Editorial: God is with us

  • April 27, 2023

To Christians worldwide, Easter can be summed up quite succinctly: to us, it is everything. It’s when our crucified Lord left an empty tomb and showed His words and teaching not only rang true, but that He had conquered sin and death. Jesus’ Resurrection showed us He truly is the Messiah, the Son of God.

As we hit the midway point of this Easter season we can take comfort in knowing this truth. With His death and resurrection, Heaven has been opened to all.

It’s comfort Christians need these days. All around us, as the saying goes, the world has gone to hell in a hand basket. We’re still emerging from a global pandemic — no matter how much we would like to put it in our past it still lingers, literally and figuratively. An uncertain economy swirls around us. So many have been left behind, as anyone can plainly see with so many vulnerable wandering the streets of not only our largest metropolitan areas, but increasingly in our smaller cities and towns. The expansion of euthanasia to the mentally ill has been halted, for now, but is sure to be back in some form in very short order.

As for Christianity, it remains under attack, however much our secular world chuckles at the notion. We need look no further than the church burnings in the wake of discoveries of so-called unmarked graves at residential schools across Canada.

Globally, we’ve had several generations in the First World who knew nothing of war. Who could have imagined the images we had banished to the dustbins of history could return to our world so enlightened?

Which, for Christians, brings us to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We’ve heard from so many since the war began in February 2022 that the religious aspect cannot be denied in this conflict. The Washington-based ISW (Institute for the Study of War), a non-profit public policy research organization, has closely monitored Russian aggression against its neighbour and said Russia is “committing gross violations of religious freedom” as part of its 2022 invasion (and its original incursion dating back to 2014).

The ISW said Russia has been persecuting believers from a number of denominations in Ukraine — from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to the Ukrainian Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches, other Christian communities, Muslims and Jehovah’s Witness congregations.

The latest news is that Russian forces have seized a Catholic church. Ukrainian authorities said April 22 troops have occupied the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the port city of Berdyansk. While the reports are unconfirmed at time of writing, it is entirely plausible and only adds to further woes from the parish where last November two of its Redemptorist priests were kidnapped by Russian militia and their whereabouts remain unknown, according to OSV News.

As bad as it all this seems though, as we journey through this season of Easter, and as Catholic Christians, we can take solace in our Lord. It’s because of Easter that we know no matter our suffering or struggles, God is always with us.

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.