Behold I am with You all Days

Peace, these days, is an elusive grace. There’s always something to make us fearful, stress-filled, distracted. There is no denying the current spreading anxiety, a sense of a lost order. How do we protect ourselves from daily bulletin of another crisis? How do we nourish our  fragile spirit in the face of a relentless destruction of our l people and our  planet that is played out before us on every evening  news. To what hope can we cling when our hearts shrink with fear for the future of our children. And what do you tell them now?

We are forgetting our story. These strange times a breakdown in government, in religion, and in ecological awareness, in law and order are driving the perennial narrative of God’s powerful and incarnate presence from our minds and hearts. ‘Behold I am with you all days . . .’. In his encyclical Laudato Si , Pope Francis reminds us, beyond current distress and even despair, of the original, traditional and Incarnational story of creation, of its blessed inhabitants, and of our  responsibility for working towards its harmony at all levels. Our Christian faith essentially stands I do hope that the earth is redeemed, that the future is secure, that a deep peace will eventually bless all creation-but only if we play a part in making this happen.

More than ever we need to recover a spirituality that engages with the issues of our time, that embraces the vision of the ultimate unity, of the human race, and that proclaims and sustains a confidence in the enduring love at the heart of a precarious evolution. This will be a spirituality that recognises God’s own broken and abused body in the chaos of today’s madness, in the nightmarish hopelessness of this weeping world. And this is the spiritual vision that leads us  and motivates us, in our parishes and communities, to become the responsible healers  and reconcilers of this divine Body, living and acting within society  from this new level of compassionate consciousness. This is our story and it will save us. It will save the world.

In his bewilderment and confusion even Jesus needed to be reminded of his mission when assaulted by the violence of his aggressors  and by his own temptations and fears. Pope Francis keeps convincing us of our powerful divinity, of our indestructible beauty, of our unique intimacy with the earth we live on. Our  very presence in our community can be a force for spreading peace. Made in God‘s image, a little less than the angels, we can “do all things in him who makes a strong “. We struggle to believe in the power we carry in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. There is an urgency in the Pope’s words. We are in liminal times, on the threshold of breakdown and breakthrough, so that something new can and will emerge. We need radically new ways of being church to encourage our communities to transform a dystopian future. We need to tell our story again and again. Despair creeps in  when we forget it. Hope grows in our memory of it!

(From an unpublished paper by Daniel)