Beneath the waves: Weekly message for 03-07-2023

Dear Friends in Christ,

“The Last Judgment,” the Catechism says in No. 1039, “will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life.”

In that awesome instant all the secrets of our hearts will be laid out for all to see—with no chance for excuses.

How different the Last Judgment will be from life in this world.

Here, we float like icebergs in the ocean, seeing only the tip of other bergs. We have only glimpses of what people do and say, barely aware of what is under the surface.

With the rise of the Internet and social media (and the decline in good taste and discretion) we now read of or hear more of the iceberg that’s beneath the waves—and often it’s not pretty.

This need not cause us to despair. We are simply more aware of the failings that have long plagued humanity. For “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

In other words, the world, on balance, might not be worse today than it was in ages past.

After all, many of the early models in the Church, such as Saints Perpetua and Felicity, whose feast day we celebrate today, were martyrs, not celebrities esteemed by the world.

Yet, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. Whatever martyrdom we are called to today—be it witnessing our faith at work or on campus or in the street—could be the springboard for a revival of the Church.

To brace ourselves for this challenge, it might help to pray one of our Retreat Guides on one saint who showed a kind of martyrdom in her own way.

And take comfort: Jesus promised to be with us until the end of the age.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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