Posted by: Thomas Richard | January 4, 2018

Reevaluating Time Schedules…

These are trying days!  The world has been living under the shadow of nuclear war for a long time now – as a child the 1940’s, I remember the drills in school to prepare for a nuclear attack.  We were to duck under our desks, head between our knees, hand over back of neck, eyes shut, waiting for further instruction.  I suppose the adults understood more clearly the world-wide catastrophes that would follow, after the explosive effects began to smother and strangle, and radiation began to poison, life throughout the biosphere.

It is difficult to imagine such horrors, but even the possibilities cast new light on the end-time prophesies of Holy Scripture.  What seemed so impossible if not very distant, in these end-time prophesies, is beginning to be yes, possible, and maybe not as distant as we would like.  A boy-god king in North Korea has weapons of mass destruction – nuclear, chemical, biological – and he seems to have nothing inside himself to restrain the beast.  The world has had such rulers before, but never before have they had such deadly power to inflict catastrophic horror upon so many, around the whole world.

Being a Christian is a great comfort, in such a time.  We have a foundation of faith that helps us to understand the temporary – the passing – nature of this life here and now.  This life is a trial, a life-long moment of testing, and also of opportunity to build upon and strengthen the foundation of our individual lives with lasting values, with enduring treasures, with eternal blessings.  We are invited to, and we must, use our moments well.

Therefore it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
making the most of the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,
always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Eph 5:14 -20)

In his Letter to the Ephesians Paul used the familiar analogy among all humans, of battle, of war, to help Christians see more deeply into the struggles we face.  Our battle, finally, is a spiritual and interior one:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace;
besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,….(Eph 6:10 -18)

Paul’s exhortations are good ones, my friends: we need to take them seriously!  We need to guard our hearts (a breastplate of righteousness), to be careful to love and value all that God loves and values!  We need to guard our minds, our thinking (the helmet of salvation), to be careful to protect right thinking, discerning truth from lies!  We need “the shield of faith” in this battlefield of amoral and godless political correctness.  We need “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” because He, the living Word, is Truth.  Jesus Christ taught us,

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (Jn 14:6)

So many people – so many Catholics! – continue to use up so much precious time, with trivial pursuits.  As if we had “all the time in the world”!  No, for every man and woman there is a last day, a last hour, a last breath.  And a last time for prayer, for Holy Scripture, a last time for worship in Holy Mass, a last Holy Communion, a last act of holy charity for God, for a friend, for a stranger, for an enemy.  A last moment to live the life of Christ here and now, for the glory of God.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.


Responses

  1. Dear Thomas,

    Thanks for this first blog article of 2018 – reminding us of the value of “time”!

    May the Holy Spirit guide us into ALL Truth as we journey toward the eternal home of our Father. May the scriptures you’ve included help us to focus our minds and hearts on what is most important, as we seek to remain in Jesus as our Mother Mary did on this earth and continues in heaven. May this be a year of blessings for all!

  2. Thank you, Thomas, for sharing the wisdom God has given you with all of us. I really liked the “sword of the Spirit is the Word of God”. So powerful is His truth. Let’s pray for everybody before it is too late.

    • The Spirit’s encouragement to “pray for everybody” is so very, very important, Susan. Thank you for bringing that to the table – the altar here. This is a work we must not neglect! Prayer, for friends, for strangers, for enemies – we owe them that, in Jesus Christ.

      — Thomas

  3. I so appreciate your perspectives Thomas and thank you for sharing. North Korea has weighed heavy on my heart for some time now and I don’t feel that our officials take him seriously enough. I enjoy your wisdom.

    • Thank you for your comments, Debra. There are so many threats today against – well, against so much of what we have taken for granted for a very long time. Against Christianity – by atheists, by terrorists and radical Muslims; against Western civilization, against the U.S. in particular – by power-seeking, power-loving and godless men who want to rule for the love of being Ruler. I think that our government leaders do see and recognize and take seriously, these civil threats.

      But I am not as confident about the leadership I see (and don’t see) from Church leaders. There is a spiritual war going on, that civil leaders are not responsible for, but Church leaders are: the war for human souls. As Paul wrote, quoted above:

      “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

      This spiritual war is very present in the world today, and we are not taking it as seriously as we ought, as a Church.

      — Thomas

  4. Dear Thomas,

    As always, great article. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. As one who is entering my later years, I have some major decisions to make. As you may recall, my plans for an easy life in retirement spent with my wife was unfortunately taken away.

    So I have been trying to discern God’s call for me now. And I’ve probably been taking too much time. Your wake up call is what I needed as an impetus to delve into this deeper. Permanent diaconate, priesthood, or continue as an involved lay person. What is God calling me for…………..

    God Bless,
    Glenn

    • Thank you for your response, Glenn. Discerning one’s call, in volatile and uncertain times, is difficult – until it isn’t, any more, that is. God can speak in completely unambiguous words! It can be very hard, I find for myself anyway, to summon the patience to wait for HIs word, His direction. A very wise priest, who counseled me many times and ways, used to say, “When you don’t know what to do, sit down.”

      I’d say what you already know, of course: pray, keep praying, listen, keep listening.

      Blessings,
      Thomas


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