Empty

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There are points in life that we understand to be good and bad; the highs and lows. We accommodate ourselves to them and can acknowledge the moment. We remember those moments or days and even if painful, they become part of our makeup. What may not be understood, is a sense of “empty” perhaps from burnout or hurt. Time is the great healer, but even once healed, what fills the hole where the hurt once was. Or perhaps the hurt is still there and the pain has emptied us of the joy and hope that should be ours.

I have written before about the hurting and the problems that come with that. There seems so much hurt in the world and many people ask me about that and what can be done for them and others. I believe that as people abandon God and organised religion the hole that is left in our lives is simply filled with something else. That spot, that vacuum cannot remain there. So generally people replace God with ideologies and consumerism. But these can never replace God. it is only a temporary solution and not a good one.

In poor and developing countries where faith is still strong they seek wealth and look to their faith for comfort in difficulties. In countries that are wealthy there is no longer a need for God, and instead the people seek freedom FROM religion for freedom OF religion. And in wealthy Western countries persecution of Christians is fast becoming the norm as Christians and Christianity are deemed to be intolerant in pluralistic Western societies. And at the same time other religions are given a great deal of tolerance even when their basic tenants are not. (And I have self censored in this post so as not to cause outrage by other religions and be seen as intolerant).

How then can the emptiness be filled by so many in our societies? People need to remain open to God and religion. People have found an innumerable excuses for not attending church. And all of them come down to the basic wish not to have to go to church. In order to “find God” each person must actively seek Him. He is there to be found and is never far away. It is up to us not to close the door or push Him out of our lives.

Don’t give up. Don’t let the world fill that empty space. Let God do that. It is God who is the real answer, the healer, the “infiller”.

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Treasure

Think of all those plans we make day to day. All the people we meet either in person or in social media. How did we come to make those plans? How did we meet those people. Did everything go according to plan? Was someone rude to us? Did we get slandered in social media? How did we react? It is not only our actions but our reactions that decide if we remain in God’s presence.

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Fading

Our society is oriented towards those who stand out, are famous. In our own entourage we seek to be noticed in our family and friends. Sometimes our work may require that we are seen and known. Quite acceptable of course. And we want our work to succeed. Perhaps a high profile is necessary for the sake of sales and branding. It is the inner self who must remain that quiet apostle working untiringly in the background.

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Religious Education and the Future

We send our children to catechism (or Sunday School) for a very good reason, to learn the faith we know ourselves. But this early formation cannot be seen as anything more than a beginning. This may not be the case everywhere, but it is a growing crisis in the Church as I see it. And we are all part of the transmission of the faith from one generation to the next.

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