Remembering God’s Grace
It’s easy, nowadays, to give into the doom and gloom. Even as devoted followers of Christ, we often find ourselves discouraged by the state of this increasingly Godless world. Only earlier this week, controversial rapper Lil Nas X made a disgusting mockery of Christianity. While many religious and non-religious people have spoken out against it, there are still plenty who applaud him, jeering at those rightfully offended and concerned.
As Catholics, we expect this; we’re raised and sustained on John 15:18-19: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” In 2 Peter 3:3, the Apostle tells us to “know this first of all, that in the last days scoffers will come [to] scoff, living according to their own desires.” Still, witnessing a faithless society that ridicules God weighs heavy in our hearts.
When we despair, the devil wins. We forget to focus on the positive and wondrous gift of God’s grace which, no matter how hard Satan fights, will always triumph. Sometimes, though, we fail to acknowledge God’s goodness even when it’s large and staring us right in the face.
This year, SEEK—a conference by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS)—increased its 2024 attendance for SEEK24 by 28%, with nearly 20,000 university students gathered at the American Convention Center in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Besides listening to notable speakers such as Fr. Mike Schmitz and Dr. Edward Sri, the students attended Mass, Adoration, the daily Rosary, Confession, and more. It also marked the return of the World Apostolate of Fatima as a sponsor; our last time at SEEK was in 2018.
As someone nearing the age of 25, I’m not all that far removed from these students. But like many of them, I find myself at times dwelling on loneliness, as sometimes it seems as though the Catholic Faith is waning within our generation. Yet, as one of the staff members blessed enough to run our Blue Army booth, the holiness I encountered from simply seeing such a large gathering of young Catholics in one place was enough to restore my hope in the future of the Faith. Engaging with thousands of them—some who knew Our Lady of Fatima, others who didn’t; all of them thirsty for her message and ways to incorporate Fatima into their daily lives including the Rosary and First Saturday Devotion—is an experience even now, a week later, I have difficulty putting into words.
The Faith is Alive!
What I can say for certain, though, is that no matter how hard Satan tries, the Faith is certainly alive. Not only that, but its growing and that’s not changing anytime soon. To combat the devil, we should do everything we can to support these young, faithful Catholics during these difficult—but glorious—times.
Pray for our youth – they are the future of the Church!
Elizabeth Turello is the Communications Associate for the World Apostolate of Fatima USA/Blue Army Shrine.