28 November 2015



 The First Sunday in Advent
The Book of Common Prayer
USA • 1928

Pope Francis in Uganda


Two stories of Pope Francis in Uganda you should read to lift up your heart, dear Reader:

1. You are a people of martyrs, turn hate into love

2. Francis celebrates martyrs who did not give in to the King

The second story concerns his visit to the Anglican Shrine of the Ugandan Martyrs (which by all accounts stunned and amazed him) and to the Roman Catholic Shrine of St. Charles Lwanga at holy Namugongo where the martyrs blood was spilled together for the sake of Jesus the Lord.

Most people today forget that when Pope Paul VI canonised the St. Charles Lwanga and the Catholic Martyrs of Uganda he also spoke of the Anglican martyrs, and departing from script spoke in such a way that to those present it seemed he had canonised the Anglican martyrs along with the Catholic martyrs as they had died together in the Faith because of the perverse and evil king of Buganda named Mwanga II.

You really must read both stories.  Jesus is the Lord.  Hallelujah!

God bless us one and all.


26 November 2015

Thanksgiving Music - RADIO WALSINGHAM


I invite you to listen to RADIO WALSINGHAM ONLINE if you would like to hear the wonderful hymns and anthems of the USA's Thanksgiving Day.  The only way to listen without commercials from our hosting website is to purchase a VIP membership from Live365.com and then one may listen without interruption.

Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston
The music during this Friday and Saturday includes hymns, anthems, songs, and prayers that many in the USA view as essential to worship on Thanksgiving Day.  As one can imagine it is a tall order to consider the many Christian bodies and their traditions.  It is even a more difficult task to evaluate the music of worship of communities that could be seen as rising to a level of universality and excellence that all can appreciate as a musical expression of thanksgiving. 

But for me as General Manager, a national feast day like the USA's Thanksgiving Day is a delight.  The music will include a little bit of everything seeking to embrace what lifts up the heart to God through hymns, anthems, spirituals, and at least one Broadway standard. 

At RADIO WALSINGHAM we always hold in mind Our Blessed Lord's own prayer that we —all of us— may be one as a testimony to the truth of Him and His Word ... or as Fr. Paul Wattson, S.A. put it in his publications and for the Octave for Christian Unity: UT OMNES UNUM SINT. 

Click here for RADIO WALSINGHAM's page on Live365.com.  The free listing unfortunately includes Live365.com's approved commercials.  Fortunately, the VIP membership is very cheap and most who listen via computer or cell phone can afford it.  (The app for mobile phone's is a very sturdy platform, and the music quality produced on most iPhones is remarkably good.)

On behalf of RADIO WALSINGHAM ONLINE, please allow me –the chief cook and bottle washer— to wish  you and yours a most blest Thanksgiving Holy-Day.

Laudetur Jesus Christus!

25 November 2015

Thanksgiving Grace - Daughters of St. Paul



The USA Holiday of Thanksgiving to God

For Thanksgiving Day, The Book of Common Prayer 1928 (USA)

I pray God's blessings upon all those who celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday of the USA — wherever you may be — and for the United States of America and her people I pray that they will realise from the very depths of their hearts that from the beginning of this holiday it was meant as an occasion to give THANKSGIVING TO GOD for Divine Providence and all Divine Blessings and Benefits given to us through Christ Jesus our Lord.  

It is not an occasion to eat lots and watch football though we are perfectly free to do so. It is not an occasion to get the best deals at the horrendously named Black Friday sales ... though one may choose to violate the very notion of a Holy-Day and go and buy on Thanksgiving Day itself.  However, this holiday —this Holy-Day— is all about God the Lord and his providential mercies and blessings poured out upon the nation and the people who make that nation what it is.

So, this Thanksgiving holiday, dear Americans, remember God, and keep your focus where it belongs i.e., in giving thanks to God for His mercies, blessings, and the abundance of the harvest and of the earth by which we are fed.

You should especially thank God for your personal blessings, and ask for His divine protection when the world is spinning inexorably toward world war.  Beg for His divine mercy for you, your family, your loved ones, your country, and this world we share.

Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labours of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
The Book of Common Prayer 1979, USA

23 November 2015

From the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, in the 21st Chapter

Christus Rex
[1] And looking on, JESUS saw the rich men cast their gifts into the treasury. [2] And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in two brass mites. [3] And He said:   

Verily I say to you,
that this poor widow 
hath cast in more than they all: 
[4] For all these have of their abundance 
cast into the offerings of God: 
but she of her want, 
hath cast in 
all the living that she had.  

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God. 

21 November 2015

Uher Hymn: "O Christ the King"


The PDF of my hymn set to Noel Jones' tune may be downloaded by clicking here.

You may click or double-click on the image for a larger version.

O Jesus, Conqueror of Death, Save Us!

O Jesus, Victor Mortis, salva nos!

The following is excerpted from Charlie Johnston's recent blog:

“In Islam, God is a distant, alien thing. There is –and can be – no kinship between man and God whatsoever. The relationship is that of master to a dog, with a master who encourages a brutal viciousness in his dogs. There is no spark of divine dignity in any human, even the holiest of Muslims. They are either good pets to their malignant master or they are not. People are ever treated like things. This is how you get “honor killings” of family members for various – mainly sexual – transgressions. But those sexual rules only apply to women. A sister who has been raped is “broken, like a plate,” as I heard one moderate Muslim man describe it. She is no good anymore and must be discarded. Islam is a religion of appetites, not transcendent aspirations. It is a religion of rules, not of principles of morality. There is no kinship between God and man. Even the supposed rewards of the afterlife are purely temporal in nature – and still treat women as things. The great Muslim warrior supposedly gets 72 virgins to do with as he will. What, precisely, does a Muslim virgin get other than a vicious man?”

Many consider him to be a Catholic prophet. 

Lawler: "Obama is Wrong"


I recommend that Christian people in the USA (especially) read Phil Lawler's article "Obama Is Wrong".  This is information to share with your Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and other Christian friends.  

Here follows the opening two paragraphs:

With thousands of refugees from the Middle East clamoring for entry, President Obama has said that it is “shameful” to suggest that Christian refugees should be given preference. That statement is wrong: legally, politically, and morally wrong.

Although Obama condemns “religious tests” that might favor Christian refugees, the policies of his administration currently seem to work strong against Christians seeking asylum. In October, the US admitted 187 refugees from Syria: 183 Muslims and 4 Christians. Syria is (or was, before the bloodshed began) roughly 10% Christians. Last year, the Syrian refugees admitted to the US were 97% Muslim.

19 November 2015

Revisiting "Regensburg"


With the usual suspects weeping for how badly Islam is being treated in the wake of the horrors in Paris committed by Muslims ... I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the Pope Emeritus' words spoken at the University of Regensburg— words which caused such an unjustified uproar among Islamists and their apologists.

To be clear ... Pope Benedict was precisely correct in everything he said in the lecture.  In fact, I believe in retrospect he was too meek in both what he said and in the manner in which he and his officers responded to criticism.  My own opinion is that to view Islam as merely 'a religion' among religions is to miss the single most important fact about it: Islam is an ideology of world conquest wearing the costumes of religion.

I will quote only a section, but I encourage reading of the entire text at the Vatican website.  I also provide the related footnotes to this portion of the text below.  The footnotes must be read, but they are more easily read at the Vatican website's presentation of the lecture.

Pope Benedict XVI writes:

(. . .)   I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.[1] It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor.[2] The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between - as they were called - three "Laws" or "rules of life": the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point - itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole - which, in the context of the issue of "faith and reason", I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

In the seventh conversation (διάλεξις - controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to some of the experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”[3] The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".[4]

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature.[5] The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.[6] Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry.[7]

[1] Of the total number of 26 conversations (διάλεξις – Khoury translates this as “controversy”) in the dialogue (“Entretien”), T. Khoury published the 7th “controversy” with footnotes and an extensive introduction on the origin of the text, on the manuscript tradition and on the structure of the dialogue, together with brief summaries of the “controversies” not included in the edition; the Greek text is accompanied by a French translation: “Manuel II Paléologue, Entretiens avec un Musulman. 7e Controverse”, Sources Chrétiennes n. 115, Paris 1966. In the meantime, Karl Förstel published in Corpus Islamico-Christianum (Series Graeca ed. A. T. Khoury and R. Glei) an edition of the text in Greek and German with commentary: “Manuel II. Palaiologus, Dialoge mit einem Muslim”, 3 vols., Würzburg-Altenberge 1993-1996. As early as 1966, E. Trapp had published the Greek text with an introduction as vol. II of Wiener byzantinische Studien. I shall be quoting from Khoury’s edition.

[2] On the origin and redaction of the dialogue, cf. Khoury, pp. 22-29; extensive comments in this regard can also be found in the editions of Förstel and Trapp.

[3] Controversy VII, 2 c: Khoury, pp. 142-143; Förstel, vol. I, VII. Dialog 1.5, pp. 240-241. In the Muslim world, this quotation has unfortunately been taken as an expression of my personal position, thus arousing understandable indignation. I hope that the reader of my text can see immediately that this sentence does not express my personal view of the Qur’an, for which I have the respect due to the holy book of a great religion. In quoting the text of the Emperor Manuel II, I intended solely to draw out the essential relationship between faith and reason. On this point I am in agreement with Manuel II, but without endorsing his polemic.

[4] Controversy VII, 3 b–c: Khoury, pp. 144-145; Förstel vol. I, VII. Dialog 1.6, pp. 240-243.
[5] It was purely for the sake of this statement that I quoted the dialogue between Manuel and his Persian interlocutor. In this statement the theme of my subsequent reflections emerges.

[6] Cf. Khoury, p. 144, n. 1.

[7] R. Arnaldez, Grammaire et théologie chez Ibn Hazm de Cordoue, Paris 1956, p. 13; cf. Khoury, p. 144. The fact that comparable positions exist in the theology of the late Middle Ages will appear later in my discourse. 

18 November 2015

Saved by Beauty


Fr. Uwe Michael Lang of the Oratory writes:

(Roger) Scruton is aware of the need to recover the metaphysical foundations of beauty, which were eroded in the eighteenth century, when “aesthetics” became a separate philosophical discipline, but in the end, he cannot do so and must limit himself to the judgement of taste.22 Certainly, an education of taste would go a long way, but, in the end, de gustibus non est disputandum. In other words, a well-honed aesthetic instinct cannot provide foundations stable enough or strong enough to rebuild the metaphysical underpinnings of the arts today.

Elements of a theological response to this question are found in a renewed appreciation of the Christian tradition. In a well-known passage from his novel The Idiot (1869), the same Dostoevsky has his Christ-like hero, Prince Myshkin, say, 

“I believe the world will be saved by beauty.” 

Not any beauty is meant here, but the redemptive beauty of Christ. 

In a profound reflection on this subject, written in 2002 for the annual Communion and Liberation meeting in Rimini, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger comments on Psalm 45(44), which praises the king at the occasion of his wedding and exalts his bride. In the exegetical tradition of the Church, this lyrical psalm has been read as a representation of Christ’s spousal relationship with the Church and the description of the bridegroom as “the fairest of the sons of men” as Christ himself. Where the psalm declares that “grace is poured upon [his] lips”, this is taken to refer to the beauty of his words, the glory of his proclamation.

Ratzinger notes that it is “not merely the external beauty of the Redeemer’s appearance that is praised: rather, the beauty of truth appears in him, the beauty of God himself, who powerfully draws us and inflicts on us the wound of Love”.23

Cimabue / Arezzo

This beauty attracts us and makes us join the procession of Christ’s Mystical Bride, which is the Church, going out to meet the Bridegroom. Presenting us with a stark contrast, the Church applies to the same Christ, who is praised as the “fairest of men”, the words of Isaiah 53:2: “He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” This is done in remembrance of his Passion and shows the “paradoxical beauty” of Christ, which implies a contrast but not a contradiction.

As Ratzinger observes, we come to know that “the beauty of truth also involves wounds, pain, and even the obscure mystery of death and that this can only be found in accepting pain, not in ignoring it.”24 The totality of Christ’s beauty is revealed to us when we contemplate the disfigured image of the crucified Savior, which shows us his “love to the end” (cf. Jn 13:1). This is the beauty that will save the world, the redemptive beauty of Christ, crucified and glorified. It shines forth with particular splendor in the saints but is also reflected in the works of art the faith has generated. The masterpieces of sacred art have the power to lift our hearts to higher things and lead us beyond ourselves to an encounter with God, who is Beauty itself.

Lang, Michael (2015-10-05). Signs of the Holy One: Liturgy, Ritual, and Expression of the Sacred (pp. 101-103). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

Stroke Update


I could give a lengthy and remarkable analysis of my brain and how it functions.  The good news is that it functions for now (and I shall spare one and all the lengthy analysis).

There is an area located in the midst of what doctors believe is the speech centre of the right hemisphere of the brain.  That is where the problem is this time.  I was warned to stay vigilant on my blood-thinning protocol and to reduce "my stress".  (Lovely. "You've had a stroke. Now don't stress about it.")

The grace of God in this is that I am not 'stressing' over this.  Inside I feel quite happy and at peace.  I have had a spiritual experience of the nearness of God the Father I have never quite felt before.  An overwhelming experience.  And off and on I have the most amazing experience of the nearness of the Blessed Trinity as if they are seated around me and I am being held in the Blessed Mother's arms.  Whether vision or dream or the true reality breaking in to my situation I do not know, but I have been plunged into and overwhelmed with love, the love of God washing over me like waves passing or crashing onto the seashore.

The Lord is good to those who trust in Him.  Very few of us spend enough time to get to know Him so that in difficult times we turn to despair instead of turning our focus to see where the Lord is in the midst of it.  

We of our own cannot make out how God shall have the victory in the midst of warfare, bombs falling, terrorists blowing themselves up for the sake of a god that does not exist.  But as Our Beloved Lord Jesus Christ told the sainted Mother St. Julian of Norwich, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." This is Truth.

As a dearest friend reminded me (by way of the sacred Scripture), you and I shall overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the testimony of our lips.  Indeed, this is the greatest truth.  I have been washed and cleansed by the blood of that little lamb of God slain from before the foundation of the world, and in the resurrected power of that Precious Blood I proclaim that God is Love, and Love has a Name, and that holy Name is JESUS.

And in the Holy Name of Jesus ... ALL shall be well, and ALL shall be WELL, and ALL MANNER OF THING SHALL BE WELL. Amen and Amen.


17 November 2015

A body of death & the grace of the resurrection


St. Athanasius of Alexandria

"The Word perceived that corruption could not be got rid of otherwise than through death; yet He Himself, as the Word, being immortal and the Father's Son, was such as could not die. For this reason, therefore, he assumed a body capable of death, in order that it, though belonging to the Word Who is above all, might become in dying a sufficient exchange for all, and, itself remaining incorruptible through His indwelling, might thereafter put an end to corruption for all others as well, by the grace of the resurrection."

St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

16 November 2015

Catherine Winkworth's Translation of ,,Ein feste Burg”


I was surprised to find Catherine Winkworth's translation of Luther's hymn so very different from the translation I knew in childhood.  Luther was said to have written this hymn on the road to Worms in 1530.  

His text was from the traditional Epistle for the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity: "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The following comes from Catherine Winkworth's laudable collection of translations entitled  Lyra Germanica:

A SURE stronghold our God is He,
A trusty shield and weapon ;
Our help He'll be and set us free
From every ill can happen.
That old malicious foe
Intends us deadly woe ;
Arm'd with the strength of hell
And deepest craft as well,
On earth is not his fellow.

Through our own force we nothing can,
Straight were we lost for ever :
But for us fights the proper Man,
By God sent to deliver.
Ask ye who this may be ?
Christ Jesus named is He,
Of Sabaoth the Lord ;
Sole God to be adored ;
'Tis He must win the battle.

And were the world with devils fill'd,
All eager to devour us,
Our souls to fear should little yield,
They cannot overpower us.
Their dreaded Prince no more
Can harm us as of yore ;
Look grim as e'er he may,
Doom'd is his ancient sway ;
A word can overthrow him.

Still shall they leave that Word His might,
And yet no thanks shall merit ;
Still is He with us in the fight,
By His good gifts and Spirit.
E'en should they take our life,
Goods, honour, children wife—
Though all of these be gone,
Yet nothing have they won,
God's kingdom ours abideth !


What France Must Do


For those who worry about what must be done in France....

Until France alters its flag to fulfil the will of Heaven, there will be no peace for France.

All the French government needs to do is to place even a simplified image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the very centre of its flag, and then God's graces will flow upon the people of France and the French nation.

I have a French friend who is a member of the Reformed Church of France, and he as a pastor is all in favour of putting the simplified image on the French tricolour. As he says, there is no time for Christians to bicker with a Muslim invasion underway. (It is hard to express what an extraordinary declaration this was. But these are strange days.)

Such a simple thing to do and so much pride in the way keeping it from being done for centuries!  Now is the time to fix the French flag.  Remind the faithful.  Spread the word.

Let this be placed in the centre
of the white field of the French tricolour.
Trust Jesus.

15 November 2015

So, Another Stroke


Dear Reader, it seems I have had another small stroke.  I would be grateful for your prayers. I gather God desires I should overcome this one as well, so I shall do all in my power to do so with His help and His grace. 

Mary, Queen of All Saints and Angels, pray for us.

God bless us one and all,


This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.


12 November 2015

Bishop Robert Barron on the death of René Girard


I draw your attention to a very brief article at the National Catholic Register by Bishop Robert Barron regarding the death of the philosopher René Girard.  

I strongly encourage everyone to read it because of Bishop Barron's own insight into the lasting value of René Girard's work.  

The critique of Joseph Campbell's oft quoted "mono-myth" is exceedingly valuable for anyone who wishes to seriously comprehend why Jesus Christ and Christianity is NOT the "mono-myth" retold once again.

Click here to be taken to the article at the National Catholic Register, a Service of EWTN.


11 November 2015

A Prayer from Prime in the Coptic Agpeya

The Agpeya is the breviary or book of the seven canonical hours of prayer in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.  The Coptic root word is ti apt which means 'the hour', so a good translation of Agpeia would be 'The Book of Hours'.   Also transliterated as Agbeia, this breviary would be the equivalent to the Byzantine Horologion or the current Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours.

If one may have a favourite 'hour' within the Hours of the Agpeia, mine would be Prime because of its exquisite prayers and praises at daybreak.

O Lord, God of hosts, who exists before all ages and abides forever, who created the sun for daylight, and the night as rest for all men; we thank You, O King of ages, for You have let us pass through the night in peace, and brought us to the daybreak. Therefore, we ask You, O our Master, the King of all ages, to let Your face shine upon us, and the light of Your divine knowledge enlighten us. Grant us, O our Master, to be sons of light and sons of day, to pass this day in righteousness, chastity and good conduct, that we may complete all the rest of the days of our life without offence; through the grace, the compassion and the love of mankind of Your Only-Begotten Son Jesus Christ, and the gift of Your Holy Spirit, now and at all times and forever. Amen.

Prime, the first absolution 
The Agpeya
Coptic Orthodox Christian Church

Pope Benedict's Striking Insight on Purgatory

"Am Allerseelentag" (On All Souls' Day), 1839,
by Ferdinand G. Waldmüller (1793-1865), Austrian painter and writer.
Location: Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

When he was Cardinal Ratzinger, our Pope Emeritus wrote these remarkably insightful and helpful words about 'Purgatory' as 'an encounter with the love of Christ' :

"Purgatory is not, as Tertullian thought, some kind of supra-worldly concentration camp where one is forced to undergo punishments in a more or less arbitrary fashion. 

Rather it is the inwardly necessary process of transformation in which a person becomes capable of Christ, capable of God [i.e., capable of full unity with Christ and God] and thus capable of unity with the whole communion of saints. 

Simply to look at people with any degree of realism at all is to grasp the necessity of such a process. It does not replace grace by works, but allows the former to achieve its full victory precisely as grace. What actually saves is the full assent of faith. 

But in most of us, that basic option is buried under a great deal of wood, hay and straw. Only with difficulty can it peer out from behind the latticework of an egoism we are powerless to pull down with our own hands. 

Man is the recipient of the divine mercy, yet this does not exonerate him from the need to be transformed. Encounter with the Lord is this transformation. It is the fire that burns away our dross and re-forms us to be vessels of eternal joy." 

H.E. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life
Page 229


10 November 2015

St. John Paul II: 'God takes his time'


Section No. 5 of the Homily of His Holiness John Paul II  from the Eucharistic Celebration in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore in Maryland, USA on the 8th of October, 1995:

5. Today though, some Catholics are tempted to discouragement or disillusionment, like the Prophet Habakkuk in the First Reading. They are tempted to cry out to the Lord in a different way: why does God not intervene when violence threatens his people; why does God let us see ruin and misery; why does God permit evil? 

Like the Prophet Habakkuk, and like the thirsty Israelites in the desert at Meribah and Massah, our trust can falter; we can lose patience with God. In the drama of history, we can find our dependence upon God burdensome rather than liberating. We too can "harden our hearts".

And yet the Prophet gives us an answer to our impatience: "If God delays, wait for him; he will surely come, he will not be late" (Cf. Hb. 2: 3). A Polish proverb expresses the same conviction in another way: "God takes his time, but he is just". Our waiting for God is never in vain. Every moment is our opportunity to model ourselves on Jesus Christ – to allow the power of the Gospel to transform our personal lives and our service to others, according to the spirit of the Beatitudes. 

"Bear your share of the hardship which the Gospel entails": writes Paul to Timothy in today’s Second Reading (2Tm. 1: 8). This is no idle exhortation to endurance. No, it is an invitation to enter more deeply into the Christian vocation which belongs to us all by Baptism. 

There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already borne for us, and does not now bear with us. And on the far side of every cross we find the newness of life in the Holy Spirit, that new life which will reach its fulfillment in the resurrection. This is our faith. This is our witness before the world.

Saint John Paul II
8 October A.D. 1995
Baltimore in Maryland