My wife and I are living and working in a post soviet country. The lack of Christian Values and lack of morality seem to be closing in all around us. We find ourselves accepting, more and more ridiculous behavior from our colleagues simply because our jobs are here and we fear the employment market back home in the US. Staying and doing the “beacon of light” thing may be an excuse for fearing the US job market. Going home on faith, with no jobs lined up is worrisome. My wife would like to stay and I am okay with going on faith. The lack of values in this “Godless” country is no small issue and cannot be over stated.
Are you two able to at least get to Mass, or maybe attend an Orthodox service?
There is, never has been, and never will be a Godless Society! Claiming so, in itself, might be apostasy. Even in the most sinful days of both the northern and southern kingdoms, God was present. Godless implies God turns his back on his creation. No, man instead rejects God…but God, despite the pain of man’s rejection is still very much there, patenting awaiting conversion of those who have separated themselves from Him.
St Francis is credited (whether fact or legend does not detract from the lesson) with telling the brothers to always preach the gospel and “use words if necessary”.
And so it is what the disciples were commanded in the great commissioning, and what all baptized Christians are obligated to do to this day.
So, do not be afraid or overwhelmed about where you find yourself now. Preach the gospel without words by setting an example for those in your host nation. You may not see immediate and great results, but the gospel cannot be spread to everyone, everywhere, in an instant…you are making a difference, and you are answering your calling to do God’s work.
For comfort, strength, perseverance, read next Sunday’s Gospel from Luke 17, especially verses 7 through 10. Ask the Holy Spirit to open you heart to the message, and use it for Lectio Divina.
My prayers are with you, and for you!
Peace and all good!
We missed church today as a matter of fact. But we rarely miss. Our church in central Asia is a wondrful church but with many heartbreaking issues. The local catholics view charity and service to the poor far different than we do. I understand this because for many years the past government created a very harsh society. Amazingly we interact with the Archbishop quite often. He tells us, “if you can remain a light in the darkness you should remain, but when your light begins to flicker, it’s time to leave.” And yes, we visit the eastern orthodox churches as often as we can.
You are thinking that things might be better here and my impression of our current environment in the US is that we are very much a society which values secular over spiritual. Of course, that is a generalization based on my exposure to life here but I am afraid you would come back and be disappointed. Perhaps you should spend some time discerning together where God needs you the most, whenever I do that for myself the answer is right where I am. Each day is an opportunity for you to spread His Good News by living your faith with joy before everyone you encounter. You just never know who might be inspired to Coe hoe to God just by watching how your faith sustains you, I will pray for you both to be able to know God’s plan for you.
Neofight. Thank you! You truly made me feel a bit better. From a divine standpoint you are absolutely correct. God is with my wife and me and we are here. This continued reminder is welcomed and appreciated. From an earhtly practical point of view I ask you to re-read Marx. I believe him to be a man that cared about people and social conditions but he allowed satan in and made a fatal flaw. He took God out of the equation. As readers from the US read this thread I pray they can reinvigorate themselves as to the importance of these simply “American” words, " In God we trust." Allowing religion, any religion to be marginalized in the US would be an irreparable mistake. I see this each day first hand.
And by the way, religion is the opium of the masses, I get my dose each day and twice on Sunday. Nothing wrong with being elevated in Christ.
Thank you for the prayers.
I didn’t mean to imply that you ought to visit Orthodox churches if there was a Catholic Mass available
Overall… tough decision. Lots of prayer, of course. Materially, depending on what tou and your wife do, you may have trouble finding paying work here; you’d have to look into that carefully.
It sounds like you are in need of spiritual rejuvenation–maybe taking a vacation to the US or Canda and going on retreat while on your vacation would help? then you could also find out how good an option returning would be. Maybe taking a few days off and doing some spiritual reflection would be all you can manage right now, tho.
I would suggest doing something to strenthen your spiritual life, but also find out for sure if returning is a viable option. Sometimes thinking an option is available distracts us from taking immediate steps to deal with a problem.