The kingdom of heaven is something to be conquered and those who are decisive seize it (MAT 11:12)

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There is so much darkness around us, so much uncertainty and so much on our shoulders. We rise every morning, and we do our best to fulfill our duties, to love our families, to do what is right. And yet, how can we avoid worrying about the future?

Between the threat of compulsory sex-education, the pervasive might of the gender ideology, the near-complete loss of Faith in communities, the unsettling difficulties in the Church, the silent fallout of the abortion referendum, the fears amplified by mainstream media – coronavirus, wars, climate change, it is hard to keep a confident heart.

We are Christians, we have the infallible support from God Our Father to His children, and the tenderness of Our Lady. We have the Light brought by Our Lord. He lights up the way, He is the Life. We know that with Him by our side, nothing can happen to us.

He is with us in the Eucharist, in Adoration, in the slightest movements of our hearts. He is as close to us as we let Him. He redeemed the world, He triumphed over evil once and for all. We know that we will triumph with Him. Non prevalebunt. The gates of hell will not prevail. We know this.

And yet, it can be hard to keep a cool head. It can be hard to see beauty, love, hope, faith around us. It is too easy to stare at the dark, and to forget that indeed, these things are there! They are there for us to see, to take draw joy from.

They are in the smiles of our children, in a beautiful liturgy at Sunday Mass, with magnificent songs performed by choir; in the delicate pink glow of an early Spring sunrise; in the amazing acts of witnessing we see throughout the country.

But let us be careful that we do not only see them in those safe and comforting places. For even there, behind the beauty, there can be worry, or resignation: about our children’s future, about the Church, about the environment. And always that floating feeling that perhaps these are the last beautiful things the world will ever see again.

Beauty, love, hope, and faith are in many places, and we can see them if we look closely. If we engage our hearts into the contemplation of these little gems, we are on the side of victory, we magnify the goodness that is created, and we defeat evil.

I recently watched three movies, and unexpectedly walked away simply smiling. First, there was Le Mans’ 66, the Ford v Ferrari contest. I loved that the movie was about men pursuing a dream. Men are vilified these days, portrayed as ridiculous and immature, or idiotic machos outsmarted by a woman. In this movie, they were just great men: normal people, with noble feelings, courageous, smart and passionate. That was a little parcel of normality regained against the gender ideology.

I went to see Little Women. I was half expecting an irritating movie filled with feminist idiosyncrasies. Quite the opposite: the movie rebuilt a little corner of God’s kingdom in the ruins left by decades of aggressive feminist ideology. The women in the story were not fighting in anger against an unjust society controlled by men. To the contrary, they projected joy, caring intelligence and love, of themselves and of the men around them, in the various trials they encountered.

The third movie was a quick pick on Netflix on a Sunday night to occupy my mind while I was folding the laundry. It was called Downsizing. In this movie, climate change fear is put in perspective, side by side with the ultimate and single question in the world since the Fall: Love. Compellingly, the story takes the viewer from the current forced belief that the biggest threat is global warming, to the realisation that actually, that it is our failure to Love each other.

It is doing the Christian thing to seize decisively the little gems we see around us. These lights, no matter how small, light up the world for us, they conquer the kingdom of Heaven, in our hearts, and in society around us.