Fr. Kevin’s Column

October 25, 2020

 

Dear friends of God,

 

Last weekend as we began our time of silent prayer together before beginning our Mass, I shared two quotes with the community. They bring me great hope. I want to share them again. One is from a contemporary Irish poet and the other a saint and Doctor of the Church from the 1500’s. They are both necessary and true words during uncertain times.

 

Believe that a farther shore Is reachable from here.

Believe in miracles

And cures and healing wells.

Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)

 

Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you,

All things are passing away:

God never changes. Patience obtains all things

Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.

St. Teresa of Avila (1515 -1582)

 

I need these hopeful words from the wise ones. Maybe you do too. I am increasingly concerned about the direction that we are taking as a nation: the divisiveness, the hate and our lack of understanding that with freedom comes responsibility. There are many who are fueling fear for their own benefit while they are misusing the holy name of Jesus.

 

We need a true conversion: what the early church knew as metanoia. The word is normally translated as repentance, but it is far more than that. It is about putting on a new mind; it is about changing our mind. At this time in history, we do need to repent, but more than that, we need to change a change of mind that can only come from our God who calls us to a transformation of our hearts.

 

True transformation comes from following the commands of Jesus. We hear this in this weekend’s Gospel:

 

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,

with all your soul,

and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

The whole law and the prophets depend on

these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37- 40)

 

Jesus commands us to love in a dangerous time. We are to be those people who love not only with our words but also with our actions when so many try to bait us into fearing both God and neighbor. Divisiveness is from the Evil One.  God calls us to unity while the Devil tempts us to hate and fear each other. Satan is the great deceiver and the original “Fake news.” We are not people of fake news; we are called to be Good News people. That is, we cannot be the people in the crowd yelling “fake news” when we are upset. We need to delve deeply into the Word of God to learn what God calls us to be in our world. We need to be inspired and challenged by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

The Good News is that God is love and we are to love God, love our neighbor and even love those whom we call enemy. The indwelling love of God in our hearts is Jesus himself. This love overflows into the world and inspires us to change and to challenge those who follow the way of fear. Together let us turn from fear and hate to love. These words from the World Peace Prayer never fail us inspire and challenge me to something more.

 

Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth.

Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust.

Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace.

Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe.

 

True transformation stems from our prayer.  Prayer can show us the pathway of love that Jesus desires us to follow. Let us pray for each other and in particular let us pray for those people that we struggle with in our lives. Let us pray for Vice President Biden and President Trump, that the love of God will transform their words and actions towards love and respect for all people. I am going to have an opportunity for 30 minutes of quiet adoration for peace every Tuesday until Election Day from 5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. If you are able, please join me. If you cannot come, I would encourage you to spend 30 minutes of silent prayer for peace on Tuesdays. May the peace of our prayer emanate throughout our nation for healing.

 

Much love,

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