Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mature Believers

On November 15, 1972, at a General Audience, Pope Paul VI said the following:

"WHAT ARE the Church's greatest needs at the present time? Don't be surprised at Our answer and don't write it off as simplistic or even superstitious: one of the Church's greatest needs is to be defended against the evil we call the Devil."

It is worth reading the entire text of this address to understand yet again how the Lord is always teaching us exactly what we need to understand about the world in which we live. Pope Paul VI speaks movingly about the beauty of the Christian vision of the universe, as well as it's dramatic history gifted with the great treasures of Redemption.

Yet, his focus in this address is upon the proper awareness, understanding and response to the mystery of evil. A question that begs answering is: why does so much evil go unchallenged?

There are well-established evils already present in the world, abortion and pornography, to name a few of the many. But there are also newly developing ones that scandalize us but don't seem to rouse enough of us to action. The barbaric activity of Isis in the Middle East is a current example. There are others.

One of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world is human trafficking. Somewhere between 27 and 30 million people have already been enslaved by it. This is an evil that is unquestionably intelligent, organized and has the darkest of forces behind it.

There are many people addressing this abomination, including our own SOLT Sisters in Thailand who have a "safe" house for young girls who come to the city to study and who would otherwise be vulnerable to the sex industry there. But are there enough of us who see with a mature eye and play a decisive role in this battle of the Kingdoms?

Recently, one of our Sisters was on a plane from Corpus Christi to Kansas City. There were 4 young girls on the plane. The head flight attendant asked Sister to help her to find out where these girls were from and where they were going. Sister was able to obtain the requested information which had marks of human trafficking. It was reported immediately to the Police. There was an emergency landing in Houston where these girls were recovered by the Immigration Officials. A man on the flight who acted like the protector of these girls was arrested at the next stop-over in Dallas. Sister was accompanied by a police escort the rest of the way to Kansas City to ensure her safety.

This depravity is close to home, present among us. Yet, too much evil goes unchallenged...

Christine Caine, a wonderful, spirit-filled, mature believer who is among those standing up to this evil, has found in her work with women, some horrific realities of the way human trafficking operates. She recounted the story of a young woman in Bulgaria who went out with her friend. A drug was put in her coffee. She woke up in a different country (Greece) chained to a bed, and forced to take 25 men a day. This went on for 3 weeks at which point she was able to contact her mother through a cell phone she'd hidden. Her mother got hold of Chris Caine's organization, A21, and they were able to rescue the girl and get her to a safe house.

Human trafficking in that part of the world follows this pattern: the traffickers work the girls for two years. Then, those who are able, they impregnate. They then sell the babies to infant farms who in turn sell the children to pedophile rings, illegal adoption rings, and begging rings. Begging rings use children to get money and they often amputate limbs because such children bring in more money. As for the girls, they overdose them with drugs and when they die, their organs are trafficked, another huge activity of organized crime.

These things are beyond shocking. But this is what happens when evil goes unchallenged. It proliferates at incredible speed. This is what happens when we refuse to become mature believers who stand up to whatever evil presents itself in our lives and the lives of those we love. This is what happens when we wallow in our own self-centered world, allowing ourselves to be endlessly distracted and deceived, and refusing to let Christ really detach us, cleanse us, strengthen us, and transform us into warriors for the Kingdom, into valiant men and women meant for such a time as this.

We were not set into this time by the Lord to be comfortable. We're meant to make a difference in the cause of Christ, in halting the spread of darkness and advancing the Kingdom of God in this generation. We have a lot of territory to reclaim. But we take heart that God will equip us for every good work (Tim. 3:17).

Please, let us do the work we need to do to die to the "old" man (woman) so that we can authentically take up our positions in the battle, and in Christ, help to free His people from the oppression of the evil one. May the Holy Spirit and Our Blessed Mother lead us as their little army, in all humility and docility to the complete victories of Christ.