Good and bad news often comes mixed together; so it is today.
The bad news is that Jessica has said she will not be back with us, having decided to pursue her vocation; we all wish her well. She has transferred the site to me, although she is remaining as a contributor so that her posts – which I commend to all – remain here.
The good news is that the blog is out of its purdah. If those who complained of it wish to do so, then they are welcome to expose themselves as illiberal extremists whose belief in freedom of speech and conscience ends at their own views; such views are not, in our times, uncommon.
I am extremely grateful to the very many who have stayed with us through the past few months. As some of you know, it has a been a difficult time in all manner of ways, but we are told to persevere in faith, and that is what has been done in this place. The comradeship of those who have been here throughout is most appreciated.
As with most tests, there is, if one examines them in prayer, something good which has come out of all of this time of trial – not, of course, that I imagine, going public again, that the trial is ended – and that is that we have evolved here a sort of lay apostolate. More common in the Victorian era than in modern times, these were groups of laymen, united by the common love for Christ, in a bond to do some good in His Holy Name. Here, those of you who have stayed with AATW, have attempted, with it, to bear witness to the hope that is within us and which unites us.
In this Advent season, as we await the first Mass of Christmas, we remember our own sins, and those of the world, and if we will, we give of our portion to those who have nothing. This year has seen the greatest persecution of the Christians of the Middle East in modern times, with Christianity nearly driven to extinction in Iraq, and with Syria’s Christian communities under grave threat. Try to remember them in your Christmas giving.
We are all, though flawed by the effects of sin, images of God, and there is within each of us that Divine spark which longs for Him and which looks to be kindled. So let us pray, too, for those whose faith burns low, and for those without faith. Let us not be so blinded by our own preoccupations that we fail to reflect God’s love to the world. If, as Christians, we fail to reflect His love, then why should people believe we are His, or that He loves them?
Jessica founded this place because of her belief in God’s love, and it is in the same spirit we shall continue with in.