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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Manifest Destiny

My ‘gay’-identified friend Tim needs Jesus. Finally. It’s taken decades and a terminal condition for him to soften to the God-man. And I have loved every minute: watching, waiting, and tending to that Fire of love, God’s wooing of Tim.


That’s why I live. You too, Christian. God spared our lives to manifest His life. That’s our destiny. And we each do it a little differently. What unites us is that we are most alive, most true to our design and its original colors when we love others as He gifts and guides us to do so.


On the eve of Epiphany (literally, ‘manifestation’), we do Magi magic simply by making Him known in little, meaningful ways for the one whose life depends on His.

Epiphany 2024 provokes me. Each of the 12 mornings of Christmas, I woke up still stunned by Pope Francis’ weird nod to worldliness in Fiducia Supplicans. My biggest concern is for authentic sinners who won’t hear the Gospel in the bickering over ‘irregular’ blessings. Instead of fretting, I pray: ‘Father, use this declarative mess to stir up the gifts St. Paul stoked in Timothy (2 Tim. 1:6); remind me of Your power to “grant the sin-weary repentance unto truth, so they can come to their senses and escape demonic captivity” (2 Tim. 2:25-26). Make me an answer to my own prayer!      


I urge you to let God take you deeper than this muddle and tap into His heart for your lost friends and loved ones. Remember how far He went to find and enliven you with the Light of His beautiful face! You reflect that face (2 Cor. 4:6). And your loved one hungers for that face more than a blessing over his ‘irregular’ status.


This exhortation of Fr. Alfred Delp calls us all to stand in the gap for lost loved ones. As darkness increases in the world and worldly church, may the Spirit embolden intercessors like you and me. May we embody the prayers we pray for sinners on the brink of repentance; may we shine like lights in the haze, holding out Life for all who will (Phil. 2:12):


‘God stands as Accuser and Judge when we persist in sin. He stands as Liberator and Savior when we turn to Him, uniting with Him against sin. That means that the time of the great intercessors has come. We will lift our need and our right to God and bring our times into deep union with God. The great outcry to God must begin and not let up…


There is a confidence that calls out to Him, a confidence from which He likes to be called upon. The realization of many great things, many genuine miracles, depends only upon our trust in God’s great generosity….Anyone possessed of this confidence will be certain of the result; he would leave the means up to the Lord God. And anyone whose own self-reliance is overcome by the Lord in this way is left standing speechless and astonished.


The time of the great intercessors has come. Prayer doesn’t mean some passive approach dispensing us from action and responsibility. To the contrary, this is a much harder principle of action. The time of pure action, simultaneously consecrated from within, has come. Ignatius says that the interior life must fill and support the exterior efforts and make them fruitful. That is the precept for this time. Today more than ever, action, commitment, and achievement must unfold from devoted worship.


There is no reason to lose heart or give up and be depressed. Instead, this is a time for confidence and for tirelessly calling upon God. We must unite ourselves to God against our distress…That establishes the measure to which God commits Himself. His nearness is as intimate as our longing is genuine. His mercy is as great as our call to Him is earnest. His liberation is as near and effective as our faith in Him and His mercy is unshaken, unshakeable. That’s the truth!’

(Father Alfred Delp: Tegel Prison Munich, December 1944)

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