The state of the world suggests to me the urgent need for a spirituality that takes the end things very seriously, not a spirituality of withdrawal, nor of blindness to the powers of the world, but a spirituality that allows us to live in this world without belonging to it, a spirituality that allows us to take the joy and peace of the divine life even when we are surrounded by the powers and principalities of evil, death, and destruction. I wonder if a spirituality of liberation does not need to be deepened by a spirituality of exile or captivity. I wonder if a spirituality that focuses on the alleviation of poverty should not be deepened by a spirituality that allows people to continue their lives when their poverty only increases. I wonder if a spirituality that encourages peacemaking should not be deepened by a spirituality that allows us to remain faithful when the only things we see are dying children, burning houses, and the total destruction of our civilization. May God prevent any of these horrors from taking place, may we do all that is possible to prevent them, but may we never lose our faith when “great misery [descends] on the land and wrath on this people . . . [when there are] signs in the sun and moon and stars . . . [when] nations [are] in agony, bewildered by the clamor of the ocean and its waves” (Luke 21:24–26). I pray that we will not be swept away by our own curiosity, sensationalism, and panic, but remain attentive to him who comes and will say: “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34–35).
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, "The Lord reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. - Psalm 96: 9-10 (NIV)
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