The Gathering Gloom The Gathering Gloom

We are experiencing regular storms here in New Mexico. But there is no water in the storms. Instead, dust rains down on us every day. It began a few weeks ago. I was driving along the highway when a large dark cloud seemed to rise up from the ground, rather than gathering in the sky. Because of the terrible dryness we have been experiencing, I assumed it might mean there was a fire on the horizon. But the darkness was spreading. And it wasn’t black or gray. It was brown.

The dust storm hit with a sudden blast of rocks, sand, dirt and wind. The howling sound filled every crevice. It was an eerie experience. And it has been repeated almost every day. The old timers of New Mexico and Oklahoma can, recall the years of the Dust Bowl which was even worse, they say. But there is an end to it eventually.

All of this reminds me of the gathering gloom that seems to be descending on our world. The Supreme Court is set to decide on re-defining marriage so it is about sex. In California they are trying to pass Gender Liberation laws, so kids can pick their gender preference. The Boys Scouts just voted to include openly gay scouts. The killing of babies born alive after abortions is being revealed as a regular practice. The numbers of laws and practices that point to the reality of Moral Decay are increasing daily.

So what are good Catholics to do when these dust storm gather?  One day, my son and I were bringing groceries to the car, when the dust storm approached. A woman near us ran back to the store for cover. Peter stood his ground and endured it. I tried to walk sideways to get to the car. There are many possible responses.

Some say we should re-focus…Pull our kids out of public schools. Avoid the news programs. Unplug from excessive media. Maintain strong Christian friendships. And pray without ceasing!

Others say we should fight…we can call legislators, sign petitions, try to make change. We can boycott, write blogs and remind people that now is not the time to be timid.

Others say we should be charitable, offer love and give example to a healthy moral life, making converts one at a time.

Any and all of these can be important. Perhaps, what came to me today is the voice of the old timers.  “Things can get worse. But good always wins in the end.”

God is present with us. We are called to be His hands and do His will. And then we trust in Him. Our little, everyday sufferings can be offered in reparation for the sins of the world. We join with Jesus in this way.  It is old wisdom, this idea of voluntary suffering….and it needs to be re-affirmed.

That’s what we must do…don’t lose hope because God is our comfort and our salvation. In Him we place our lives and we join with Him.

Copyright 2013 Judith Costello