Belizeans have become increasingly frustrated and uneasy at the steady march of street violence leading to robbery, murder and mayhem.

The violence appears to have taken on a life of its own, feeding on itself and expanding to involve   new neighbourhoods once regarded as safe.

We see the police department itself coming under scrutiny because of the actions of police officers who have themselves  become  part of the criminal fabric, and we tend to lose hope that Belize will ever find the strength of character  to carve out  a  national identity for ourselves  which is  industrious and honest and honourable.

Often we blame our social and civic organizations, and we like to blame the Church, as if the Church  had some kind of magic wand which it could wave and   produce  a  magical change in people’s hearts.But change does not come about  that way. Change comes about when people, men and women, boys and girls, one by one, decide that they want something, and they set their minds to do what needs to be done to get what they want. This always requires effort and many times it requires hard work.

The men  who resort to  crime, and the women who comfort and condone them in what they do, believe that they have found an easy way- a short cut — to getting what they want in life.  If they can do this successfully, without being held up to public censure – that to their mind, is success! When there are many in a community who deliberately choose to  take the short cut, crime will proliferate.

It will continue to grow  out of control until, one by one, people  in the society begin to understand that the apparent success  of the short cut is a detour into is  a morass of guilt and addiction which debase  the human spirit, and corrupt the mind.

To correct  guilt  and addiction of any kind, one has to rely on spiritual  forces brought on by reflection and  repentance. The fruits of the spirit  such as  love, joy,  peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness , self-control, these can change a man and bring him back from the  abyss of despair and the darkness of  addiction.

As difficult and as unlikely as it may seem, there is growing evidence in Belize today that the  gifts of the spirit are active and working among  us in this nation, not only among Catholics, but among many evangelizing faiths .There is a spiritual renewal at work – even as the street violence escalates and threatnes to engulf the society.                              .

We have no delusions about the scope of the work ahead, but we also have no doubt about  the eventual outcome of this struggle between good and evil. The pendulum will swing, has  indeed begun to swing, as more and more people come to accept and embrace the healing power of the Lord Jesus.




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