Monday of the Third Week of Easter
Jeremiah, Chapter 2, Verse 19
Your own wickedness chastises you, your own infidelities punish you. Know then, and see, how evil and bitter is your forsaking the LORD, your God, and your showing no fear of me, oracle of the Lord, the GOD of hosts.
Fear begets fear and Faith begets faith.
Do not fear and continue in faith with our fathers knowing that St. Michael, the archangel, is the guardian angel and protector of the Catholic Church.
Some people believe we are on the cusp of the end times. Pope Leo XIII by divine enlightenment was revealed the struggles of the Church against the powers of hell and it was opened to him that hell would be conquered by the intervention of God led by St. Michael the warrior angel. Pope Leo instituted the prayer of St. Michael after Mass.
Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen
Yet, do not fear the end times or the devil and his cohorts for each time you receive communion you are empowered more then they! Napoleon Hill uses an imaginary conversation with the devil in his manuscript “Outwitting the devil” to enlighten us on the tactics that he uses to enslave us to sin:
Q. Tell me of the most common habits by which you control the minds of people.
A. That is one of my cleverest tricks: I enter the minds of people through thoughts which they believe to be their own. Those most useful to me are fear, superstition, avarice, greed, lust, revenge, anger, vanity, and plain laziness. Through one or more of these I can enter any mind, at any age, but I get my best results when I take charge of a mind while it is young, before its owner has learned how to close any of these nine doors. Then I can set up habits which keep the doors ajar forever.
Examination of Conscience (Daily)
We should along with our morning offering to God and reception of the sacraments of confession and Holy Communion do some daily accounting if we are going to make improvements. We should try to see ourselves and ask God to help us see our day as He sees it by examining our conscience. Spiritual writers usually divide the daily examination into two parts general and particular. The general exam is an overall review of the day and should be done in the evening and the particular exam is done throughout the day on how we are doing in those areas where our rebellion is the greatest or in acquiring a certain virtue. The general examination is a weapon of defense. The particular exam is of attack. The first is the shield. The second is the sword (St. Josemaria Escriva). Most people make their general exam near bedtime (This should cure any sleeping problems). Some people make their particular exam at noon so they can redouble efforts for the rest of the day. In the evening when we do the general exam we should consider the whole day both the big things and the little. I always ask our Lord, what Have I done NOT SO well today; and listen? Next comes the question, “Lord, what have I done well? Finally, I ask, Lord, what are your concerns? One aspiration we should have in our arsenal that we can use at the end is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” One thing not to do is give up. Ask Him for help. Gaining a virtue or losing a habit of sin might take time; but we will WIN.
John McCain in his book Character is Destiny examined the character traits exemplified by Roméo Dallaire who in 1993, was appointed Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), where he witnessed the country descend into chaos and genocide, leading to the deaths of more than 800,000 Rwandans. When the rest of the world looked away, he stayed behind in a manmade evil for the sake of duty and justice. Dallaire was in charge of a small overwhelmed African peacekeeping force, he could have left but he refused and witnessed the genocide. He is ashamed he could have not done more and the reaction of the world that stood by for 100 days doing nothing allowing the devil to reap carnage, terror and hopelessness. Dallaire was the one candle in a darkened room of despair created by the collective failure of mankind’s conscience along with the apathy and deceitfulness of world governments toward Rowanda’s plight. McCain writes of Dallaire’s dilemma:
The U.S. government, our allies, and the United Nations went to extraordinary and ridiculous lengths to avoid using the term, “genocide”, aware that once genocide was acknowledged, they would have to act. Day after day, long night after long night, for over three months, more men, women, and children were added to the rolls of the victims by their hate-crazed persecutors. Romeo Dallaire soldiered on, saving those he could and agonizing over those he couldn’t, all the while begging the UN, and the world, to send more troops, to do something, anything, to help. In his telling, his mission was to keep peace; peace was destroyed by unimaginable violence, and many thousands died. He failed. He tried to convince his superiors to send him more men. He failed. He tried to get the United States and other powerful countries to listen to their consciences and help. He failed. He tried to persuade the world to stop genocide. He failed. And while many, many people who had a responsibility to stop the killings looked the other way and never had a moment of doubt or a night of troubled sleep, Romeo Dallaire took his failures very, very seriously.
A righteous person, no matter how blameless, will always take humanity’s failures personally.
Rwanda Lessons Learned
· The first and enduring lesson of the Rwandan genocide – not unlike the Holocaust – is that they occurred not only because of the machinery of death, but because of state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide. It is this teaching of contempt, this demonizing of the other – this is where it all begins. Indeed, as the jurisprudence of the Rwandan tribunals has demonstrated, these acts of genocide were preceded by – and anchored in – the state-orchestrated demonization and dehumanization of the minority Tutsi population – using cruel, biological ascriptions of Tutsis as “inyenzi” (cockroaches) – prologue and justification for their mass murder.
· The second lesson is the danger of indifference and the consequences of inaction. The genocide of Rwandan Tutsis occurred not only because of the machinery of death and a state-sanctioned culture of hate, but also because of crimes of indifference and conspiracies of silence. What makes the Rwandan genocide so unspeakable is not only the horror of the genocide, but that this genocide was preventable. Simply put, while the UN Security Council and the international community dithered and delayed, Rwandans were dying.
· The third lesson is the danger of a culture of impunity. If the last century was the age of atrocity, it was also the age of impunity. Few of the perpetrators were brought to justice. Just as there cannot be a sanctuary for hate or a refuge for bigotry, neither can there be a haven for the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity.
· The fourth lesson is the danger of the vulnerability of the powerless and the powerlessness of the vulnerable – the brutalized children, women victimized by massive sexual violence, the slaughter of the innocents – all the first targets of mass atrocity. It is our responsibility to empower the powerless while giving voice to the voiceless, wherever they may be.
· The fifth lesson is the cruelty of genocide denial — an assault on memory and truth – a criminal conspiracy to whitewash the Rwandan genocide. In the obscenest form of genocide denial – as in the case also of Holocaust denial – it actually accuses the victims of falsifying this “hoax.” Remembrance of the Rwandan genocide is itself a repudiation of such denial – which tragically becomes more prevalent with the passage of time.
· The sixth lesson is the importance of remembering the heroic rescuers, those who remind us of the range of human possibility; those who stood up to confront evil, prevailed, and transformed history.
Finally, and most important, we must remember and pay tribute to the survivors who endured the worst of inhumanity – of crimes against humanity – and somehow found in the resources of their own humanity the will to go on, to contribute and to make our society a better and more compassionate community. And so, this anniversary must be an occasion not only to remember but to learn the lessons of the crime whose name we should even shudder to mention – namely genocide – and most important: to act on these lessons.
Ask for the Prayers and assistance of the Angels
 Sharon Lechter, Outwitting the Devil.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 15. Examination of Conscience.