Subject: parent's search for meaning | the crisis at the heart of the crisis

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PARENTS' SEARCH FOR MEANING
The Crisis at the Heart of the Crisis
(& A Call to be Light in the Darkness)

[reprint from GregorianRant.us]

In God's eyes, all suffering is objectively evil. Meriting our derision. Commanding every resource and effort. If only that was the end of the story, we could absolve ourselves from looking any deeper. Live in a cloud of contempt and complaint. Shake our fists at the sky (and everyone else)! But there is that "Cross" thing. God taking on flesh and blood. Choosing to suffer a horrible death. Inviting us to follow.

Circumstances such as these are an anxious, grieving, unbelieving world inquiring of every professing Christian: "Do you really believe?"


IN DIFFICULT TIMES SUCH AS THIS I am encouraged and formed by those who endured much worse. Victor Frankl is just such a friend.

In "Man's Search for Meaning" Frankl recounts his horrific experience at the hands of brutal Nazi concentration camp guards. It's nearly impossible to understand how Frankl could be filled with anything other than rage, right? But somewhere in the midst of it, he found grace-filled pause to consider: While his captors had power over his exterior life, why was he granting them power over his interior life?

And with that consideration came this epic, life-changing truth:

While we have little to no control over what happens around or to us, no one can determine what happens within us!

Frankl began to exercise this "embryonic freedom", choosing not to allow the unspeakable horror happening to him to dictate what was happening within him. Get this: He cultivated so much freedom that the guards could no longer shake him. No matter what they did, he retained a calm disposition. His inner sanctuary became a fortress. Virtually impenetrable. As you might imagine, at first his torturers became frustrated. And over time, some gave up their territory and actually converted! Come on!

This is what Jesus does. This is who He is. This is who we are. This is what the world is looking for: Evidence of a formidable, unshakeable Kingdom within that will transform the world around.

We have been appointed and anointed for circumstances such as these! To demonstrate authentic, vibrant faith in the world. No darkness can stand a faith illuminated by His transcendent presence, purpose, and power! In these circumstances right now God is offering us the opportunity to be transformed from victim to victorious! With Frankl our lives can proclaim that as God is sovereign, as He is alive in us, as we are destined to an eternity with Him in each new "now"-- each and every moment has meaning.

SO PERHAPS THIS CURRENT CHAPTER OF OUR SHARED STORY is simply one of a global pandemic. Ever-increasing suffering. Deprivation of freedom. The prospect of economic collapse. Parents grasping at their last wits. Under siege by little creatures they've created. In close confines. All-day. Every day.

(And now the turn. For those with the courage to go there....)

OR PERHAPS THE WORLD was on a frenzied, spasmodic, overload, collision course with itself. Self-destructing. In the clutches of false gods. Addicted to activity. Distraction. Devices. Divisiveness. Leading to unprecedented disconnection. Depression.

Authentic intimacy reduced to logistical management. People reduced to pixels. Relationships reduced to empty rituals. Ineffable poverty pining for provision from that which can not provide.

Beyond exceptional moments, our calendars have proclaimed where we've really been paying homage: Money. Sports. Entertainment. Advancement. Whatever else.

NOW ALL FALLING FROM THEIR THRONES. Like it will be. And ultimately is. For each of us. Sooner or later.

Into this current situation, Something most remarkable is happening. We're being given the Gift. Being with those whom we most love. Those in and with whom we find our deepest, truest identity and purpose. A foretaste of heaven. Fulfillment of our deepest desires. To discover. Learn. Dream. Struggle. Grow. Love. Live. Become.

Instead, too many of us only see Burden. We don't realize our proclamation is disinterest. Indignation. Inconvenience. Even annoyance. (Expressions of how we must view ourselves).

It comes by way of another mom or dad complaining about their children being home. And being home with their children. The resounding testimony:

"WE HAD KIDS FOR OTHERS TO RAISE THEM."

This is the greatest crisis. The most lethal and contagious virus. Tragic, unbelievable poverty. In the souls of parents. Who have succumbed to the lie.

NO WONDER WE ARE A GENERATION OF AT-HOME HOMELESSNESS! Kids forged in an atmosphere proclaiming "You are a burden! You are for others to love! How little can I deal with you? To maximize our distance here's another damn device-- but 'I love you'! Here's another surrogate parent!"

While everyone is now so preoccupied with "social distancing" how have we missed the most critical social distancing going on in the most intimate places of our homes? The destructive impact there is beyond calculation. Rippling throughout all of culture. Realized in rates of depression. Discordant relationships. Discordant marriages and families. Discordant communities. Why aren't we grieving that? Where's that alarm?

Oh, but let's go to Mass! Let's venerate the Cross! Let's speak of saints and their joy-filled sacrifices! What the hell does that even mean? Why bother?!

Home atmosphere should be alive, vibrant, creative, rich, full, good, beautiful, true, sacrificial, eternal....

WAKE UP AMERICA! God is using this! If nothing else to remember why we toil, why we work, why we go to school, why we've been given any gift, why we give... to encounter the Giver, and our familial nature in the Giver!

And if not there, the cornerstone of civilization, the first school of formation in virtue, really, where are we... but lost?

IT'S LENT. THE GIFT IS BEING OUTPOURED. TOGETHER let's all the more repent (turn). And receive!

LAST NIGHT WE ASKED:
"How has your spouse brought you closer to Jesus Christ?"

Corona means "crown." God is still sovereign. This is our shared reality story. Messiah in the Mess. Light in the darkness. Be moved. Inspired. Encouraged.


LISTEN NOW to EPISODE 5:


"The future of humanity passes by way of the family."
~ Pope St. John Paul II

We are families seeking to make our homes places of ever-deepening encounter with Jesus Christ.


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