Listen to the news and you cringe. A sickening feeling roils and worry takes hold. Admit it. Living in today’s world is frightening, and it gets more frightening every day. Politics aside, it doesn’t appear we Catholics have much chance of survival when we are up against the increasing threat of total annihilation. Radical Islam, paganism, hedonistic societies and governments—sin in general—appear to be winning. We sink lower in a quagmire of worry. We argue. We rally. We attend civic gatherings, raise our voices in protest. We tell ourselves that we are putting up a good “fight,” but the battle seemingly can’t be won—and thus we sink further in despair.
Our God, therefore, must be a puny deity. I mean, we sure behave like He is. Oh, we sing “How Great Thou Art” and “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” but we don’t really believe it. We attend Mass on Sunday, study Scripture, and maybe even take adult education classes. All good, of course, but we need to pause and think about this for a minute. Then we need to read verse three in Psalm Sixty-six. Chew the words. Roll them over our tongues. Taste, savor and swallow them. We need to find a recording of “Awesome God” by Rich Mullins and listen to it. Really listen to it. Crank the volume way up.
The awesome truth is we have the greatest arsenal of “weapons” at our disposal. No other faction has the “power” we have—right at our fingertips. You see, we have the Eucharist, plus six other sacraments. We have the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. We have Prayer. What’s more, we don’t have to worry because … we already won. We beat the “Bad Guys” when the Son of God died on the Cross and rose from the dead.
More often than not, however, we behave like recalcitrant children. God has told us, over and over—throughout the Old and the New Testaments—that we don’t have to worry; the “Good Guys” triumph in the End. When we get overwhelmed with negative feelings and doubts, we need to pause and remember we have weapons more powerful than any nuclear device devised by man. Our weapons make every other weapon pale in comparison. The Eucharist and prayer alone are more potent than anything imagined.
So sit back and stop fretting over the frightening events, filling the news. Diplomats, world leaders, threats and treaties are useless. We have the Power backing us, and the Enemy hasn’t an ice cube’s-chance-on-a-hot-tin-roof of winning.
We already won.
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18 NIV)