LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY: Night is always darkest before the dawn

By Dr Rachel Bradley, Director of the Office of Life, Marriage & Family

The statistics are not encouraging. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian youth (, anxiety and depression are rife.

For every person that joins the Catholic Church, six leave her (Pew Research Centre, US). Gender ideology and transhumanism are challenging what it means to be a human person, leaving multiple wounded souls floundering for help and solace.

There is no-one whose family is not affected in some way by the darkness that seems to be taking over our world. Our homes, instead of being places of refuge, are sometimes where the hardest struggles take place.

How do we respond when our children abandon the practice of their faith or identify as transgender (2.3 percent of Australian secondary school children according to a 2018 study from LaTrobe university)? Parents don’t know where to turn in these incredibly difficult situations within their closest circles, not to mention what’s taking place in the wider world.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed with all the bad news. There is not only a lot of terrible things going on in society, but we are unrelentingly bombarded by constant information about it all.

Passiontide and Easter remind us that the night is always darkest just before dawn.

Jesus’ great triumph on Calvary, looked like the ignominious death of a failed messiah. Abandoned by almost all his friends, mocked, and rejected by the authorities, it was not obvious that, in reality, this scene was where the salvation of the whole world was accomplished.

Hope is an essential virtue for our time, and we must remember that ‘where sin abounds, grace abounds even more’ (Romans 5:20-21). Emotional and mental pain resulting from our struggles can be offered up, uniting us with Jesus’ suffering. But we need to remember that this is not the end of the story.

 In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis has the demon Screwtape write,

 ‘All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a façade. Or only like foam on the seashore. Out at sea, out in His sea, there is pleasure, and more pleasure. He makes no secret of it….’

Jesus endured his passion and cross for our salvation, that we might have joy in the future. We too, need to follow him in persevering through our suffering and struggles, which will seem like nothing when we finally achieve the goal of the Resurrection with Him, our Beloved.

Tags: Life Family Marriage