External crises have a way of separating people into those who are helpful, competent and calm, from those who are panicky, unskilled and negative. Sometime, small inconveniences bring out the same personality traits.
Coming from prairie stock, I value the strong, silent types of men and women who get on with it in a crisis situation, never complaining and eyeing things with a creative intuition.
In a crisis, the virtues which we have allowed God to develop in us through purification and prayer, come to the fore.
But, what has happened in the last two generations is that people have come to expect chaos and a lowering of standards across the board for how leaders respond to crisis.
Let me divide these leaders, whether they be in the sphere of politics and government, religion or education, as the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The good are the few left who honestly believe in natural law, the inherent nobility of humans and expect certain moral standards from humans. Whether these be good pagans, or Protestants or Catholics, this group believes in good citizenship and noblese oblige.
They are the few who understand public service as a good and sacrifice as necessary for progress.
The second group are the bad leaders, who work out of greed and amorality, or immorality-those with either false group agendas, or those who are completely selfish and are content with being a celebrity for ten minutes in the history of mankind. These are the movers and shakers who have allowed themselves to live in deceit and deceive others. Five minutes of interviews from the G-8 Convention today are enough to reveal the propaganda and misuse of language, given in complicity with the media, concerning the real financial crisis in the world. I could hardly believe the purposeful deception.
The third group are those ugly ones who go along with Group Two: these are the mediocre who think that they only really want a quiet life and cooperate with evil in little ways, allowing the chaos to continue.
Why do not more people see the bad and the ugly? When I am travelling and when I meet people who understand the lack of leadership and who are moving more and more into making their spiritual lives a priority, I think of little candles spread across a world of increasing darkness. When these little candle lights get together for a short period of time, a larger light is born. However, so many of the spiritual people of this world are isolated. They tell me this in England, Ireland, Malta and the States.
Partly what isolates them is the lack of leadership which would inspire more light and make bonfires of truth and goodness.
The bad and the ugly do not want this to happen. Evil hates the light and chooses darkness. But, sadly, many young people have never experience order, only chaos. Many young people do not expect people to be good, to transcend evil.
Travelling in Europe and talking to people who feel helpless against the rising darkness shows me that the problem of evil is not circumstantial.
The good need encouragement. They need community.
The little lights across the world see the deceit of the dark. Let us pray for each other and for God to raise up the spiritual leaders we need, especially in the Catholic Church.