|Confidence in a Loving God|
(A talk given by Fr. Derek Laverty, sscc to our SSCC Lay associates at their meeting in November 2014)
CONFIDENCE IN A LOVING GOD - IN AND FOR THE CHURCH
Sometimes things happen in our lives that appear to be more than coincidence. Sometimes we do or say things that appear to be on a whim – seemingly for no reason. But it can happen that these seemingly moments of chance are more than what they seem. With a little reflection we may discover that behind these moments is God – acting providentially. God acting providentially can be understood as God caring for us. I think some people struggle or are hesitant to see God’s hand in everything, or to read God in everything. But why should it be so difficult? If God is serious about loving us, if we are that precious to God, then why wouldn’t God look for ways to help us, to encourage us, to keep us going, to take care of us? The Good Mother was very conscious of the providence of God, of God taking care of things, of God taking care of us. She wrote: “We are in His hands; what God guards is well cared for. Have courage and patience because everything has a solution. God is with us. Let’s not be downcast”. She went on to say how much the Good Father wishes that brothers and sisters be animated by confidence and a great faith in the loving care of God.
In the book of Exodus we hear of the account of the people of Israel (God’s chosen people) who are in captivity in Egypt and who are suffering (Ex. 2:23-25). We are then told of God’s reaction to this situation: God sees, hears and feels the misery, the suffering, the pain, the oppression and the injustices done to his people and is moved to act – in this case through Moses (Ex. 3:7-10).
That was then. These days are no different. In the world of today there is much pain and suffering for many people. Thanks to the internet, to TV and to the papers it is impossible not to be affected by what we see and hear. For this reason I think we have to work hard to avoid being overwhelmed by a world so full of violence, injustice, unfairness, discrimination and at the same time work hard to not become immune to it. As men and women called to share in the charism of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary perhaps these times invite us to reflect more on the presence of God in such a world and what might our response be. Adoration is a wonderful place and opportunity to do both – be in solidarity with God and be in solidarity with people who are suffering. From this privileged time may come not just empathy but also wisdom as to what to do and confidence to do it.
As SSCC, to grow in empathy, to grow in compassion for the family is a gift we can make to the Church and the world at whose service we are. Pope Francis in his talks and writings has given us some fresh images of the Church. He is making it very clear that what the world needs now (our vocation if you like) is a Church that goes forth with an open heart all the time keeping its doors open. We can do that. What the world needs now is a church that understands itself as a field hospital after battle– ready to heal and restore wounded people. We can do that. What the world needs now is a church that is more friendly, humble and inclusive, a church of communion, harmony, welcome, a church that is a house of the poor and for the poor. We can be all those things as well. There is great need in the church and the world. We can help.