Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, August 03, 2020

Hurricane Isaias & the Prophet Isaiah

On 30 July 2020 the 9th named tropical storm for the years was designated with the name Isaias. A lot of English speaking people may not realize it, but Isaias is a form of Isaiah, the name of the Old Testament prophet. That is the spelling used by the Douay-Rheims Bible that all English speaking Catholics were encouraged to read before the newer translations came out.

That same day that it was named Isaias I had my weekly Holy Hour at the St. Joseph Guardian of the Redeemer Adoration Chapel in East Dubuque. As a part of my time there I decided to read a little of Isaiah.  As I read Chapter 1 some of the versions sounded like Isaiah was describing the situation in the USA in the year 2020 AD.

"Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth, for the LORD speaks: Sons have I raised and reared, but they have disowned me!
An ox knows its owner, and an ass, its master's manger; But Israel does not know, my people has not understood.
Ah! sinful nation, people laden with wickedness, evil race, corrupt children! They have forsaken the LORD, spurned the Holy One of Israel, apostatized.
Where would you yet be struck, you that rebel again and again? The whole head is sick, the whole heart faint." Isaiah 1:2-5 (NAB unless stated otherwise)

Doesn't that describe the condition of the United States. Since the 60s, as a nation we have driven God out of the public square. We have used the false idea of separation of Church & State to justify it. That is something that is nowhere in the Constitution. The 1st Amendment makes it clear that people of faith are allowed to freely express their faith. That includes the public arena under the freedom of speech part of the Amendment as well as the free expression part of the 1st Amendment. 

And before anyone says that Christians can't impose their morality, may I remind him or her that every law is an imposition of morality. Is it wrong then to have laws against murder because Christians & Jews have as a ?part of their faith the 10 Commandments that include "Thou shalt not kill" (Ex 20:13)?

Our Founding Fathers felt that morality & religion were a needed part of our nation suceeding.

George Washington said "It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."

He also said "Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. " 

And in the 1st proclamation of  a national day of Thanksgiving he said "Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

People like to point out that John Adams denied that the USA was a Christian nation. But they ignore the following statement: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. "

In verse 7 Isaiah goes on to describe as part of the fruit from turning away from God. "Your country is waste, your cities burnt with fire; Your land before your eyes strangers devour (a waste, like Sodom overthrown)"

 Doesn't that part about the country being laid to waste & cities burning with fire sound like what has been going on with the riots lead by the Marxist BLM as well as Antifa?

Then there is this from verse 21: "How has she turned adulteress, the faithful city, so upright! Justice used to lodge within her, but now, murderers."

& from verse 23: "Your princes are rebels and comrades of thieves; Each one of them loves a bribe and looks for gifts. The fatherless they defend not, and the widow's plea does not reach them."

We have become a nation where the murder of the unborn by abortion is acceptable. We promote assisted suicide,  rejected God's definition of marriage as being between a man & a woman only & that sexual relations are limited to marriage. How many of our politicians are corrupt. The Democratic party has sold out to Planned Parenthood & the abortion industry for political donations. 

I could go on & on.

But God also offers out a bit of hope.

There is now, like then, a faithful remnant. "Unless the LORD of hosts had left us a scanty remnant, We had become as Sodom, we should be like Gomorrah."

But God also holds out hope to all, if they repent. 

"Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil;
learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow.
Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land." (Isaiah 1:16-19)

God also warns us what will happen if we don't.

"But if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!" (Isaiah 1:20)

"Rebels and sinners alike shall be crushed, those who desert the LORD shall be consumed. . . .
You shall become like a tree with falling leaves, like a garden that has no water.
The strong man shall turn to tow, and his work shall become a spark; Both shall burn together, and there shall be none to quench the flames." (Isaiah 1: 28, 30-31)

God's purpose is not to destroy, but to purify.

"I will turn my hand against you, and refine your dross in the furnace, removing all your alloy.
I will restore your judges as at first, and your counselors as in the beginning; After that you shall be called city of justice, faithful city.
Zion shall be redeemed by judgment, and her repentant ones by justice." (Isaiah 1:25-27)

Or as the Douay-Rheims puts verse 25: "smelting thee till thou art free from dross, purging away all that base alloy. "

God had his way with Israel. They didn't repent, except for the remnant and they ended up in exile. God is warning us as well. He doesn't desire our destruction, He desires our salvation.  Those of us who are faithful have a duty, like Isaiah, to proclaim the truth, even if it is rejected, like most of the Israelites rejected Isaiah's message. 

There is more in Isaiah 1 that speaks to us today. Some to us as a whole, or individually, & some especially for our leadership. But I feel this is enough to think about for now. But more than think, please pray to hear what God wants you to do in response to His call to us as individuals & as a nation. None of us can do it all. Each of us can do our part though.



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