Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Glory and praise to the Lord!
What a Gala last night! This is the morning after. Hope everyone had a good night of sleep, having heard the good news about the peaceful settlement of the FLL-S+L dispute. Not me. My head is a little heavy from lack of sleep last night. Still trying to recover from the "shock" my team and I went through in the last few days, even if it was a pleasant one. The euphoria – at least for me – from the FLL Gala last night and being in the middle of a huge crowd of nine hundred plus people certainly compounded the problem even more. But it’s a nice problem to have…
It’s not appropriate for me to delve too much into the specifics of what happened, not at this point. But this much I can say: this sharing is a sequel to, and hopefully also the conclusion of, a post I wrote with a heavy heart about a year ago: Blessed Are They Who Are Persecuted For the Sake of Righteousness.
My head is still spinning and I can't remember if I mentioned this to my team during this whirlwind-like process of the last few days in which things unfolded in rapid succession like a floodgate that broke open. One thing that we gained from this long and difficult ordeal is the comradeship of our team members. It's a bonding, a unity or solidarity, if you will, that jelled gradually through a long and agonizing process that took us through the thick and thin, the highs and lows, the triumph and the devastation. This is the "imperishable crown" that we won from this painstaking and excruciating race! (Cf. 1 Cor 9:24-25) While we don’t do good for the sake of getting merits, I’m convinced that this is a great merit that God granted us for our perseverance to follow Christ come hell or high water. It’s going to stay with us; and we’ll bring it with us on that day when the Lord judges the nations assembled before Him and “separates them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from goats” (Mt. 25:32).
It's by no means easy. Sometimes we were just hanging on by a thread, determined all the while to walk in the truth and, if it's God's will, ready to accept martyrdom. There were times when we felt like we were "shadowboxing" (cf. 1 Cor 9:26), that we were standing up against a mighty and unstoppable train hurtling toward us at maddening speed. In the end, it was God who gave us strength and saw us through. It took the courageous and determined intervention of a living saint whose body was completely drained of energy due to terminal illness; and the miraculous intercession of a heavenly saint – St. Mary Goretti – whose incorruptible body will be on its way to visit this part of the world when the Holy Father comes in the summer.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins. Amen! Amen! Amen!