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The Angels Are Coming

Opinion by Father Pat Killilea, St. Francis Church, Kalaupapa

First came the virus and we found ourselves wearing masks, keeping the social distance from our fellow citizens, shutting down our businesses and places of worship and going into quarantine. Then came the devastating fires on the west coast, with subsequent widespread destruction and loss of life. Next came storm after storm decimating parts of the nation and taking lives in their paths. It seemed like the end of the world might be imminent. Finally came the fever of election campaigns where the truth often went out the window, to be replaced by blatant lies. But don’t panic. The angels are coming.

Now there are some who claim that God is punishing the nation for its sins. Personally I do not know the mind of God but I submit that I do not agree with such a claim. Rather, I suggest, in line with Jesus’ message in the Gospels, that these catastrophes are meant to be a warning that something worse may happen if we do not reform and focus our priorities on the spiritual rather than on earthly gain. But don’t worry. The angels are coming.

The votes have been cast. The ballots are still being counted, a winner has been declared and we the “deplorables” are being called to unity and peace. The same people who harassed us deplorables for the past four years are asking us now to bow down in reverence, but we bow down to no one except to God the Almighty. So take courage. The angels are coming.

Sadly, from my vantage point, this country and indeed much of our world has been going to hell morally. While many good things have happened during my 57 years in the U.S. , very often what was once considered wrong and sinful is now accepted by many as “progress.” The slide into secularism continues and that is a slippery slope. But let us not despair. The angels are coming.

In this Kalaupapa peninsula, surrounded as we are by the ocean and the massive cliffs, we are protected from many of the problems and perils of the outside world. Yet we have our own restrictions and we choose to live with them. Kalaupapa, the land of Saints Damien and Marianne, is a special place, a sacred place, where we live happily without many of the trappings of the outside world. While I was penning the original draft of this article, on a beautiful sun-kissed day, we lost all power. Still, life went on as usual as we awaited the return of power. The trade winds come and the trade winds go and the seasons slide gently from spring to summer, from summer to fall, from fall to winter and back to spring again, but God is present forever. Let us rejoice. The angels are coming. Aloha.


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