The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The Light Series (from Amazon):

 A blinding flash … then darkness.  No phones. No cars. No lights. 

Helpless and hundreds of miles from home, Bria and her friends put their lives in the hands of the handsome Jonah Page and his flinty sister, East, strangers who somehow know the secrets of Bria’s past. Secrets that not even she knows, but that offer them all the hope of survival. 

This is a fast-paced, character-driven, Christian series (5 books) that will leave you wondering who would I become if the world fell away? 

Advent 2021 Week 2

This is the second post in a four-week series on the themes of Advent. Advent means coming or arrival, and we are preparing for two things: 1) The arrival of Christmas, where we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and 2) The arrival of the second coming of Jesus.

Faith:

I have already discussed faith in previous post found here.

Note: The second week of Advent can also be discussed with the theme of peace. I have chosen faith for my theme, as it works too.

Review: I enjoyed reading this series. When I started, I didn’t anticipate reading all five books, but I ended up reading them back to back. That is unusual for me and is a testament to how engaged I was in the storyline. I first heard about this series as an advertisement when listening to a Catholic podcast. The catch line was (also found in the Amazon synopsis): ‘Who would you become if the world fell away?”

There were many characters in this series, and it was interesting to read how each person responded differently to the entire social structure breaking down, the failure of all technology, which leaves the country in absolute chaos. Many people have a moral code when society determines and maintains it, but once there are no rules or structure, some believe that anything is allowed for survival.

The central family in this series is a faithful Catholic family, and they maintain their faith and morals even in the chaos.

Discussion: I thought a lot about a recuring theme in the Old Testament. The theme where God’s chosen people try to maintain their faith and worship in a pagan society.

We see this cycle many times in the Old Testament:

God makes a covenant.
God’s people fall away and sin.
Consequences and Punishment
Repentance
God’s forgiveness
God restores them into his covenant – Repeat

We may not live in a pagan society here in the USA, but we do not live in a Christian or God-centered community. Therefore, it can be hard to maintain faith, practices, and worship, especially when we live in a world with so much suffering.

Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice, and death, seem to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation against it.

CCC 164

We can see in the Old Testament that when society falls away from the one true God, God always maintains a remnant. He has set aside people to be the light in the darkness for His purpose. A few examples:

Noah’s family saved from the flood (Gen 6).

Lot and his two daughters saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19).

Elijah despaired that he was the last, “I have been most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. But the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to the sword. I alone am left. . .” (1 Kgs 20:14). God promised Elijah, “I will leave seven thousand men in Israel – all those who have not knelt to Baal or kissed him” (1 Kgs 20: 18).

Isaiah prophesied, “A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God” (Is 10:21).

Romans speaks of this remnant:
9:6-8: But it is not that the word of God has failed. For not all who are of Israel are Israel, nor are they all children of Abraham because they are his descendants; but ‘It is through Isaac that descendants shall bear you name.’ This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants.

11:1-5: I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Of course not! . . . God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. . . So also at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

We have to ask God to increase our faith so we can be His remnant during this period. We must ask for this faith as faith is first a “gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by Him” (CCC 153), and second a human act in words and deeds (CCC 154-155, 2472).

During the second week of Advent, pray for an increase in faith and ask how can you show your faith in words and deeds?

As Catholics, we need to “Compete well for the faith” (1 Tim 6:12), so we can be the “light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:4-5).

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