Sunday, December 15, 2019

Gaudete! Always Rejoice in the Lord!

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. 
Dominus enim prope est.

"Be patient...until the coming of the Lord...Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain...about one another, that you may not be judged. Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates. Take as an example of hardship and patience...the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord." (James 5:7-10)

I am wondering if the hard times in which we are living (hard simply by reason of the breakdown of all kinds of structures upon which my generation and perhaps two yet younger generations have come to invest too much confidence) are not part of the grace in me which is incubating a new hope...

For some reason, there are towns and places where I cannot seem to get my bearings. In Bern, I seem to do fine walking around town, even though I could not tell you for sure what the points of the compass, north, south, east, and west, are from most places in town. In other places, like Winona, Minnesota, or the Frankfurt, Germany Airport, I haven't a clue and must blindly follow signs.

Perhaps this is the reason why the word "Ultramontanism" has never made any sense to me. I never seem to be on the right side of which ever mountains are intended. The Alps? At any rate, so much is going wrong in the world, whether in politics or in church circles, that I can shed no tears over the loss of a notion like "manifest destiny", to describe the role of the U.S. in world history, or of some sort of blind dependence on papal protagonism's lead in defining what we believe about ecclesial communion. 

St. Vincent Ferrer, OP, nicknamed "the angel of judgment", presents me with an ever constant challenge to get beyond myself and preoccupation with politics, ecclesial or otherwise. I pray for the burning love which made of him a firebrand for the evangelization of those whose hearts he touched as a wandering preacher and miracle worker.

Pray for me, as I do for you, that we might be able to reclaim our world for the Lord, for He comes!


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