Is God telling you 'Enough!?'
Recently, I read an article by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago in which he described, through a friend’s eyewitness account, the bombing of a Catholic Church in Bagdad. Two priests were killed – one at the altar, one coming out of a confessional. Many people were shot down as they tried to escape the brutal massacre.
Cardinal George went on to relate a particularly important incident that occurred that day in the church. A 3-year-old boy named Adam saw his parents brutally shot in front of him. For three hours, he walked among the bodies saying only one word to the terrorists, “ENOUGH!” At the end of those hours, they shot and killed him.
I don’t think I would be overstating to say that child was like the Christ Child saying to all of us, “Enough!” Enough war and bloodshed, bitterness and envy, jealousy and hatred. Enough anger and envy, un-forgiveness and withholding mercy, lying and cheating. Enough verbal and physical abuse, stealing people’s good and also their honor and reputation; stop the lust and using others’ bodies to satisfy ourselves. Enough! It is important for all of us to let that word sink into our own minds and hearts and spirits.
When we were baptized, we were brought into the family of God – we actually became the sons and daughters of God. Do we live as though we know who we are or do we live like orphans and aliens with no roots?
I believe God used this child Adam to cry out the truth to us. Stop going down these paths; stop acting as though you don’t know who you are; stop letting yourselves be used as tools of the enemy to sow strife and destruction and death. Enough!
September is a month of new beginnings. Summer is over; cooler weather is on the way; school is starting; crops are being harvested. This is a good time to take stock of our internal and spiritual life. If I were asked to render an account today before God, how would the ledger look?
• Do I seek, where possible, to be a peacemaker, or do I always find fault and “pick” a fight?
• Do my conversations promote peace and hope or do they produce tension, doubt, jealousy and suspicion? Am I more negative or positive in my interactions with others?
• Do I quickly forgive or do I hold grudges?
• Do I share the good things I have with my spouse, friends or coworkers?
• With what do I fill my mind? Do I read what will inspire and encourage me to do good or do I read about what others have done wrong?
• What part does daily Scripture reading have in my life? What part do good biographies of saints play in my weekly reading?
• Have I developed an attitude of gratitude?
That phrase “an attitude of gratitude” can sound trite, but it is imperative in the negative attitude that pervades our airwaves and print media. Having eyes and ears to give and receive gratitude can destroy the plague of anger, jealousy and envy. Those evil fruits grow out of a negative attitude toward daily life and relationships. We can choose – and it is a choice – to live out of gratitude, thankful that we are children of a God who loves us and gives us His Spirit to guide us daily, hourly and moment to moment. So often we miss the gifts that God lavishly gives us because we are looking “down” instead of “up.” Daily ask the Holy Spirit to give you grace to “see” his loving care for you day in and day out. (I also recommend a book on the New York Times, best-seller list: A Thousand Gifts by Ann Vosskamp.)
None of us wants war and bloodshed. The change has to begin, not with nations, but in each person’s heart. As each heart changes, the “climate” begins to change. Mother Teresa’s life brought enormous social change for her country and for the world. As she would say, “One life at a time.” May it be so with us!