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Catholic Thoughts: Finding Hope in Hopeless Times

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What can we do?” Over and over, people come to me with that question. We want to have a plan, a way to overcome the darkness in our world. Oh, how I wish I had the answer. But, as in all things spiritual, the answer abides within each of us from the mouth of God.

Independence Day looms ahead of us. We will wave the flag, watch the fireworks, sing the songs of a brave nation. Yet, there is a darkness among us. It is fear that all is not well in our beautiful country. What can we do?

Our leaders squabble over who has power. Personal greed supersedes the well-being of the poor and lost. Crime is not punished, it is excused with a blind eye to morality. Violence, lies and sins abound. It is no wonder we feel that hope is lost. We retreat to the sanctuaries, lifting our sorry hearts to God, asking God to restore “One nation under God.” It is in the quiet of this sacred place, where the din of the world’s misguided agenda cannot be heard, that another Voice speaks if we dare to listen.

What can we do? We can speak our moral mind without compromise. We have a treasure not made of gold. It is the truth of the Gospel. Since God knew us in our mother’s womb, this truth has been whispered to us. It is engraved on our hearts. Now is the time to speak bravely without regard for consequence. Speaking out for what is good, right and just means persecution and ridicule. Jesus warned us that discipleship is the way of the cross; we cannot shrink from the call to be His witness.

What can we do? We can be beacons of light in our small circle of the kingdom. God will not ask us to take the national podium and deliver an inspiring speech this 4th of July. What He asks is that we take the podium of example and be the change for which we desperately hope. We must do what we preach. We serve the poor where they are. In the words of Pope Francis, we “smell the sheep.” We act with love to everyone, especially those who disagree with our politics, religion and values. With the love of Christ in our hearts, hatred has no place in us. The Gospel is something we do, not something we just talk about.

What can we do? We come often to the well. Living water awaits those who come. When we sit with Christ and allow Him to teach us, our hearts begin to burn with His energy and passion. We are invited to be active Catholics, who come to the Eucharist often, very often, because we are hungry for His presence, not because we feel obliged. We find the well at Mass, alone in our prayer time, in our car praying for those we pass on the highway everywhere and anywhere. In Him, we live and move and find our being and gradually we put on the mind of Christ in every aspect of our lives.

“What can we do?” is the question we must keep in our hearts this Independence Day, so that we can keep asking and listening to the answer. This hopeless nation is not an easy fix. There has never been a struggle in the history of our nation as great as this. It is the oldest struggle in the world: Light against dark, goodness against evil, love against hate. We are the beacons of hope. May Christ’s words offer us encouragement: “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).

Editor’s Note: “What can we do?” Check out Dominick Albano’s has written an outstanding guide on Ordinary Time and how you can get “caught up in Christ” by clicking here

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