An open window

23 May 2023

We’ve said before that God isn’t impassioned, punitive or vindictive. If he were so, he’d have to be evil. But there’s not a trace of wickedness in the divinity.

Every trial’s a divine lesson and a form of asceticism, which we’ve otherwise voluntarily removed from our lives. Our loving God tries in a variety of ways to bring us close to him. Before God, we’re all strivers.

Today’s economic crisis is a serious trial, test and lesson. God’s an excellent educator. He tries us for our own good and for us to win. Our homeland [Greece in this particular instance but ‘let those who have ears to hear, hear’] has been exposed, is not secure, is frightened and in turmoil. Spiritually defenseless, seduced by the good life, by hyper-consumerism, riches and profligate dissipation to saturation point. The magnetic effect of materialism on life has brought misery and bitter disappointment. All that’s left is to be concerned with what to eat and drink. There are lots of books in circulation with all manner of strange recipes. In their persistent quest for joy, people have found only its wreckage: unhappiness, corruption and lack of accountability.

Unemployment’s rising, poverty’s on the increase, pain is hurting more, and people feel they’re failures, alone and in despair. Without God, all of this worsens to a worrying degree. With God, everything doesn’t find an immediate solution, as if by magic. But, people do have the sense of the presence of God, of his love, of the grace of the Holy Spirit, of consolation and of hope. So, they can maintain their courage in their everyday difficulties. They can live in the world and not be led astray by every profane and shameful thing. Unshakeable faith will bring optimism. Real love will foster charity and alms-giving. And in this way people’s wounded hearts will be warmed.

Those who still follow false gods or make gods of people involved in politics, the arts or the sciences are destined to be thoroughly deceived. Without God, every crisis will overwhelm them and make them suffer from terrible delusions and many hardships. Those who want to ensnare naive people with illusions, promises for the future, and attacks on Christ, sin and are mistaken. Careful attention, discrimination and gravity are what’s needed.

It’s time we forgave, sincerely and from the heart. We must become humble and charitable. We must love and practice civility, tolerance, companionship and kindness. There’s a lack of humanity. There aren’t any smiles. Faces, actions, words and decisions are marred by harshness and scowls. The difficult position we find ourselves in won’t be improved by greater weights, additional measures, rejection and vindictiveness. The police can arrest when necessary, but not subject people to abuse. Judges shouldn’t expend all their rigor on certain people only. They present themselves as rigid upholders of the laws, but there’s evidence that they sometimes err grievously. Teachers at all levels won’t help their charges through brutality, excessive strictness and sarcasm. Our politicians are taking us down the road to derision and chaos.

The present crisis is an opportunity for us to take a good look at ourselves and to see others with understanding. Goodness is a fine thing. Mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual appreciation are very necessary today. In a locked house, we have an open window. A window that brings the sun, light and fresh air. Spring’s a wonderful time. In the darkness a single candle sheds light. Let us open the window of our heart with humanity and goodness, of which we all have so much need.