“While the world changes, the cross stands firm.” St. Bruno
I needed someone to repair my backyard fence. It took a while, but someone came by and did not even ask me to pay them. It was an act of generosity and kindness. Recently I visited a region and city in my country that is dotted with many churches. The churches are so beautiful but so incredibly empty. They seem like Stonehenge as a monolith that stand as symbols of something that was. We found a church for Sunday mass it was poorly attended. However, the homily was beautiful and on the feast of the Transfiguration also. The priest spoke about how Christ was transformed in front of the Apostles present. I thought about my fence and how it needed repair, how it transformed in front of my eyes. The world around us might change but God really does stay the same.
“Consider seriously how quickly people change, and how little trust is to be had in them; and hold fast to God, who does not change.” St. Teresa of Avila
The sadness of watching the empty churches was immense. During the homily, he spoke about how society lies to us and tells us how to be happy. Just the next morning on Catholic Radio, the same message emanated from the announcer’s voice. We are told time and again what would make us happy. Society likes to have answers for us. However, it is Christ who is the answer. I reminded the priest after mass to not be discouraged. An awakening will happen.
“There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease.” St. Basil the Great.
Recently a close friend recounted to me how a family member was quite ill and deteriorating. This person lives so far from me and the best I could do is speak over the phone and listen. I could not be available in person. I wished I could do more. But I tried to find help nearby so that they would not feel alone. The summer is vacation time. People look around for ways to fill up their time. A person can be a workaholic or simply fritter away time being carefree. I do not want this. I want to use my vacation wisely and try to learn and grow. It is not an easy task. When I visit my Carmelite friends, their vacation consists of changing the daily schedule. The sisters use their time to server our Lord.
“You change your life by changing your heart.” St. Benedict of Nursia
I think of all these saints who saw a metamorphosis in their lives. Recently, it was the feast of Pope Sixtus. He reigned for a short time and suffered under Valerian when he died. However, he used his time wisely by affirming the doctrine of baptism and its use only once. God calls each one of us to affirm our faith. I am sure it is sad for the clergy to see empty churches as I described above. However, I am sure that God will not abandon His Church. He didn’t abandon them in the desert with Moses. He didn’t abandon His Apostles, and he will not abandon us. As painful as it is to suffer through it, God has a reason. We need to stay faithful always.
“Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly entered into our night.” Pope Benedict XVI