We certainly live in a time filled with persecutions, uncertainty, and many things which can produce anxiety in people who are dedicated to walking the path of Christian discipleship. In the midst of such turmoil, we can be bombarded by a subtle attack of the enemy in which we are tempted to either retreat into the comforts of our institutions or develop a kind of frenetic activism that desperately seeks to conquer the world out of a kind of quiet desperation.
Both extremes betray a lack of authentic faith in the power and working of the Holy Spirit. An authentic life in communion with the Spirit does not mean that we stand back and do nothing. Rather, often our works are entangled in layers of egocentricity and selfishness which stifle the Spirit. These entanglements prevent the full flourishing that God intends because they prevent us from having the stillness of heart in which we are able to discern the gentle movements of the Spirit.
To discover this stillness, we must learn to rest in the reality that the battle is already won. No matter the circumstances, God always wins. Even when it appears that sin, evil, and the Devil are getting the upper hand, we must realize that such apparent victories are merely illusions. Even in the darkest moments of history, God’s mercy and love has the final say. This truth is not so much a statistic that can be empirically demonstrated, but rather a mystery that must be embraced through unknowing. By walking the path of unknowing, we allow space for our own ignorance and limitations. Instead of arrogantly raising our personal perceptions to the level of dogma, we learn to enter into the mystery that lies at the heart of all things.
This leads to our freedom whereby we are renewed in our commitment to work for peace and justice. Instead of our activities being a form of self-assertion, they become a participation in the victory of Christ. We work, but without the compulsions that plague modern man. We live in solidarity with the poor, not as a program of an atheistic utopianism, but as a sign of Christ’s unconditional love.
Thus, we must learn to surrender to the reality of Christ’s victory. We must allow ourselves to be witnesses to the truth that in every time and place, God’s glory is revealed in his Church and in the lives of the saints. Our evangelization of the world is not so much a proposal for a perfect society, but rather an invitation for all people to participate in that perfect reality of Christ’s victory. For this reason, the path to true human flourishing can only be discover in Christ, with Christ, and through Christ.