By Lara Paniagua, Miami --
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." ... Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world." (1 Peter 1:13)
Everything became so vivid in the past four months, drastically accelerating like a stack of dominoes. One event catalyzed the next, each one intertwined in a web of evil motives with no end in sight. Yet, truth was unveiled and came to surface and revealed where people stand, what they defend, and exposing the great divide.
“In one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, the father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Luke 12:53)
A sudden change happened to our world pretty much overnight. Don’t get me wrong, it has been brewing. But it seemed to have come to play together all at once. It affected how we live, our safety, our freedom of expression, our ability to stand up for our values and our Church’s teachings, our right to receive the sacraments — the very source of our physical and spiritual sustenance.
We are being barraged by a non-stop propaganda of division, fear, and isolation from the Lord. We know this is no less than the work of the devil himself. Our God is not a god of division, confusion, nor anger. He is the God of Mercy Who is also just. He gave us the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes to guide us towards a respectful and happy life. He taught is to love our neighbor (Matthew 22: 39). Hence, it is important for us to know the events in worldwide society and where the problems truly stem from… those who are not doing the work of our Lord.
What has impacted me most is society’s reaction. I see radical divisions. I see how some face these times with fear while others have newfound grace to endure current situations. Many people have been called to be on watch and to be in prayer these past months. Some experienced conversion though a bit short of fully understanding God’s grace working within them. While others rushed to churches as soon as the doors opened, driven by zeal for Christ and knowing well the Eucharist can be taken away again.
We must always remember the church is a place of healing. If you want true healing, true immunity, you will always find it at Mass. It is heaven on earth. It is where we receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. If only we can grasp but a grain of such wisdom hidden from the wise but revealed to the little ones (Matthew 11:25), we will suffer no fear when attending Mass where something more potent than medicine is awaits us. What more do we want and really need?
I came across a Facebook post where families and friends were celebrating the anniversary of a gay couple who had gotten married several years ago. As I stopped and thought about celebrating them or not, I couldn’t get myself to. How could I celebrate? What will become of them? There is an afterlife that is eternal and all I could think of was, will they be there? I can’t celebrate knowing they don’t want to live by the faith, and they think what God has taught us is false. We will all pass by purgatory, but they deliberately choose to go against God’s teaching and impose these falsehoods on others.
Having homosexual inclination is not immoral. It is homosexual acts that are immoral. Such individuals are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition (CCC, no. 2358).
Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being. This is gravely contrary to the dignity of the person and the holiness of the Creator. “Do not slay the innocent and righteous.” (Exodus 23:7). – CCC, no 2258; citing The Gift of Life (Donum Vitae), no5
At some point we have all been thrust into a conversation with people who assert the pro-choice position as the commonly accepted standard. While attending a friend’s wedding reception recently, I found myself in this situation as I was trying to enjoy my delicious dinner. All I could do was sit back and think, what happened, when did my friends change their moral compass, what made them change, how did growing up in a Catholic school lead them to this? I was super excited to attend my good friend’s wedding, but I had an underlying gut feeling that I was in for a surprise. Little did I know I was going to later be challenged, not on my views on the topic, but how I felt towards these people who I knew and had grown up with. God always finds a way.
I was caught face to face with people strongly accepting the pro-choice movement who were reading and sharing absurd articles. During this exchange, I could not help but question how their thinking had adopted this line of thought. I knew them as smart individuals, but how could they now stand in total acceptance and in defense of abortion and opposed to the State of Georgia for passing the fetal heart abortion law? How could they claim that it was an assault on women AND asserting that they would never move to the States now because of how women are being treated and the pro-life direction that was to come. I could not believe I was sitting face to face and listening to all of this banter for four days.
Lara Paniagua is a Nicaraguan-American. She completed her studies in Psychology at Carleton University and her graduate research with the Universidad de Leon in Spain. She works in Miami as an education consultant child psychologist. Lara is a practising Roman Catholic actively engaged in her Miami parish.
List by Titles