An apt description of today’s troubles?

By: Fr. Roy Cimagala

SOME words of St. Paul in his letter to the Romans appear to be a good description of today’s trouble in the world. In that letter, he describes the troubles and identifies the cause.

It’s in Chapter 1,18-32 of said letter, and I think it is worthwhile to remit the whole text if only to realize how St. Paul ably captured the why-and-wherefore of today’s troubles. To wit, he says:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator…

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful.

“They invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

I consider these words a bull’s eye description of the situation of much of the world today. Let us hope that we react to these words properly by launching a deep desire to return to God, to be most faithful to his teaching as taught and shown by Christ, and now by the Church. This is not going to be an easy task, but neither is it impossible.

And as St. Paul himself recommended, let us help one another in this task of going back to God in such a way that we would be “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” (Rom 1,12) This should be a concern of everyone.

As we approach the celebration of the 5th centennial of the Christianization of our country, let us hope that we grow in our faith, attaining a more mature faith able to see God everywhere, to cooperate as fully as possible in his will and ways, one that is operative, knowing how to gain more ground in our spiritual life and more able to bear our human frailties and resist temptations and sin.

Let’s hope that we can have a faith that knows how to undo or resolve the moral troubles we have at present.