This Week's Reflection
Oratory of Divine Love Reflection 505: Turn to Me and Be Safe: Reflection on Is 45:22-25
Turn to me and be safe,
all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!
By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree,
a word that will not return:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear,
Saying, “Only in the LORD
are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
all who vent their anger against him.
In the LORD all the descendants of Israel
shall have vindication and glory.” Isaiah 45:22-25 NAB
Turn to me and be safe. How often do we pray for protection? How often do we pray for the protection of those we love? This should be a regular in our prayer intentions. Don’t ASSUME because you’re a devoted, practicing, Catholic, that your protection is automatic. Protection is something we should be regularly asking the Lord for; protection for ourselves, protection for our loved ones, protection for our nation, protection for our church.
How often do you pray for the protection of the Catholic Church? How often do you pray for the protection of the Pope, the Bishops, your priests, your PASTOR? WE need protection more than anyone, because the devil knows if he takes down a priest, he takes down an entire parish. Saint John Vianney, the patron Saint of parish priests, said, “A priest goes to heaven or a priest goes to hell with a thousand people behind him.” THAT’S a scary thought! It’s a statement that reminds me of the awesome responsibility we have. We need prayers for our protection.
But Father, how can Isaiah say, “turn to me and be SAFE all you ends of the earth,” when we KNOW people who HAVE turned to the Lord and WEREN’T safe, like the martyrs? Good question. It is true, people who have lived their lives trusting the Lord have lost their lives, but does that mean they’re not safe? You see again, we have to abandon this mentality that this life is the end all and be all. If we turn to the Lord, we WILL be kept safe…for ETERNITY! We WILL be kept safe for HEAVEN! THAT’S what’s truly important. And this is what is meant in that end of the passage, “In the Lord shall be the vindication and the Glory of all the descendants of Israel.” Don’t worry about being treated justly. The LORD will avenge those who wrong us! Those who cheat us, abuse us, persecute us, hold us in disdain, make GOD their enemy! God will avenge us. God will do justice for us. And God will reward us for staying true to him even when the pressure was on.
So my brothers and sisters, you see we really are SAFE when we turn to the Lord. Let’s pray today that everyone turns to him in good times and in bad. Blessed be God forever.
- Fr. Michael Anthony Sisco
Quote from a Saint
Again I give Thee thanks, and yet again, O merciful almighty Christ, that Thou hast hitherto been pleased to deliver me, worthless and insignificant as I am, for Thine own sake and Thy Holy Name’s sake, from many straits, many tribulations, calamities, and sicknesses; to save me from many pits, snares, scandals, and sins; from many treacheries of foes visible and invisible; from many evils and most serious perils; marvelously and mercifully guiding my life’s course between adversity on the one hand, and prosperity on the other, so that neither should the one deject me nor the other too much elate. For Thou hast put a bridle on my jaws, and hast not left me altogether at the disposal of my own will, having care for me in Thy fatherly compassion, and not suffering me to be tempted beyond my power of endurance (1 Cor. 10. 13). Where there was opportunity for sinning, often there was not the will; or where there was the will, opportunity was wanting.
Therefore be praise and benediction and thanks giving rendered unto Thee, O Lord my God, for all Thy gifts and largesses, and for all the benefits which Thou dost lavish on me both in soul and body, and hast lavished incessantly even from my cradle, such has been Thy mercy and Thy goodness, no merits of mine requiring; nay, rather, my sins notwithstanding. But I pray Thee, Lord, I pray Thee, let me not be unthankful for such great benefits, nor unworthy of so many mercies. -Meditations of St. Anselm
Saint Michael the archangel, defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
cast into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Questions for Reflection
Do you ask the Lord for protection for yourself?
Do you ask the Lord for protection for others?
Why do our pastors and church leaders need protection?
For whom else should you be asking protection?
Why do we also ask St. Michael for protection?
You were also given a guardian angel for your protection. How often do you ask your guardian angel for help?
Consider what St. Anselm praises God for providing in his life. How has God done the same for you?
What has God protected you from?
Why does God not always “protect” us from material suffering?
Since God will vindicate us, how should we respond when we are being persecuted?