In Dark Times, the Joy of Being ‘In the World But Not of It’

I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
John 17:18-19 

“If you hear His voice today, do not harden your hearts ,
Who has ears to listen, listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the Church.”
And what does it say? “Come and listen to me, sons: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Run while you have the light of life, that the darkness of death may not overtake you.”
From the Prologue to The Rule of St. Benedict

Is 21st century living worse than in Christ’s time? Before you automatically respond, consider: There was tumult, bloodshed, hatred, family conflict, extreme negative behavior, vulgar displays of conspicuous consumption, disconnections everywhere, the feeling of being alone and abandoned, and a lack of faith life permeating through the culture.

Christ gave his disciples very specific instructions on how to share His word and the love of His Father through preaching, miracles, and acts of mercy. Christ chose those who look like us. He knew sharing the Good News is a personal matter, not a communal event. God’s love is eternal, and we who live in Christ’s love, and are gifted by it, share it, not only in the best of times, but in the worst.

A former student’s father recently passed away unexpectedly. It is a total shock, of course, for the family, and in a brief series of communications with the graduate, I have assured them the family, obviously devastated, is in my prayers. That is all I can do..pray for their peace, and hope, and the knowledge that they are surrounded by love.

As St. Benedict states in the Prologue, run while you have the light of life, that the darkness of death may not overtake you.

The world has stopped for them, all the distractions there. The truth of eternal life comes forward. The light of love overshadows the pain of loss. Nothing in the material world, yesterday’s or today’s, can change that fact. We as Catholics have the gift of light over darkness, joy over pain, the opportunity to wipe away tears, as all will be well- not today, not tomorrow, but soon.

The material shall pass, but Christ’s words, his love, and our oneness with Him, will remain, forever.

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Michael Throop

Dr. Michael Throop spent nearly 40 years on air in radio and television, with a majority of that time spent in broadcast journalism. He began his teaching career in Spring, 2007, as a lecturer in the University of Kansas School of Journalism. Michael joined Benedictine College in Fall, 2007, as an adjunct in the Journalism and Mass Communications Department, and was promoted to Assistant Professor in Fall 2019. He works with students in all levels, teaching Media and Society as an introductory and General Education initiative, as well as creating departmental courses exploring the emergence of social media and its impact on journalism, nonprofit communications, and the greater society