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Politics, Hard Decisions, and our Faith

Devotional Thought fo the day:

 But these men pressed the king. “Keep in mind, O king,” they said, “that under the law of the Medes and Persians every royal prohibition or decree is irrevocable.” 17 So the king ordered Daniel to be brought and cast into the lions’ den.* To Daniel he said, “Your God, whom you serve so constantly, must save you.” 18 To forestall any tampering, the king sealed with his own ring and the rings of the lords the stone that had been brought to block the opening of the den.
19 Then the king returned to his palace for the night; he refused to eat and he dismissed the entertainers. Since sleep was impossible for him, 20 the king rose very early the next morning and hastened to the lions’ den. 21 As he drew near, he cried out to Daniel sorrowfully, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you serve so constantly been able to save you from the lions?” 22 Daniel answered the king: “O king, live forever! 23 My God sent his angel and closed the lions’ mouths so that they have not hurt me.b For I have been found innocent before him; neither have I done you any harm, O king!” 24 This gave the king great joy. At his order Daniel was brought up from the den; he was found to be unharmed because he trusted in his God.  NABRE, Dan 6:16–24

509      To be able to judge with rectitude of intention what is needed is a pure heart, zeal for the things of God and love of souls, free from prejudices. Think about it!  (1)

I will admit – I don’t have the purity of heart, and not enough zeal for the things of God, and while I try to love souls, there are days this isn’t an option.

If we were back in the days of Darius and Daniel, I can hear the FB and Twitter comments blasting this King, trying to force him to release Daniel, calling him names, and crucifying him in the media for doing what he did. Or the opposite – for not dealing with Daniel severely enough.

They didn’t see his sleepless night, his mourning, His brokenness.

If we were there, we would see someone in power doing that which we know he should not have done.

His heart wouldn’t have mattered, only his actions. His only hope was in the God Daniel trusted, only then could the king know peace.  He wasn’t Darius’s God, yet.  Darius would praise him, indeed, order his entire country to praise the God of Daniel 

26 Then King Darius wrote to the nations and peoples of every language, wherever they dwell on the earth: “May your peace abound! 27 I decree that throughout my royal domain the God of Daniel is to be reverenced and feared:

“For he is the living God, enduring forever, whose kingdom shall not be destroyed, whose dominion shall be without end, 8 A savior and deliverer, working signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who saved Daniel from the lions’ power.” NABRE Dan 6:26-28

This is a lesson for us, for our tendency to judge before we know; before we see the big picture, and the heart of the man in authority  Before we realize that God is at work, as promised>  We need to pray for our leaders, for the decisions they have to make, that they may not want to make.  Even the decisions we disagree with, and find evil in our view.

We can only do this if our faith is in God, even as Daniel’s trust was.  Only if we are convinced of His promises can we endure, or watch others endure their own lion’s den.  Its not our faith in the Darius, or even in the Daniel, it is God’s reliability we are talking about here…

The God who restores things that are broken, from governments ot leaders, to our own souls.

Trust Him, know He will deliver us… and be confident in His work in you.   DOing such will leave in you peace… free to love, to serve the Lord.  AMEN!

 

(1) Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 1938-1940). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Can we be this Holy? In the face of our “enemies”?

Text of "Our Father" prayer with Tri...

Text of “Our Father” prayer with Trinity in central column (God the Father, dove of the Holy Spirit, Jesus) and Biblical and symbolic scenes in left and right columns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Devotional and Discussion Thought of the Day…

43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ 44  But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45  so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. 46  Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! 47  And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! 48  You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect.  Matthew 5:43-48 (TEV) 

Don’t say, “That person bothers me.” Think: “That person sanctifies me.”  (1)


It still amazes me, how little we understand the power of the grace and forgiveness of Christ, how little we appreciate His desire to win the affection, the love of all those He loves.  How willing God is to separate all of us from our sin, how much His will is that all would be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

And yet, to those we as our enemies, we are as vicious, we are cruel, we are as unforgiving as any one could ever be.  The church has for too long… treated them as adversaries, mocked them, planned our strategic arguments.  against them. the very ones we have to pray for, love, serve, and reach with the only thing that will give them hope.

This is our role in life, it is how we are to imitate Christ, who allowed His enemies to kill Him, that He might love and save them.  What if He treated His enemies the way we treat ours?  What if He gossiped and mock them behind their backs, rather than confronting the in love?  What if He treated His enemies, His adversaries, US    like that?  We say we honor martyrs, we want to give ourselves for Jesus like they did… well are we ready to ask God to forgive our enemies their sin, even as Stephen did, even as the Lord’s prayer urges us to ask God to help with?

St. Josemaria makes an incredible point… that these very people that bother us, make us holy – because in order to treat them in the way that would bring God glory, we have to depend on God.  We have to trust Him, we have to know He is with us, that the Holy Spirit will work through us to cut open their hearts – even as ours were.   We can’t do it on our own, we have to love, we have to embrace them, and the pain they cause us, in order to love them in a way that will reach them.

Will we love them……. will we strive to see them forgiven and healed?  Can we be that holy?

In Christ… as baptized believers, as those who would glorify God the Father…

yes…. for there is no other way…. to live, or to accomplish our task.

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Location 534). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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