“FAITH IS THE ASSURANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE CONVICTION OF THINGS UNSEEN”
Good and evil, salvation and damnation, life and death, sin and redemption. The age-old truths of the Gospel are still – and will always be – at the center of our temporary journey here on earth. Our encounter with Jesus is a union with Him through the mystery of faith that tells us that the main purpose of life on earth is the pursuit of heavenly glory. The closer our union with Christ, the greater we hope to become instruments of His divine and perfect Will.
Mankind comes from God and is unique as a species in our having been created in the image and likeness of God. God created humanity and all that exists; He is therefore the divine author of all life. God created us with intelligence above all creatures and endowed us with free will for choosing good from evil. Also, by nature, humans are social beings. Society’s purpose, from the Christian point of view, is to pass down what’s best for the common good and proclaim the kingdom of God on earth. This is the sum total of social conditions which allows people either as groups or individuals, to reach their full potential both as spiritual and physical beings. Though not always put into practice, this is the essential Christian world-view for the last two thousand years.
The Christian viewpoint also states that mankind is a composite being. There is an intrinsic connection between a material perishable body and a spiritual, immortal soul which never dies. God – Creator, Savior, and Revealer of all truth, has given us this brief life; three score years and ten says Psalm 90:10, and a future life which lives eternally. We are His and heirs to His eternal kingdom if we live right and serve love and not hate. St.Paul tells us that at the day of judgement each man and woman’s life will be reviewed by God. Our life’s work will be judged by God. Our lives; therefore, are both spiritual and physical and the true Christian knows that the care for the health of our bodies and souls are both very important. The true Christian also knows that the care for our brief material life should never be placed above the salvation of our souls, which live on eternally after physical death.
Right now, the situation that the world finds itself in generates two opposite trends in different sectors of the population. On one hand, there is the sharp turn towards anti-religious secularism and despair; and the other is a recognition of the need for a deeper spiritual and religious reawakening to prevent even more social problems and moral decline. The good news, however, is that this very dilemma may ultimately contain the seeds of a new beginning. Hope beckons. The decline of the natural family, which is both the cause and the victim of many of the social problems we face, has forced the government to pick up the slack of what was previously done by the family; provide the care, moral formation and necessary socialization for the development of future generations. In other words, families provided for free what it now costs the state billions, if not trillions of dollars to accomplish. What happens if another economic crises raises the cost of caring for the live alone seniors with fewer children and extended family to care for them out of a sense of love and obligation? Is there a spiritual phoenix rising out of the ashes of a over-burden, morally confused welfare state? The present economic landscape already has shown trends of many young people moving back to the homes of their parents. Might this trend lead some back to the church because they are living again with the family and habits of their youth? Only time will tell. Nevertheless, it is an indisputable fact that natural families can take care of the young and old a lot BETTER AND CHEAPER than the state.
Our struggle is guided by our hope and faith in divine truth. Our reason for hope of course is Jesus’s own words to His apostle Peter: “……the gates of hell shall not prevail against my church.” (Matthew 16:18) We know that historically for the past two thousand years, despite all the satanic traps, human credulity and hypocrisy, sinful weakness and ignorance, schism, worldly temptations, inquisitions and heresies and war, the Christian religion has prevailed and will always exist until Christ comes back and gathers the elect back to His Bosom. We know that the Christian faith grew at the expense of the pagan world because of, among other things, its fight against abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and no sex outside of a marriage. May our religion grow again at the expense of modern day paganism?
The purpose of being a true Christian is to love God above all things and love our neighbor (all of mankind) as we do ourselves and in the process guarantee our own salvation. Faith isn’t a “once and then you’re done” process. Faith grows through time, trial and experience. Faith saves, heals and shields us. Faith and hope are cemented by charity, which binds all the virtues together. Faith should always be dynamic; always increasing in our hearts, in our families and churches and in our communities and nation. Faith is trust in God beyond appearance and emotion. The mystery of faith tells us: “….that there is no other salvation under heaven given to men by which we are saved”(Acts 4:12). Faith, enclosed between hope and charity, is carried out with humility, which resist worldly pride and a need for worldly praise. We humble ourselves knowing that God will lift us up in His own time. (James:4-10). It was by the humility of Christ that Satan was defeated: “He who believes in me, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.”(John:7:38)
We only have to believe in God in word and deed and obey His commandments to free ourselves from the slavery of sin, the world, the flesh and the devil. We Knights of Columbus believe the ideal way to carry out the edicts of the Gospel is through acts of charity; helping and treating each other as throughly Christian people ought to treat each other. We achieve this through love and Christian responsibility. If people think that politics and social policies can accomplish bringing heaven to earth, then they must abandon all hope. We need to ensure that the burdens of this life do not destroy the divine within us. We need Jesus to guide us to be the kind of humans we need to be. Habit becomes character! No one is born a saint.
“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors Him. (Proverbs 19:17)
Wendell JeanPierre, Lecturer November,2021