“See That You Be Not Deceived”

by Melanie on November 28, 2017

in Catholicism, Cursillo, Nonfiction, Politics, Spirituality

Note: On Tuesdays and some Sundays, you can find me at Your Daily Tripod, owned by my friend TonyD. A longer version of the post below appears there.

We don’t know what we don’t know, and sometimes, we don’t know what we do know.

Regardless of your political bent, it’s tempting to feel despondent about the world. Some of us felt that way on September 11, 2001; others, when nuclear weapons were dropped in Japan in August 1945.  And when we feel helpless, we look for easy fixes and answers.

Doubtless, people felt that way in the fourteenth century when the plague wiped out a third of the world’s population from Iceland to India in just three years.  While today the generally accepted theory is that rat fleas carried the disease, the people of the time didn’t know that. What they knew was something bad, very bad was happening, and came up with innumerable causes. They blamed lepers and Jews, and killed them. They feared the Lord was punishing them or that the end of the world was at hand, and took on all sorts of self-inflicted penance to prepare.

And yet, here we are, nearly seven hundred years later, seeing what we think are signs that the end times are near. Maybe they are. Maybe they’re not. But as Jesus tells us in Luke 21:8-11, when wars and plagues happen, we are not to be terrified. Nor are we to turn to those who claim to have all the answers. We already know the One who has all the answers. Our job, regardless of tempted we are to drown in anxiety, is to believe, love, and spread His news.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that at the Last Judgment, “in the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare. The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life.”

It’s pretty simple, simpler than we’d like to acknowledge. We can wring our hands over earthly divisions, and look to politicians, celebrities, pundits, and even addictions to get us through what we regard as unbearable times. Or we can, in our own way, whether it be through prayer and contemplation, through direct aid and activism, through loving conversations, or through some other practice, build our own faith and help others grow in the belief that God has this covered and always has. That is the one thing we know for sure about the future, and it is all we need.

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