There will always be dark and evil in the world.
Fix your gaze on the Lord and His light.
Recently I lived through a week that seemed to come full circle. I was very down and I wondered why. Usually I am a pretty happy and even an enthusiastic, up type person. At times like this I like to be alone with my thoughts and ponder things, but my life situation doesn’t allow me this type of space.
So I was feeling downcast and morose and there seemed no solution. Then I woke up in the middle of one night and in the still of the evening I had my own time. So I thought, what is the matter with me; why am I so gloomy? And I went back over happenings of the previous few days. I realized that first I had read in the LA Times an article about run-away film production. There is no work being done in ‘Hollywood’ it’s all gone to Canada and Australia. That’s a sad situation for all the people who make their living in the film industry.
It went on, however, to relate an even more deplorable situation, that negatively effects our whole society, and that is, ‘there is more production than ever being done, making trillions of dollars, in one field and that’s pornography’. The specific region it’s occurring in is the San Fernando Valley.
Oh that’s even more depressing cause that’s where I reside, and I further lamented in my thoughts how nothing has changed since ten plus years ago when I expended endless time and effort rallying Catholics to action proclaiming; “more pornography was produced in and distributed from the San Fernando Valley than anywhere in the world”. Anywhere in the world that’s exactly what I was telling everyone, who would listen, all those years ago.
My gloomy thoughts continued and I realized something else that happened in the previous days. By coincidence I had talked to two friends, that go back a long way in my life but I hadn’t had contact with either of them in years. They both have similar backgrounds to mine, Catholic schools, Catholic marriages, efforts to raise a Catholic family. One has completely left the Church and doesn’t consider herself Catholic. The other is what I would describe as a quasi Catholic. She has numerous criticisms of the Church, doesn’t share essential beliefs but if pressed would maybe say she was a Catholic. Because both of these women are very dear to me and I will always treasure their friendships, their negative remarks about the Church I love really depressed me.
This negative thinking wasn’t helping me any, so I turned on my reading lamp and decided to catch up with magazines that had been waiting all week on my nightstand. I opened the magazine “Inside the Vatican” and read the Editorial. It had the exact message I needed to get me out of my doldrums.
Speaking of John Paul II the Editor writes: This Pope’s pontificate has from its beginning had a threefold thrust–to preach Christ, to clarify and protect the deposit of faith, and to encourage all to live with love and hope in the light of eternity. He strives to encourage all who listen to keep the Commandants and turn their gaze to the ultimate goal of existence in order to resist being enslaved “to the elemental spirits of the universe.”
The Editorial continues: In the late summer of 1999, the penetrating and passionate words of St. Augustine in his City of God, written after the city of Rome was sacked in A.D. 410, make this Christian message especially meaningful for those witnessing the turmoil and promise of present days. Then quoting from St. Augustine there are numerous sentences you would swear were written to the Catholics of our day, telling of the evils that exist and encouraging them to keep their eyes and minds on Jesus Christ and the promise of the glory that awaits all those who believe.
Next, I leafed through The Tidings and saw all the good, positive things Catholics in the Archdiocese are doing. It brought to mind my many, many friends in the ACCW who are constant sources of strength and inspiration for me. Ranging in age from their twenties to nineties, of various ethnicities, from the financially affluent to those just getting by, these women inspire me, encourage me and make me know that the God who created them and blessed my life by their presence has founded His church for us and it’s worth every sacrifice and effort we can make to support and sustain that Church.
And for my two friends who seem to have lost the faith, I’ll pray for them and I’ll encourage others to pray for them and God willing, some day, we’ll all enjoy the glory of heaven together. Now I was getting drowsy but my attitude was completely improved. Fleeting thoughts went through my mind of how good God has been to me.
The Web Site CatholicWomen.com came about in a seemingly miraculous way. The ACCW Web Site is about to be fully launched and looks wonderful. I have a loving husband, children and grandchildren.
I am privileged to know and claim as friends priests who have all the best of manhood’s traits: courage, strength, sensitivity, deep spirituality and something important to me a sense of humor. I fell asleep happily anticipating the morrow, a new day dedicated to doing the Lord’s work.