"Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the Lord." —Jonah 1:3
Jonah refused to obey God's call. Then the weather turned nasty. The Lord "hurled a violent wind upon the sea" (Jon 1:4). Jonah tried to weather the storm by going to sleep (Jon 1:5), but the weather got even nastier (Jon 1:11). The sailors on the boat with Jonah tried to escape the terrible weather, but "the sea grew ever more turbulent" (Jon 1:13). Only when they threw Jonah into the sea did the hurricane stop (Jon 1:15).
Many people have not obeyed God's calls. Some have refused to be priests or religious. Many have disobeyed God's call to have a large family. God has called us to Nineveh, the inner-city, the poor, the missions, the youth, etc., but we have gone instead to Tarshish. We have done "our thing" and refused to answer God's calls.
As we have persevered in disobedience and selfishness, the weather has gotten worse (see Hos 8:7). It is debatable whether our physical climate has gotten worse. Clearly, however, our moral, social, and spiritual climate has markedly deteriorated. We have responded to this as Jonah did. We have gone to sleep and tried to remain oblivious to our self-made hurricanes. When this hasn't worked, we've tried to change the climate without changing ourselves. Then the weather gets even worse. Only when we jump off the boat of disobedience and repent will we have calm, safety, and peace.
Repent before you kill yourself and a whole boatload of people.
Prayer: Father, may I quit hurting myself and others by doing my own thing.
Promise: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." —Lk 10:27
Praise: Bruno's religious order, the Carthusians, is said to be the only one in the history of the Church that has never required a reform movement.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Obedience School.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997