Random Musings of Faith – July 24, 2014

July 24, 2014

Some thoughts and prayers while on vacation on the coast of Maine:

– Over the past three years as I have lectured and preached on the call to evangelization that is being directed not just “ad gentes” (“to the nations”) but “ad Occidentem” (“to the West”), it has become more and more clear that here in the United States we are dealing with a culture and country that is no longer Judeo-Christian at its foundations but is in fact “missionary” territory. This has caused me to make radical shifts in my assumptions: I cannot assume that basic concepts like God, faith, and salvation, for example, are understood even remotely in the same way between the person or audience with whom I am speaking – unless in limited, faith-filled settings – and myself. I almost have to approach it as if I have landed on the shore of a new land that has never heard anything of our Faith.

– In another direction, as I walked along in the shallow water of the beaches edge in a light rain this morning, I prayed the Rosary (the “Luminous Mysteries”) and offered my prayers for the suffering churches in the Middle East. On this day on which the Church honors and calls upon the intercession of St. Sharbel Makhluf, a Maronite priest and monk of Lebanon, I couldn’t help but feel great sadness for these ancient churches that have been facing so much persecution and destruction over the past decades.  Over on the Anchoress’ blog, Elizabeth Scalia is offering some suggestions on what each one of us can do in response to what is happening. As for this morning, prayer will have to suffice ….