Perhaps, “judgment” on the “family of God”, the Church, is now given way to “judgment” on “the world”? Perhaps, our frailties are coming to light and illusions are vanishing as part of our purification and renewal by the Will of God?
“For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17 NASB)
Regardless of possible purifications and renewals of the Church and of the world in the events of the past few years and of the present months, our individual lives need to be constantly purified and renewed as well. Part of our personal renewal certainly includes accepting what Irish theologian Fr. D. Vincent Twomey calls “outrageous fortune”.
“For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.” (Mark 4:22 NASB)
The Church’s major strength in the past was the way it formed people to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, which are part of the human condition — and which can only be faced if one has learned to pray the Stations of the Cross, and has learned to live daily life from a source that is not simply human. Hope accepts the reality of the Cross in our lives. It knows at the same time that the Cross is not the last word. Resurrection, joy, and happiness ultimately prevail, because we know that His victory has the last word.
This awareness of the Transcendent and, with it, the inner joy and confidence about future victory (summed up in the phrase once used in adversity: “God is good”) enabled the faithful to endure the worst. It was the source of true hope and, paradoxically, it leads not to fatalism but to making a greater effort to improve the situation.
Tags: D. Vincent Twomey, Ireland, Recession, Lent
By way of contrast, the impression I get today is a growing inability to accept and cope with the reality of suffering, as a result of which so many seek the escapist outlets we are all too familiar with: drugs, excessive drink, suicide. I dead to think of what will happen when the present recession was have just entered begins to make itself felt in any serious way.