Saturday, February 21, 2015

ISIS: How They Are Helping Us: Unintended Consequences

Early Church Father Tertullian: "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church."
Unintended consequences? Absolutely! Wonderful consequences. I'm fairly certain ISIS would stop what they are doing to us if they only understood just how much they are serving the building up of the Church!

Though this is not the commonly prescribed method of "Church Growth" among those who scour demographic studies and how to, "better reach the lost." This has been the most successful throughout the ages...the blood of Martyrs.

In the photo they are show in "common convict orange."  Read what Holy Scripture says about them:

Revelation 6:9-11 (RSVCE)

9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; 10 they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

Dear ISIS, Oops, right?

It should be said, however, that we should pray and fast for a conversion of heart for all adherents of Islam...particularly for those who would commit such atrocities.  We are each called to a better way..a much more heavenly way:

Matthew 5:43-48 (RSVCE)

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

None of this is to say that ISIS should not be stopped for the evil they are committing. We should, however, recognize the greater importance of the real, true and present spiritual realities at play in this situation.  Consider the words of St. Paul:

Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; 16 above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." ~Jesus Christ

Lastly, ISIS has helped me in my desire to see things more from Our Lord's perspective.  It is very easy to get caught up in the "frills" of our society.  They help me remember as St. Therese of Lisieux:

I thank the Lord for whomever and whatever assists me on my way to Our Lord and His Saints! Amen.

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