Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eye of the Storm

Pope John Paul II, the man of the century, emerged from a situation of various conflicts and ideological systems in the world and came out with the agenda of peace: "There can be no peace without justice but there can be no justice without forgiveness." He worked for unity and reconciliation in our world and, certainly was against war. He encouraged Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare, to propagate the work for unity of all peoples and categories.

If there was a storm of wrong ideas or ideologies before, are there still now? Yes! Because the devil is working hard, and he can infect people who are supposed to be God's instruments for peace; yet as happened before (remember history), they may become the "ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing" (Mt. 7:15), because they think they know, so they don't listen to the Church. And a little knowledge is dangerous. How? Because the truth is one whole. A lie is half or part of it. That is where deception lies. Where pride and disobedience reign, there is the liability for the devil's deception to come in. If Jesus made that stern warning about false prophets as being ravenous wolves disguised as sheep (Mt. 7:15), it must be an important index. What index? Jesus said: "I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits" (Mt. 7:20).

What were and are the fruits? The wars, the conflicts, the vocations lost, the lives lost, the anger, hatred and indifference. These are not the fruits of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, self-control, chastity (Gal. 5:22). As Jesus explains in chapter 13 of St. Matthew's gospel in the parable of the weeds, God allows the good and the bad to grow together but at the end of the world the evil ones will be cast into eternal fire, the good into God's kingdom and eternal happiness. There is freedom, yes, but in the end reward or punishment, according to your works (Mt. 16:27: Ps. 62:12).

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