I’ve been working my way through a book by Cardinal Sarah, entitled “The Day Is Now Far Spent”. It is an excellent description of the current state of the world and the church; however, it’s not for the faint hearted. With power, insight, and the blinding light of the Holy Spirit, he paints a very drastic picture of today’s world. He speaks of the “decline of a civilization….the suicide of an entire people”. It’s very hard to argue with his logic and detailed presentation. In truth, it resonates with much of what I’m feeling in my own soul.
However, he does make some wonderful points about our response to the crisis that can help us find our place in the fight. He describes “true seeds of renewal, many generous families that are deeply rooted in their Christian faith, fine religious communities that are faithful and fervent.” Cardinal Sarah brings hope as he says:
” I want to encourage them. I want to tell them: Your mission is not to save a dying world; no civilization has the promises of eternal life. Your mission is to live out with fidelity and without compromise the faith you received from Christ. In that way, even without realizing it, you will save the heritage of many centuries of faith. Do not be afraid because of your small numbers. It is not a matter of winning elections or influencing opinions. It is a matter of living the Gospel. Faith is like a fire. A person himself must be on fire in order to be able to transmit it. Watch over this sacred fire. May it be your heat in the depths of the winter of the West. When a fire illumines the night, people gradually gather around it. That must be your hope.” (The Day is Now Far Spent, Chapter 9, page 221-222)
I find strength from these words. It’s not up to you and me and our small band, our “little flock”, to save the world, to fix all the craziness, to refute the deluded thinking in our nation and at times even in the church. That’s too much for us.
But it’s not too much for you and me to live the gospel in the places we are planted. It’s not too much for you and for me to live out with fidelity and without compromise the faith we received from Christ…. of living our faith like a fire.
We may not save the world, but we’ll do what Christ calls us to do. We can be faithful. And who knows, we might be surprised and accomplish great things for Christ…but that’s up to him.
So, let’s be at peace. Let’s be faithful to our call and allow the Lord to take care of the rest. And let’s enjoy this time. God made us for a time such as this.