Resilience is normally defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and unexpected challenges we come across in our daily paths.
Life is tough, irrespective of one’s beliefs. Jesus Christ never promised us a bed of roses. He told us we would have tough times. He himself was not spared the cross. His Father’s promise, however, was that He would always be with us if we abide in Him: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Authentic, practising Christians will always face hurdles and persecution for living a faith that seeks justice, honesty and integrity in the light of evangelical truths. Steadfast Christianity will always be perceived as an obstruction in the way of a few ruthless people in power whose overarching agenda is to promote popular political issues as long as votes are secured, and power is retained.
The permanent damage to our environment is just one case in point. “I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.” (Jeremiah 2:7) This seems to resonate with the dishing out of permits for mega-establishments and petrol stations in tiny Malta together with the demolishing of decent terraced houses to make place for small dwellings that are sold or rented out at exaggerated prices to our younger generation.
If we walk in the valley of indifference and spiritual sloth, with an ‘everything goes’ or ‘business as usual’ attitude, we are no more than accomplices of the darkness around us
Shall we lose hope and falter in our Christian faith in the light of multiple corruption trends which seem to be emerging all over Europe?
As Christians we abide in Christ. For he is the truth, the way and the life. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the valley of indifference and spiritual sloth, with an ‘everything goes’ or ‘business as usual’ attitude, then we are no more than accomplices of the darkness around us.
The truth claims what is ‘right’. Yet it is often overruled by ‘might’, the might of the superpowers that have swerved from righteous paths to satisfy their endless greed. It is no surprise that Pope Francis, in conjunction with the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, recently spoke about the consequences of corruption and called for this evil to be condemned.
The Pope makes it clear that there is no room for complacency. He calls all Christians to wake up from their sloth and indifference to seek justice and truth. He urges us to pray that “those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption”. He calls the faithful for resilience in defending the truth and urges us to speak about it, denounce its evils, and try to understand it, so as to show our resolve to make mercy reign over meanness, beauty over nothingness.
Faith is not for the faint-hearted. St Paul calls us to “put on the full armour of God…. for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.
As American-Egyptian writer Suzy Kassem says: “If the fire in our heart is strong enough, it will burn away any obstacles that come our way.”