No mistake about it, Evil does stalk our land, despite the sell job by the entertainment and sports industries, by Black Friday’s shopping with funny money, and by drugs and alcohol. The imperative to feel good, the contagion of noise, the eradication of differences, the compulsion to conform—all homogenize the unthinking into robotic behaviors. Spirits droop and pull the covers over their heads and zone out.

Such scenarios, however, are not unique to our times. Moreover, there have always been oppressors wrecking havoc upon the lives of the little ones, as there have always been restorations of some kind of peace until the next upheaval. But the ISIS menace is unprecedented; its hardness of heart staggers the imagination, and in the words of the prophet Zechariah, “…they made their hearts adamant…” (7:12)

So what to do? Who do we turn to? Many of our usual sources of authority are exhausted or have lost their sense of the Sacred.

We’ve not far to look, if we are willing.

In the book of Deuteronomy we read, “…The Word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance…” (30:2) So within silence we hush our instincts and listen. Eventually the right path opens before us.

We also find in the prophet Ezekiel, “…I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh…” (11:20) Such is God’s response to our efforts. Thus our conversion of life continues, one day at a time.

We are grateful …