“No one heals himself by wounding another.” St. Ambrose
We always think we live in the most difficult times in history. We sometimes do not have a sense of time and space and forget how time works in God’s mind. To God, a thousand years are like a day and a day is like a thousand years. We need to put things into perspective with God’s help. Sometimes I become very afraid listening to the news, reading social media, and listening to people talk about how we live in difficult times. I sent an article I had written early on the pandemic to a friend to enourage this person. This person asked why I bother and that this does not make anything different. I completely understand how difficult things must be, but we cannot despair.
“O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy.” Saint Faustina
It is understandable to be in fear but for the Catholic, fear is not an option. Yes, we live in difficult times. I haven’t taken a trip for over two years. This is small potatoes and not so important. However, a person could think it is a tragedy, but it is not. We need to stay attached to Christ because he knows exactly what to do. On The 25th of March, the Church will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and this is a beautiful and important gesture. My friends in the Carmel Cloister told me that they, along with many of us, will pray the rosary and consecration with the Pope on the 25th. We need to trust that the Lord will see us through such difficult times. During the pandemic at its height, many people in my neighbourhood were worried. However, the older people took it better, not that they took it lightly, but they had lived through such difficult times, wars, depression, and unemployment. Still, they relied on faith, family and work. They continued with such a certainty that made me envious in a way.
“You think times are bad, times are tough, times are difficult. Live well and you will change times. " St. Ambrose
It is easy to despair, but the Lord asks us for trust. We can live with the certainty that he will take care of us in a real way. I began to read about St. Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan during a very tumultuous time. The Arians were demanding churches from the Nicene Catholics. The Arians, as heretics, demanded space for their beliefs and many people, lay, clerics and military were following them. His answer was clear. He had no problem suffering for Christ, but he was adamant that he would never betray the Church of Christ. He would never surrender the churches in Milan. He was named bishop thinking that he was not adequately prepared, yet he accepted the challenge. He lived his vocation with certainty. He was a great witness for the people of Milan, and he was named one of the first four doctors of the Church. He instructed St. Augustine. He was the one who saw the needs of the people around him. He saw the beauty in the liturgy. We cannot lose hope – NEVER. He was a great leader.
Sometimes I do get discouraged. I wonder about many things when I take a hit in life or hit a bump in the road. I taught a lesson once in class about an article about positive thinking. I do not think we can reduce our lives to simply having a good attitude. It is not that simple. We need to remember that it is Christ who makes the road ahead clear, and it is Christ who continues to show us that we are not alone. I know the times we live in are difficult. We study history and wonder how people survived such difficulty. I do not want to simply survive – I want to be fully alive. The only way this can happen is through Christ and his Church.
“O Lord Jesus Christ! You are my medicine when I am sick; you are my strength when I need help; you are life itself when I fear death; you are light when all is dark.” St. Ambrose