Summer Reflections from Holy Name Friary

Philip O’Shea, OFM Features

A resident of the Province’s skilled nursing home reflects on what he has been thinking about this summer – events around the world and the need for prayer.

RINGWOOD, N.J. — This summer has certainly been chock full of important and interesting events. The boys in the Thailand cave brought forth our sympathy and our prayers. Our president’s nomination of the new Supreme Court justice, the meeting with NATO nations and with the queen and the president of Russia in the midst of many troubles has emphasized the need of careful study and constant prayer. We here at Holy Name Friary are especially affected as a community of prayer since the many events surrounding us seem to create such problems as can only be truly understood and properly approached through prayer.

The possibility of world unity, the danger of dictatorships arising and the willingness and, indeed, the eagerness of many to embrace totalitarian governments and put aside what has been a search for true democracy in favor of governments that minimize the need of individual responsibility is frightening.

It seems to me that we are moving toward a triumvirate of leadership; the United States, Russia and China seem ready to assume complete direction of world affairs. The increasing secularization of life throughout the world provides fertile field of strong leadership promoting the economic strength of certain oligarchs who will enjoy the riches which can only come from the reduction of the masses to instruments of production which eventually can be replaced by robots and thus enabled or forbidden to survive.

Much of this has occurred in the past but not to such a degree. There is always hope that a spirit of inner strength can invigorate the common people to rise up against this process, but our world population is exhausted and lacks the internal strength to resist.

Never before has the need to believe and hope in the Kingdom of God been so strong. Christians must really give attention to the demands made upon us by our commitment to Christ. There does not seem to be any alternative. Our strength must come from the realization that we alone as followers of Christ are able to save the World from its self-produced disaster.

We may, indeed, be entering the end time. Our struggle may not lead to solution but to dissolution of the world we have come to know. We are certain in our faith and in the outcome of justice but that outcome may be the survival only of ourselves who by faith have entered the eternal kingdom promised to us by a loving savior.

These thoughts are not pessimistic but apocalyptic.

May God give us the grace confidently to survive until the end.

— Fr. Phillip, a native of Massachusetts, has written reflections on a variety of topics since moving in 2015 to the Province’s skilled nursing home. His most recent, published in May, was about his thoughts about dying tree outside his friary window.

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