as Jesus taught us: “Our Father… ” We may not “see” all the fathers and mothers who are raising their children in the True Faith, but we can hope there are such children who are, and will be blessed.

    Let us pray without ceasing and with great confidence, “Jesus we trust in You”. Let us, as Pope John Paul II so often urged, “Be not afraid. Open wide the doors of your heart to Christ.” When Daybreak comes, may He find us watching and waiting with our lamps lit and our hearts filled with faith, hope, and above all, charity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: