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I know that You are at the end of this darkness
Not that You are a being of darkness,
But that You want for me to exercise my trust muscles—
To be faithful not only in word, but also in deed

If my heart is planted in fertile soil,
It will eagerly wait for the Son to come
It will depend on You, surrender to You, exist for You
The only life worth living is the one where You are

So in the darkness, there is hope…

I’m thinking of those thousands of newly homeless people in the Bahamas
While my friend carelessly throws away a quarter of a plate of perfectly good food
Simply because he ordered too much

I don’t know what I’m doing here enjoying such a good meal
I’m certainly grateful and savoring the various flavors
But it seems wrong to be in sunny California instead of that place I saw on the news
Where family members are missing, and the storm floods have ruined everything

One of my favorite promises in Scripture is how God will wipe away all our tears (cf. Revelation 21:4)
Right now, so many of our brothers and sisters are hurting in a valley of tears

I don’t want to write, don’t wanna say a word
Because I know I’m full of pride, cowardice, worldliness
All I’d do is infect others with my base corruption
Bringing the opposite of glory to Your Name

You gave me talents, and I misused them
Wasted so many years in selfishness
An agent of Satan, rejecting purity and the divine order of things
Preferring hedonistic pleasures and the approval of all the modern Caesars

I didn’t stop to think how I had thrown You to the wayside,
How I had slowly adopted other gods, false and unworthy of worship
Did my sins add sharp pains to Your Heart, and during the agony of the Cross?
When You thirsted, was it for my broken, fallen soul?

I was so full of anger, mostly towards myself
The loss of childhood innocence and joy, I subconsciously knew,
Was the result of my complicating things into a twisted mess of a life
They were my choices, my responsibility, my own character assassination

I don’t want to lose You, Lord
I would rather lose all else
Take everything from me, Lord
In Your hands is the only safe place
Where there is mercy, goodness, and everlasting Love

Before Mass, I went to confession
And nearly broke down
My biggest sin—
I don’t know how to love, with the heart of Jesus
Nor do I know how
To see Him in others

Burdened by resentment and a general distrust
I judge where I have no right
So the priest, being in persona Christi,
Tells me to pray for wisdom
To know how to love
As Christ loves us

Oh, that the Judas-like of the world
Would be more like Peter, John, Paul, Matthew, Lazarus, Mary Magdalene…
Why would anyone choose to give the betrayer’s kiss
Which infused the cup of our Lord with such a bitter taste to drink?

But it’s better for our hearts to break in silence
Than to rebel against our good God in anguish over scandalous behavior
As long as a person is living here in this world, by God’s Holy Will,
They still have the choice to be the wheat or the weeds

The devil’s deception can be such a subtle thing
To convince us that we don’t ever have a chance of being holy
Or that sanctity is the sole responsibility of priests and religious
When we are all called to be the Body of Christ, His Bride, the Church

May we be together as one, as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one…

On this subject, I’m conflicted…
I know that we ought to pray for each other, and with each other,
But what did Jesus say about praying to the Father—
Mustn’t we close the door of our inner room and pray in secret? (cf. Matthew 6:6)

When prayer becomes a public spectacle—
About who can pray the loudest, the longest, with the most tears—
Or even giving alms, with our left hand knowing what our right is doing,
Haven’t we become as hypocritical and prideful as the Pharisees?

Only God knows the depths of the heart, but what if we’ve made our hearts impure?
What if we’re trying to serve multiple masters—God, the world, and ourselves?
These are tough questions we shouldn’t shy away from
If we sincerely want to love and serve Him
With all our heart, mind, soul, and strength

When you curl up into a fetal position
It means you’re vulnerable
You wouldn’t want to hurt someone in this state
Much less, tear them limb from limb
Selling each part for science
Or throwing them away without even a proper burial
 
But this is precisely what’s been done
And I’m sure heaven is outraged by these crimes
If you were God, what would you say
If the beings you created were murdering themselves?
 
Stop it! Enough!
Can’t you see that you were made for more than this?
 
God is not silent
He is speaking through people like you and me
He is speaking within our consciences
And He is listening to every cry, every prayer
Offering us mercy
So that we might have the means of salvation

How many times do you check your bank account, the stock market, your credit card rewards?
How many hours do you play that game?
How frequently do you go on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube?
With how much food do you stuff yourself?
And how about flirting, or thinking about the opposite sex?
Are you obsessed with the latest entertainment—movies, TV, music, sports?
Do you identify yourself with political beliefs, which may be contrary to the Gospel?

But how many times do you go to church?
How many times do you kneel to pray?
How frequently do you read your Bible?
How often do you follow the Ten Commandments?
Are you willingly carrying your cross to follow Jesus?
Do you sincerely forgive your neighbor, as the Father has forgiven you?
And when was the last time you fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick and imprisoned?

In your heart of hearts, we must all ask ourselves,
In Spirit and in truth,
“Is God really my god?”

How can a person be a friend of God
But be an enemy of life?
Didn’t Jesus say, “I am the way, the truth, AND THE LIFE”?
So how can the pro-lifers be the ones who have lost their way?

I’m all for women’s rights—
The right to vote, the right to equal pay, the right to be free from sexual harassment
But I don’t think it can ever be called a “right”
To take away anyone’s God-given gift, the beautiful grace of life

Can you imagine a parent saying to a child, “I wish I had aborted you before you were born”—
The knife that would be stuck in that kid’s heart?
By opening up the legislature to abortion on demand,
We are devaluing every human life
To the whims of choice—irrational, destructive, fearful, irreversible choice

Let us not be more brutal than animals
We should be nurturing our young, the most defenseless in the womb
If we want peace, we mustn’t do violence against the innocent
Otherwise, we only merit God’s justice

Can a year take away your health, your dreams, your strength, your will to live?
Can a year scandalize and demoralize, opening your eyes and breaking your heart?
Can a year be a participatory offering for the conversion of sinners, that ultimately leads you closer to God?
Can it remake you into a person more compassionate, discerning, humble, and generous?
If yes, then I’d say it was a good year

You don’t need to win a million dollars
You don’t need to be searching restlessly in foreign lands
You don’t need to numb yourself into forgetfulness
If you’re lonely without God, then nothing else is gonna satisfy…
Your deepest longing is for love, and He loved us first and best of all

If you’re lost, or know someone who is,
It’s not too late to end the year on your knees
How we posture ourselves is so important
For how God graces us in the here and now, and for tomorrow