Our Church is suffering from mass confusion. On all sides, I am asked my opinion of the latest quicksand, since I was there in Rome during the Amazon Synod. But the entire time I was there, I was focused on the good we were doing, and the hard work it took to achieve that work, and because of this, I was preserved almost as if in a bubble from the scandal and the furious politicking.
And really, this is the answer that I offer to all who are confused and frustrated.
If you are busy doing God’s work, what time do you have for being confused and frustrated?
Of course, not everyone can drop everything and go do something all-consuming like we did.
But it is important to remember something:
We are not fighting flesh and blood, but powers and principalities.
(How ironic that this very phrase was in this Sunday’s Epistle!)
We are not fighting men, but the power of Hell itself. And this is why political solutions won’t work. This is why anger and frustration and resentment won’t work. We are not fighting an earthly battle with swords, nor even a verbal battle with words and explanations and corrections. Our battle is entirely in the spiritual plane.
Therefore what must our weapons be? For if we arm ourselves with weapons that are meant for earthly battles, we are sure to fail. If we embrace the spiritual traps of the enemy as we march into this battle, we are sure to fail.
The devil is crafty, and he would have us believe that if we can just make this or that argument, or if we can just change that one person’s mind, that we will have made a difference.
But our war will not be won by strife or argument. It will be won by virtue.
For what makes the most eloquent arguments, and what changes the most people’s minds, are the spiritual weapons of peace, love, and especially JOY. Christ himself said of these times, “And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled.”
The war in which we are engaged has already been won. We have to remember that, and live in the knowledge that no matter how dark things look, they looked darker on Good Friday. But we have the assurance of knowing that after Good Friday comes the glory of the Resurrection.
Each of us is called to the warfare of this life in a different capacity. Some of us are called to battle with words. And some are called to courageous feats in the public arena. But for most of us, the best thing we can do is to follow Paul’s admonition:
“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all.” (1 Thess 5:16-18)
And…see that you be not troubled.