Where there is love, there is hope

By  Roberta Alexis, Friar's Writing Award
  • February 1, 2018

The annual Friars’ Student Writing Awards, sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of Atonement Graymoor, produced some stellar essays this year, three of which earned special recognition.

This year, Ontario high school students were asked to write a 500-word essay on this theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: “Just as the Israelites sought deliverance from enslavement, in contemporary society the dignity of all people is threatened by new enslavements to poverty, violence, injustice and addictions. In what ways can Christians of all denominations work together to stave off these assaults to human dignity?”

The following is Roberta Alexis' essay that placed first in the Friar's Writing Contest:

First Place Friars Roberta

First prize winner Roberta Alexis receives her first-place prize from Fr. Tim MacDonald and incoming ecumenical, interfaith director Fr. Anthony Prakash Lohale, and Catholic Register publisher, Jim O'Leary. (Photo by Jean Ko Din)

Just as the Israelites were told by Moses to have faith that God would deliver them even in times of duress, so should Christians today hold faith that God will prevail in the midst of the constant attacks being made on human dignity. 

No matter how bleak things may seem, Christians over centuries have held fast to the belief that God will deliver them through their hardship. In today’s contemporary culture where secularism is forced upon the impressionable minds of youth, Christians of all denominations must work together to remain strong in the faith and continue preaching the message of Jesus Christ.

In a world where violence, injustice, poverty and addictions are becoming increasingly prevalent, the need for the true and honest love of Christ is astronomical.
Many people turn away from religion and follow a dark path when they believe God has forgotten them. It is important for Christians to work together to remind others that they are loved by God and there is hope for them to begin living a better life, despite any poor decisions they have made in the past.

Just as God saved the Israelites from their enemy, He can save people today from the aforementioned afflictions. It has become common in contemporary society for what is right to be confused for what is convenient. In order to stave off assaults to human dignity, Christians of all denominations must remain steadfast in the belief that all life is sacred and should become apologists for the faith against attacks from secularism.

It is important to note that Christians should not use these attacks on the faith as justification for acts of vengeance, for it has been made abundantly clear in the freeing of the Israelites that such an action is reserved solely for God; the righteous right hand of God is the only true dealer of justice. Thus, Christians should work together to spread the message of peace and love to stave off assaults to human dignity.

More specifically, Christians should defend Christ’s teachings and follow in His footsteps to set an example for those who have become entranced by the messages of secularism. That is not to say that all Christians are perfect and will not make mistakes. However, when mistakes occur it is important to acknowledge and learn from them so as to refrain from acting superior to those who are not part of the faith.

In conclusion, in contemporary society where the dignity of all people is threatened by new enslavements to poverty, violence, injustice and addictions, Christians of all denominations can work together to stave off these assaults to human dignity by remaining strong in the faith, spreading Christ’s messages of love and peace, and by defending the views of the faith when they are persecuted by secular society.

Just as God delivered the Israelites out of slavery, so will God deliver people today out of enslavement to the various assaults to human dignity.

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