Apocalypse? Now!

Elizabeth Scalia at First Things offers some beautiful, hope-filled words of wisdom in the wake of the election:

We begin, I think, by giving simple thanks to God for the election—without conditions or sly assumptions that we know anything or are somehow colluding with Providence. That sounds counterintuitive, I know, but whenever I think a circumstance precludes gratitude, I remember the story of two sisters offering prayerful thanks for the fleas that infested their barracks in a Nazi concentration camp. They were certainly distressed by their circumstances but recalling 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (“In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”) they gave praise nonetheless, trusting that God’s hand was astir. They later learned that the fleas had afforded their barracks a relative freedom, unmatched at the camp, because the flea-phobic guards would stay away.

So, we first give thanks. We thank God for the re-election of a manwhose commitment to our religious freedom, and to other commonly accepted notions, seems dubious to us. In our expression of gratitude, we open ourselves for the reception of joy, which can only be accessed through our willingness to give thanks, even when under duress, but then can permeate our beings.

Then, we pray for his salvation, as for our own, because that is the best prayer we can make for anyone. We daily consign him, and all of our secular “leadership”, completely to the Lord, in perfect trust; this releases us from the grip of resentment and anger (which the evil one nurtures until it becomes self-poisoning hatred) and thereby makes us free.

Prayer is a most subversive freedom. In making these two small ones daily, we begin our work from a place of joyful emancipation.

And you’ll want to read it all to see how she brings us to this:

If secular illusions are to be tumbled amid the building up of the Kingdom, let us get started where we are, today; in our families, and then in our neighborhoods and parishes and our schools. Let us begin, finally, to understand the true meaning of apocalypse by becoming it—not destruction and mayhem but revelation, as in the revelation of Christ to each other—in these strange and transitional days.


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