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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crucifixion by Thumbtack

Most of us will never die a bloody martyr's death like the North American martyrs or the Catholic victims of the French Revolution or those crucified like Jesus. But life is filled with little opportunities to die to self - ducking the slings and errors of the culture of death.

It's been a tough couple of months, I won't go into the reasons. Living in this "vale of tears" is physically and emotionally exhausting - so many reasons to want to hide under the bed. It's particularly difficult to watch the suffering of those who revel in their sins all the while shouting that they are great and those trying to live by God's laws evil. They are the saddest and most deluded souls on earth.

One of my sisters calls modern life "crucifixion by thumbtack." And there are plenty of folks out there eager and waiting to push in the pins if you dare to speak the truth they don't want to hear. What a blessing if we can offer our small pains for their conversion.

I was fortunate enough to go on retreat with Fr. John Hardon several times before his death in 2000, and he always urged his retreatants to speak and write the truth. "Millions of people live in a dream world," he told us. He urged us not to fall into that trap. I thought of that recently when someone wrote a comment on a blog post about how the world is getting brighter (because the culture is celebrating homosexuality). Well, in some respects the writer was correct. As sin becomes darker and engulfs the world, the opposing light of truth shines even more brightly against it. And it's comforting to think that dark is nothing - only the absence of something: LIGHT. It only takes one small candle to dispel darkness. And we are called to be that light.

So I'm determined to offer my little sufferings, the "crucifixion by thumbtack," for the intention of lighting candles in the darkness. May this Lent shine with many small flames, symbols of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our sad and sinful world.

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