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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Don't Let Wickedness Disturb Your Peace: God Uses Evil to Bring about Good!

I generally begin my morning by praying the Office of Readings and meditating on selections from The Imitation of Christ and the Imitation of Mary. I think most Catholics are familiar with The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis written in the 15th century, but perhaps many haven't heard of The Imitation of Mary composed by a French Jesuit, Alexandre Joseph de Rouville, and published in 1768. These two books make me think of the prayer, "Jesus and Mary, I love you; save souls" because Jesus and Mary are perfect companions on the spiritual journey. 

Often the short chapters from the two books (I read one chapter from each every morning.) are in perfect harmony, like a song of praise and thanksgiving. Sometimes I marvel at the "coincidence" of how they blend so seamlessly. Thank You, Lord, for your gifts from the Holy Spirit!

In these evil times, today's selection from Mary consoled and encouraged me. The believer asks Mary how she suffered at the blindness of the pharisees and the people who rejected Christ. This is her response:

My child, the one thing I certainly wanted above all else was for Jesus to be known. My zeal for His glory made me feel deeply the hardening of Jewish hearts. Yet why should I have therefore lost my peace of soul?

I knew that God often makes use of evil in carrying out His plans; I knew He draws good from evil. Therefore in silence I adored the infinite wisdom that at times allows wickedness to triumph.

Yes, my child, when you see wickedness walking happily with head held high and trampling innocence down, do not let yourself be swept along by the impulses of an embittered zeal. True religious spirit forbids such a course.

Why can you not bear with what God Himself accepts? He could prevent what you regard as scandalous, but He does not do so and He has His reasons. It is for you to adore them.

Nothing happens in our world without His permission. And everything, evil as well as good, serves His providential purposes. It is not granted to you now to understand His plans but the day will come when you will recognize their full justice and wisdom.

And now comes the most encouraging part of Mary's message for those mourning the evils plaguing Holy Mother Church and our shepherds:

You should not, of course, be insensible of the evils in the Church; it is only right that they should be a source of affliction for you; you may even weep bitterly over them, as God Himself does. But if you were to be scandalized at them so that your faith suffered or you lost your peace, that would not any longer be zeal but an abuse and an excess....Evils call for your tears and laments, but they should be tears shed at the Savior's Feet and laments voiced to Him.

Tell Him of your anguish; ask Him to put an end to your afflictions; speak to Him with a holy freedom. He will not be offended.

And so let us pray. 

Lord Jesus Christ, deliver us from all evil.

Mary, Mother of the Savior, pray for us.

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