O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see wrong-doing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
As the Presidential election continues, I remain certain of one thing. Despair is not the answer. The reading from Habakkuk and the 95th Psalm suggest a more appropriate answer.
The Lord’s response to Habakkuk’s plea for help in the face of violence and misery is to tell him, “Wait for it”? Wait for the vision, for justice, for healing and relief from misery. Is that all we’re to do? To wait passively in our distress? The answer is no. The Psalmist makes clear what we are to do: Remember that the Lord is our God and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. And to respond joyfully with thanksgiving.
We might not be able to change the tone and tenor of this season, but nothing stops us from choosing how we respond, how we live in these times. In “The Story of My Experiments with Truth,” Mahatma Gandhi stated, “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won.” We Christians can modify this slightly and make this sentiment ours: the Way, the Truth, and the Life always wins.
—Fr. Martin Connell, S.J. serves John Carroll University, University Heights, OH, as professor education. He is also the Rector of the Jesuit community there.
My Lord God…I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am
following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
Therefore I will trust you always,
though I may seem lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
And you will never leave me to face my perils alone.