Sunday, August 28, 2011

Struck down but not destroyed

As hurricanes and earthquakes hit the east coast of the United States, we can take comfort in the message of the Gospel.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
 – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Here is a video to cheer you up.

And here is a passage from the Old Testament that speaks of earthquakes and fierce winds.
And a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
 – 1 Kings 19:11-13
What does it mean that Elijah heard the voice of the Lord in a "still small voice"?

My own view is that these verses are a condemnation of those that constantly ask for visible signs of the Lord's presence. Jesus also spoke of this. Why do we ask for signs? Those who believe do not need signs, and those who don't will not believe the signs when they see them.
The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God.
 – 2 Corinthians 4:4
"The god of this world" is satan. It was satan that tempted Jesus to produce a sign.

The "still small voice" is the voice of our Lord which is ever present to those who believe. We are surrounded with His angels -- His messengers. Our God is a living God "who has shone in our hearts".
For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.
 – 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
We are the fallen children of Adam, and are born with original sin which is the darkness that St. Paul speaks of in this passage. But God says, "Let light shine out of darkness." Christ is that light which illuminates us from within.

We are "earthen vessels". We are not worthy of holding a precious treasure like the light of Christ and to gaze upon His face. But God in His Divine Mercy has granted us this gift through His Son.

This shows "the transcendent power" of God. None of the priests of "the god of this world" have the power to conjure up such a miracle. Do not put your faith in false idols like the science of man. This power "belongs to God and not to us."
We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
 – 2 Corinthians 4:18
Brothers and sisters in Christ, listen for the unseen "still small voice" inside your heart. May the peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you; may the Blessed Virgin Mary take you by the hand and lead you to Her Son.

God bless you and your family, and protect you from all evil.

All the Saints in Heaven, pray for us. All the souls in Purgatory, pray for us.

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NOTE: The video above was produced by the Animated Catholic. I discovered by going to the YouTube channel that he (or she) is from the Philippines. There is also a related blog. Here are the links:
The Animated Catholic YouTube Channel
The Animated Catholic Blog

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