The world is in flames. The struggle between Christ and the antichrist rages openly, and so if you decide for Christ you can even be asked to sacrifice your life.”
These are the words of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), written at a dark time in history, as the Nazi persecution was raging.
Sadly, now in our own day and age, these same words can be spoken, especially in light of the ongoing terrors in Iraq and around the world.
Reading the news, horror after horror, the world certainly does seem to be in flames. Is there hope for our war-torn world? Such violence! Is there hope in the face of such blatant evil and darkness?
The world is in flames: the fire can spread even to our house, but – above all the flames – the Cross stands on high and it cannot be burnt.”
YES, THERE IS HOPE! NO, WE ARE NOT HELPLESS IN THE FACE OF THIS DARKNESS!
The world is in flames: do you wish to put them out?”
This is the question Edith Stein asks to you and to me…TODAY. THE WORLD IS IN FLAMES…but how can we help to put them out?
She poses the question, then gives the answer. It is a universal answer, applicable to every person, in every walk of life, rich or poor, man or woman:
Through the power of the Cross you can be present wherever there is pain, carried there by your compassionate charity, by that very charity which you draw from the Divine Heart. That charity enables you to spread everywhere the Most Precious Blood in order to ease pain, save and redeem.”
“Stand before the Lord Who hangs from the Cross with His Heart torn open.”
Stand there on behalf of a world that is in flames; stand there on behalf of the refugees driven from their homeland; stand there on behalf of the people who are dying of thirst, who have nothing to eat; stand there on behalf of the children who are orphaned; stand there on behalf of the men and women tortured and martyred for their faith; stand there on behalf of those who live in perpetual fear; stand there on behalf of those who do not know Love.
Stand there and allow your love to intercede before Love Incarnate for this world that is in flames. Stand there and light a beacon of hope through your intercessory prayer. Stand there, kneel there, prostrate yourself there…for it is precisely there that we find hope, peace, and redemption…“Have mercy on us and on the whole world!”
From that place of hope, at the Foot of the Cross, we will know what else we ought to do…fast, make sacrifices, pray, or take some proactive step – such as offering donations for humanitarian aid, etc.
From the foot of the Cross, through grace and compassion, we come to share the pain of those nameless faces that we see on the news, those faces so creased with desperate pain and fear, our brothers and sisters. Standing before the Lord Who hangs from the Cross with His Heart torn open, our own heart will be pierced and expanded.
The world is in flames: do you wish to put them out? Contemplate the Cross: from His open Heart the Blood of the Redeemer pours, Blood which can put out even the flames of Hell. …The eyes of the Crucified gaze upon you. They question you and appeal to you. Do you wish seriously to renew your alliance with Him? What will your response be?”