You Ask, "But What Can We Do?"

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Sometimes we feel impotent in the face of political and social realities. There does not seem to be anything we can do about the situation around us. And yet, there is--live virtuously. From Lowery's book again, this moment of hope: "For instance, a Christian living virtuously will have an effect on human history, and numerous Christians living virtuously will have a massive effect."

Withou raising a single protest sign, without signing petitions, without marching on Washington, a simple virtuous life can change the lives of people about whom we know little to nothing. This is part of the need for the sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation. Because if it is true that the virtuous life manifests the kingdom of Heaven on Earth, a life less than virtuous rends the fabric of eternity. Even if our sins are secret, lived out in silence, "victimless" as it were, still, they have deep and abiding effects on the world around us. If we fail in virtue, even though no one but the Lord knows about it, we still harm those around us. This failure takes its toll on the entire world. Our society is in the dire straights it is in because we have chosen individually not to live virtuously. In some cases the choices have been made in invincible ignorance, in other in deliberate defiance. But most of the time, we think that what we do privately has little or no meaning to the world at large. After all our constitution guarentees us a right to privacy doesn't it? (In fact, no, but that is beside the point.) Even if it does, there is no privacy in the Kingdom of God. Every act is a public act with public consequences, even if we cannot see the source. If everyone secretly empties their chamberpots into the gutters on the streets of the City, the effluent will still stink even if we do not know the entirety of the source.

So the next time you think in despair, "What can I do about this or that terrible thing?" recall that the first thing is to live virtuously and to pray always. In doing these things we take the first steps in allowing God to lead us to correct the present situation. We shouldn't stop there, but it is a place to start because living virtuously allows us to hear more clearly what we really can do to stop the present horror.

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Thanks for an interesting post. I like the fact that my only hope of living virtuously is to pray always. I have learned through sad experience, that even when one tries very hard to be as good as possible, if one fails to pray always, and fails to stay close to the sacraments, one will in very short order find oneself thoroughly mired in sin of one sort or another.

Death, taxes, sin. (sigh)

Through much prayer, though, good things always happen, and many are good things that didn't even occur to me to think of asking for! For " him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever." Eph 3:20-21.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 15, 2004 8:38 AM.

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