WHATEVER ELSE MAY BE LOST
DON'T LOSE HOPE!

Dont Lose Hope 2

THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS IS A DEVOTION NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER! FIND OUT MORE HERE

THE SAINT MICHAEL PRAYER AND THE ROSARY
ARE ALSO POWERFUL PRAYERS TO HELP US THROUGH THESE VERY TURBULENT TIMES!

READ ABOUT (AND JOIN IN PRAYING!)
CARDINAL BURKE'S 9 MONTH NOVENA HERE

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! DELIVERANCE PRAYERS,
A BOOK FROM SENSUS TRADITIONIS PRESS
(A GREAT PUBLISHER HELPING US FIGHT OUR MANY SPIRITUAL BATTLES NOWADAYS)! 

THIS WEBPAGE IS ALSO AVAILABLE
AS A PODCAST HERE

So many of us feel like we’re losing control of so many things these days! But when all seems lost may we not lose hope in our Lord and His love for us, and His ardent desire to see us through all our current storms!

In these troubled times, with everything going increasingly haywire as ungodliness descends upon society, we see all around us signs of lean years to come one way or another. Perhaps we all had it better than we realized in this country and in the West as well, but in the past few years there have been shortages of things that we took for granted would always be in abundance such as food and various supplies for example.

In addition, Christianity seems to be on the defensive, with churches being shut down, or parishes being consolidated for lack of parishioners in many places.

We are witnessing a great deal of doctrinal confusion as well, with top clerics downplaying or even disregarding entirely matters concerning sins against the 6th commandment, and maybe even the first!

As a result, we’re experiencing shortages not only of food and supplies but also of chivalry, civility and even our very safety in many big cities and small neighborhoods alike, what with flash mobs, carjackings, home invasions and other such mayhem on the rise!

While grocery shelves may not be as empty as they were in the first stages of the pandemic, rampant inflation is making more and more of us in what was once a burgeoning middle class work harder and harder to feed ourselves and our families and keep a roof over our heads.

And yet now more than ever, as we brace ourselves for further tumult and scarcities, much of the prosperity we took for granted over the past 60-70 years is seemingly being stripped away. This presents a challenge for us all not to lose the most important thing we can hold onto nowadays, something in fact quite crucial: and that is hope, as mentioned earlier. Hope is one of the three great theological virtues along with faith and charity!

Keep in mind, in terms of the brutality and lawlessness we’re seeing all around us, that this is nothing new, although that doesn’t necessarily diminish our anxiety and anger over current conditions.

It is important to remember that from the Original Sin we inherited from our first parents Adam and Eve we also inherited a tragic propensity for violence both individually and collectively, as we read in numerous Biblical accounts in the Old Testament, for example.

In the Gospels as well, there are several parables in which Jesus describes violent acts as in a manner that would have been indeed plausible to his listeners given our fallen nature.

For example, in the case of the famous parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), the road a man traveled on from Jerusalem to Jericho was full of treacherous thieves, to such an extent that even mighty Rome couldn’t fix that particular hotbed of criminal activity. It was no wonder that he was set upon and badly beaten until he was left half dead!

Civilization both before and after Jesus’ earthly ministry has often countenanced very uncivilized behavior, and we seem to be headed once again in the wrong direction in the battle for decency and the rule of law.

That and the current economic malaise accompanying our deep social malaise can well leave many of us feeling helpless and hopeless! Yet this is the time when one needs to turn to God all the more in prayer and living as good a sacramental life in a state of Sanctifying grace free from mortal sin as possible.

As hard as this may seem to comprehend, our Lord wishes us to turn to Him in the midst of all this evil activity, especially now, that we may help Him indeed to make His grace abound all the more in the midst of so much sin.

And for that we really need hope, that we may trust that in staying close to Him in these difficult, and even apostatic times He will see us through them so that, no matter what hardship may await us, we will indeed be able to savor the triumph of our Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart in the end, whether in this life or in the life of the world to come either in heaven or on a firm road leading there from purgatory.

And yet, when it comes to giving things up, not just as in for Lenten penances, how many of us are so busy just trying to keep ourselves and our loved ones clothed, housed, and fed that we can’t begin to imagine having to do without necessities, much less luxuries.

And while there’s nothing wrong in trying to protect and provide for our families, for example, what if there comes a time in the not too distant future when everything is turned so upside down that even despite our preparations we don’t know which way is up and are then more prone to the Devil’s nihilistic sadistic swan song of despair?

It is all too easy for us to look at the Rich Young Man in the Gospels with an understandable sense of scorn. You may recall that he refused Jesus’ offer for him to give up all his worldly riches and then follow our Lord, and went away sad “for he had many possessions”. In the end these meant more to him than his striving for sanctity. If Jesus were to call on any of us in a similar manner, how would we respond? How will we respond?

Note that we read in the Gospels of those apostles, like Peter, James, John, and Matthew who “left everything” to follow Jesus. Matthew’s case is all the more striking because he was one of those hated publicans (tax collectors) as opposed to those who were fishermen, the other three.

Peter makes note of this when Jesus comments famously on how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven in Matthew’s Gospel as the Rich Young Man goes away sorrowful. Peter says in Chapter 19, verse 27 "Behold, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?" Jesus responds in verse 29 "every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life”.

Note that this doesn’t mean we are to abandon our families and other such responsibilities, but rather to consider these words, also from our Lord, from the Sermon on the Mount: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt 6:19-21).

Regarding finding that treasure, the current chaos and malaise might prompt us all to seriously thinking about how we can “leave everything” that keeps us from loving and serving God more, as well as each other, such as attachments to such things deleterious to our salvation, like the seven deadly sins of pride (as in vanity) lust, wrath, envy, sloth, gluttony, and greed.

If that seems like too tall an order, remember that we never meant to go it alone, to do this without God’s help! Ask for it constantly in humility and prayer!

Clearly, although this might be hard to fathom for many, if not most, of us if we can endure our hardships, past, present, and future with as much of God’s grace that we allow Him to give us, the hope of a better life, if not in this world than in the life of the world to come, can mitigate the all too palpable anxieties and anger we might well be feeling at the current chaotic state of the world!

As St. Paul himself wrote in this regard in Chapter 5 of his letter to the Romans, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Rom 5:1-5).

And remember as well that whatever suffering we endure when offered up to our Lord in this manner, can be a powerful means of expiating our sins and helping to save souls, our own as well as loved ones and people most in need that we might not even know! Heaven knows for sure that this is necessary!

In conclusion, keep these inspiring words, also from St. Paul in his letter to the Romans, in Chapter 12, in mind: "Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer" (Rom 12:11-12). To which I say Amen!!

God Bless,

Christopher Castagnoli
for www.ourcatholicprayers.com


HELP SUPPORT OUR WEBSITE WITH PURCHASES
FROM OUR BOOK AND GIFT STORE
OR CAFE PRESS STORE!

CHECK OUT OUR PODCASTS HERE!

22

Return from Don't Lose Hope
to Prayer Blog Page










Print Friendly and PDF