John-Henry Westen

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Reflecting on bringing the Truth of Christ to the world in the face of opposition

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

August 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — At LifeSite we’re often berated for doing our work. Presenting pro-life and pro-family points of view without compromise doesn’t always make for popularity these days. But the antagonism that’s hardest to take doesn’t come from the world that rejects Christ, it comes from those who actually do have a love for Christ and misinterpret or misunderstand what we do.

I’ve found that reflecting on the very first proclamation of Christ provides much guidance and consolation in this struggle and I pray these short reflections may be of benefit to the many valiant soldiers spreading the truth today.

Recall the original way the Heavenly Father chose to bring Christ to the world via the Blessed Virgin Mary and the virtues she displayed for our emulation in order that we may imitate her in bringing Christ to the world in our times.

She was humble and small, a young girl still when the angel Gabriel came to her with the divine request to be the mother of the savior. She explained herself that it was due to her humility – her littleness – that she was so blessed. “For He has regarded the humility of His handmaid,” says Our Lady in her Magnificat, that great song of praise expressed in the presence of her cousin Elizabeth.

We too are called to be humble and small in our work to bring Christ to the world in these troubling times. And given the wealth and seemingly unfathomable power of the enemies of truth in the world, our littleness is rather more easy to recognize. We can thus rejoice that God chooses the poor and small of this world to accomplish His greatest works.

The Blessed Virgin also had a faith greater even than that of father Abraham. Abraham is called "father" for having believed that Sarah his wife could conceive the promised child in her old age and his willingness to sacrifice Isaac. Our Lady was asked to believe she would conceive the Christ Child as a virgin and beyond Abraham’s halted offering of Isaac, had to endure the full sacrificial death of Her only Son on the cross before her very eyes.

So too we must have a miraculous faith that against all odds Christ’s truth will triumph. He has in fact already triumphed and we are merely playing out our small role in His ultimate victory, a role that requires sacrifice on our parts. It requires the sacrifice of our afflicted spirits and contrite and humbled hearts. This sacrifice will see us take up our crosses daily and follow Christ whose yoke is easy and burden light.

Yes, at times we will be gratefully thanked for bringing the Truth to the world, just as when Elizabeth recognized Jesus in Mary and filled with the Holy Spirit proclaimed, “Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?”

But often we will be misunderstood and perhaps rejected for bearing and proclaiming the Truth of Christ in these long predicted times when people will not endure sound doctrine. But far more difficult than enduring the rejection of those who reject Christ is the rejection and misunderstanding that comes from those who love God.

How many times have good and faith-filled Catholics whom we love refused to hear our warnings about the dangerous direction of Pope Francis, about the corruption in the church, regarding finances and sexual abuse. Very often out of ignorance or naivety or misguided notions of papal authority, wonderful, even saintly brothers in Christ have rejected our messages and could not bring themselves to believe or trust us. It is a great source of sadness and hurt both for us and our loved ones.

But the first Christ-bearer also felt that pain. As Our Lady visited her cousin, her pregnancy became apparent. St. Joseph was left with the painful discernment to “put her away quietly” before the angel revealed to him the Truth. That immense suffering both he and Our Lady endured is for us an example of the long-suffering and the love we should continue to bear even for those who misunderstand our grave concern about the crisis in the Church today.

The battle is the Lord’s. He will reveal His Truth in His time. It is for us to fulfill His Will -- first in our own lives and then also do our best to bring His truth to the ends of the earth.

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John-Henry Westen

John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com. He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.  

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.  

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.