Take Heart

“…take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1

This blog is hardly a political platform or news commentary, but how can you avoid the throat slitting of an 84-year-old priest at Mass, with two sisters and 4 faithful in attendance; this was only 100 miles away in France. “It could happen here!” — which is exactly what our Prioress here at the Begijnhof said last evening as we prayed in front of the St Benedict statue. Every day there is Mass at the Beguinage with a priest close to 84 years old, seven sisters in attendance, and maybe 12 faithful. Now the terror has come to the Church. This era in time is no different with its struggles and wars (religious and ideological) than any other century. Witness here in Brugge the destruction of the St Donastien Cathedral during the French Revolution, and the main doors to the English convent bricked to prevent destruction. This is a reality check though! Terror could happen here! It has taken me a day or two to process this idea. The President of France said France will have to learn to live with terrorism and there is truth in that. It can not be stopped certainly by traditional methods or at least not yet. Safety is perhaps not of this world.

I was encouraged by the many emails and words of prayers sent to me. Friends and my USA community have Europe, Belgium, the Begijnhof and me in their prayers. So what does God have to say? At my morning prayer time (in front of the plant…see next blog) it seemed like I heard the above quote, “Take heart, I have overcome the world.” A good thing, I thought rather pragmatically. Jesus of course said his kingdom was not of this world. So I think today I will apply myself today to the “Fear Not” and “Take Heart,” and think more assiduously of the other world to which I am pilgrimaging, and meanwhile I will pray for the world in which I live. Perhaps you too!

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