Everybody stop what you’re doing, right now. Stop scrolling, stop typing, stop spreading conspiracy theories and stop arguing against people who are spreading conspiracy theories, stop a minute. Now, pray for peace. I like to pray with music, so here’s some inspiration for you if you’d like. I’ll wait right here.
Okay, now that you’ve prayed, what does the Holy Ghost place on your heart to do? Our Lord desires mercy, not sacrifice. Why does He desire mercy, not sacrifice? Because sacrifice is taking something away, and that doesn’t work to take something away from nothing. Hate is evil, and evil is a privation; in the most real sense, it’s something that isn’t there. It’s a grievous lack of something that ought to be there. Where you see evil, you see a rotten, yawning cavity where there ought to be good. When you see violence, hatred, racism and murder, you see the senseless actions that won’t fill a vacuum which should not exist. When you see horrendous acts of vengeance and retaliation, furious tensions fanned into open flame, innocent people killed to avenge innocent deaths, you’re looking at further flailing to fill the abscess, but the abscess only widens in result. Violence begets violence. The hairline crack becomes a fissure, the walls of the fissure erode, Hell opens up and swallows the tents of the wicked.
But there is hope.
Mercy is our hope, because mercy is real. Charity is real. Justice, empathy, repentance, forgiveness and intercession are real. They’re not like evil. They’re real things that actually exist, not as a lack but as an abundance. They are things that can fill the wound; they are the means through which God can heal us if we only will it.
What did the Holy Ghost place on your heart to do? Do it. It may not seem related to this week’s tragedies. Do it anyway. Go be reconciled to your neighbor. Sell something you don’t need, and give to the poor. Bake a loaf of bread for the soup kitchen. Give blood. Go to Confession. Hug your spouse. Take your children to the park. Pray a Rosary. Learn to write icons. Clean the kitchen, including the part you’ve been avoiding. Sign up to teach Bible school. Apply to join the seminary.
Then come back, pray again, and do whatever He tells you to do next.
Keep doing that until you die.
I’ll do it too.
Let’s start now.
(Image via Pixabay)