“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” St. Luke 12:49
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ
I write this letter to you from Costa Rica where we are resting and will celebrate the 80th birthday of a much loved family member. Please keep Maria de los Angeles and all of us in your prayers. You were all in my prayers at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this morning (this letter is coming a day or so later due to the blessed lack of internet access here).
I have taken a few photos that you might find interesting and one providential circumstance that made me smile. The beautiful flower that you see in as the featured photo of this post is called a Eucharist Flower. My aunt-in-law indicates that this plant, which is quite old, is supposed to bloom once per year. However I was told that this one never flowered until we arrived.
This morning we attended Mass at St. Vincent’s de Moravia. Here are a few photos of that beautiful parish. The cantor had a beautiful voice and it was a delight to attend a reverent Mass in such a beautiful place.
The is a picture of my prayer area during our stay with family in Moravia.
It is always a challenge to keep my prayer life consistent when boarding with others, even family. I prayed this morning that I would be able to pray even in the midst of interruptions. Our Lord is very kind and He granted my request. It is a remarkable experience to be totally present to someone speaking with you all the while being present to the Lord as if alone with Him.
The last photo I will share with you is of an active volcano that we can see from where we are staying. At the moment we cannot see the volcano but what we are looking at in this photo is ash and smoke.
As I consider this destructive power of this active volcano I am reminded of the fires of satan that burn in the hearts and minds in the United States and around the world. This burning of confusion is manifesting externally in protests in the streets in the U.S. I had expected the same if the other party had won.
This election cycle has revealed a truth that I was already aware of but that manifested a disturbing depth of penetration in our culture. This truth is that the enemy owns very many hearts and minds on both the left and the right and has a strong influence on the unfaithful.
The evil one also has a strong presence even among the orthodox. Some of this recently manifested against me when I defended the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as an order of magnitude more sacred and inviolably important than even holy efforts to mitigate the most grave moral evil of our time. I won’t venture further into this issue – I suspect many of you instinctively understand.
Though the fires of satan burn and the Volcano of a deeply confused society threatens to erupt against the faithful, I am struck by a profound peace.
My peace does not come from the political party in power – only fools rest in this kind of temporal power. Please allow me to repeat this. Only fools find peace in temporal power, however favorable. Instead my peace comes through the grace of God – a deep trust in His providence and love. For this I am grateful – it is certainly a gift and not something I deserve or can attain on my own.
My consolation is also rooted in another fire burning on the earth. The fires of satan are like a grain of sand on the seashore as compared with the power of the fire of God burning in the hearts of His faithful.
This fire of God draws men and women of faith to Him. This fire leads them to draw near in the Eucharist and oracion mental. This fire, the purifying and vivifying presence and work of God in our hearts, is the fire that can and will change the world if we will yield to it and fuel it with our “yes.”
As we say “yes” to God, our fire grows and becomes a bright beacon of hope to the world. God then uses us to become a place of warmth from the cold, shelter from the storm and healing from the wounds inflicted by the world, the flesh, and the devil.
This fire, the fire of oracion mental, this fire that Christ called the “one thing necessary” is the fire of prayer – the fire of union with God.
All of this has impressed upon me the urgency of the mission of Apostoli Viae to live, light, and lead God’s people to the path of contemplation. This path is the path that will bring revival because it revives the fire in souls who have been luke warm and fans the flames of the fervent. It fuels the fires of God – the light of Christ – the hope of the world.
Say “yes” to Him. Don’t hold back. It will not be easy but you will never regret it and you will find peace in the storm.
Unum est Necessarium