I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the attacks on our Church. Some we bring on ourselves with our own hypocrisy. Scandals and coverups. Some are completely false and undeserved. The attacks are physical and violent in some places, emotional and spiritual in others. The media slants everything that is said by bishops or the Pope. Ordinary people are confused as to what to believe. Many are no longer practicing their faith–in fact, laughingly saying that they are “recovering Catholics”. I get so tired of the sneering and ridicule of people around me when it comes to faith–any faith, with particular venom for Christian traditions.
And so I was heartened by the words from the first reading of last Friday’s daily Mass, taken from the book of the prophet Haggai, chapter 2. I want to share them with you just in case you get discouraged, too. Here is that Scripture reading (I skipped some of the names and place details):
The word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: Tell this to the governor . . . and to the high priest . . . and to the remnant of the people: Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes? But now take courage . . . says the Lord . . . Take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord, and work! For I am with you, says the Lord of hosts. This is the pact I made with you when you came out of Egypt, and my spirit continues in your midst; do not fear! For thus says the Lord of hosts: One moment yet, a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations . . . And I will fill this house with glory . . . Greater will be the future glory of this house, than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place I will give you peace.
So many times the words of Scripture feel so timely, come to me with exactly what I need to hear, speaking directly to me to strengthen and encourage. And coincidently, I just read a post by 8kidsandabusiness about Our Lady of Good Success, which touched on this same theme. Timely words of comfort just when needed! God is good!