Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reflections Upon a Difficult Week

Part of John Collier's 9-11 Memorial (used with permission)
Some of my online friends may know about the week's events, but...suffice to say it's been one of those weeks for me.  Without going into any particulars, let's just say that I felt very much placed on the spot and attacked by a certain individual.  I am profoundly thankful, however, that the week ended with no small degree of vindication.  

There was one particular moment in which I came close to saying far too much.  Thankfully, I was able to tame my tongue, avoiding speaking something which I would likely regret later.  The situation has reminded me of the need to avoid holding on to anger, but releasing the anger and frustrations to God.  Let Him be the judge.  This helps keep things in their real perspective.  

In fact the issue also reminds me of some of Augustine's early arguments within The City of God.  That is, righteous indignation at a particular evil affront may easily spur us into a rash course of action which we may sorely regret later; we're better not exchanging innocence for the culpability associated with a poor response.  As I have been reading the Book of Wisdom lately, I am reminded of the passage below from the fifth chapter.

14 What hope do wicked people have? Only the hope of straw blown about in the wind, the hope of ocean foam[a] that disappears in the storm, the hope of smoke in the breeze. Their hope lasts no longer than our memory of a guest who stays one day and leaves the next.
15 But the righteous live on forever. The Lord will reward them; the Most High will protect them. 16 He will give them royal splendor and a magnificent crown. He will shield them with his powerful arm. 17  He will go out into battle determined to defeat his enemies, and use the creation itself as a weapon. 18 Righteousness will be his armor, genuine justice will be his helmet, 19 holiness will be his invincible shield. 20 He will sharpen his stern anger into a sword, and the forces of nature will join him in battle against those who are foolish enough to oppose him. 21 Bolts of lightning will strike right on target, as if the Lord had made a bow out of the clouds and was shooting arrows. 22 Hailstones will beat down on his enemies with terrible force. The oceans and rivers will come rushing over them in a devastating flood. 23 Great windstorms will blow them away like straw. Lawlessness will be the ruin of the whole world. Evil actions will cause governments to fall.

As I wrote recently on Facebook, "No matter how bad the week goes, God is there beside us. Faith, prayer, and restraint (of tongue) are the way to make it through the darkness. I am very thankful for the way the week ended, and I praise God for his preserving hand."  I'd like to conclude with the Prayer to Saint Michael below.

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world                         seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..

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  1. The invocation of a strict 24 hour rule has worked well for me Karl. Glad your week turned out well.