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God Writes Straight with Crooked Lines

Person watching the rising sun light the darkness

By Fr. Don Hornsey

There is an old saying, which some attribute to St. Teresa of Avila, which says that God writes straight with crooked lines. It means that though our human life often seems to be so full of weaknesses and mistakes, conflicts and confusions, God can achieve His purpose. 

St. Stephen's Gate in Jerusalem
St. Stephen's Gate in Jerusalem where Stephen was stoned to death.

That is what happened in  Acts, 8:1-8. After the death of Stephen, a great persecution broke out against the Christians in Jerusalem, where Saul tried to destroy the new community. Fearing for their lives, they escaped to the country districts of Judea and Samaria, leaving only the Apostles in the city.It seemed like a disastrous end to the community. But no, it turned out to be the beginning of a new wave of evangelization as the exiles brought the word and bread of life to the places they fled to. 

Acts highlights the work of the deacon Philip who first went to Samaria, where his preaching met with great success, causing great rejoicing among the people. Have we had similar experiences in our own lives? We have suffered when a dear family member or close friend dies. We may have lost a job, been criticized or falsely accused. It seemed like the end of the world, but we continued to trust in God and allow him to guide us. We rejoice that we survived and became stronger. As Jesus says, ''Everybody who believes in me has eternal life. I am the bread of life.'' (John 6:44-51). 

"Today and every day, we pray for your light, Lord, especially in those moments where we seem to be surrounded by darkness."

Columban Fr. Don Hornsey provided this reflection.

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