“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
Sometimes it is difficult to find much light as we try to see the future of the Church. It has already lost much of its earthly riches and power. It has long been divided and opposed. And its enemies lurk now from every side. Enemies that seem to grow stronger from day to day. Enemies that are now openly taking off their masks as they proudly attack what used to be an insurmountable foe.
Much of the Church had been asleep. We seem to have been complacent for far too long, underestimating the foes that continued to lure and deceive the world. Many have already fallen to the other side and instead of serving Him who is True, they now serve only their own lusts and worldly desires.
Some who have remained awake on the other hand have built walls around themselves, speaking only towards one another as though their gifts were meant to be hoarded for their own use alone. They would soon realize that whatever light they still possess would eventually grow dim if they do not learn the ways of mercy and compassion.
Still there are those who have grown desperate and afraid. They see no more how history can still unfold for the better. They almost lose the very foundations of their faith as they enter the dark night where they cannot see the face of Him they have professed to believe in.
They are like the disciples on the way to Emmaus. They talk about Jesus with heads bowed down saying, “we had hoped”. How painful indeed to have hoped and then to lose that hope!
How can they recover that which they have lost? Where can we look for light in a world that has grown dim? Where are the saints of long ago that can be as stars to guide us in this dark night of the world? Continue reading