Friday, June 4, 2010

The End Times... In Slow Motion

When I look back on the last decade and the beginning of this one, I can't help but think that perhaps we're living through the end times in slow motion. When I look at pictures of birds from the Gulf Coast covered in oil (these photographs are causing outrage throughout the world and understandably so), dying from the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I'm horrified, along with millions of others. Thinking of the harsh images we've all had to endure in the last decade and now in this one as well, such as the terrorist attacks, epic natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami and the destructive earthquake in Haiti, these have all been horrific events in history that have caused great suffering and despair. These images and the latest horrific ones of an uncontrollable and deadly oil leak in the Gulf, are unsettling. Also, the financial meltdown of the last couple of years, is still causing havoc on world economies and that doesn't seem to be over yet either. And now living through the worst environmental disaster in the history of our country makes me wonder if this is what all the end time prophecies were pointing to. Perhaps some of the passages in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation in the Bible, do have a literal meaning. And just perhaps we're living through some of those prophecies. I think it's possible. The end times in slow motion, here and there, that's what this has felt like to me when I think of the horrific images I've seen and devastating events that people have lived through, or sadly died from, in some places in the world. 
When I reflect on this crazy, unpredictable, uncertain world we live in, I thank God for my deep faith. That is why I nurture my faith, everyday, because it gives me inner strength and courage to deal with negative news here and in other parts of the world. 
Everyday when I open my daily missal, to recite prayer, I'm comforted by the words of the psalms, the Scripture readings, the gospel and I am renewed in my belief that God is in control, there is a plan of salvation that is unfolding (in spite of human failings and greed), even when things seem to be spinning out of control. "All will be well," I like to say those words of Julian of Norwich over and over again. 
I also find peace in simple pleasures, which have always given human beings joy, such as planting flowers in my garden, enjoying the beauty of Springtime and sunshine, listening and watching the bluejays and cardinals that come to eat their morning bread and fly from tree to tree effortlessly. Yes, I thank God for simple pleasures and all God's creatures. 
We live in a beautiful world, created by God for us to enjoy. It's so sad that we haven't been more respectful or careful with creation. As I've written before, I just hope and pray lessons are learned and future generations reap the benefits of a more just, caring and compassionate humankind, which protects human life and the environment at all costs and realizes that greed is a deadly sin that will destroy or corrupt everything in its path, if left unchecked.