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Catholics who believe what the Church teaches and who pray with faith, invoke the Blessed Trinity, use Holy water, and ask the help of the Angels and Saints, are given powerful help to resist evil; and they help others, too, not to be swept away - as if by a waterfall - by the spiritual enemies who would drag us into fear, resentment and gloom.
Christ asks His priests to avoid modernist influences. A member of the Clergy who offers a distorted version of the Faith in his preaching or his writings, or who explains away the supernatural, or who contradicts the Church's moral teachings, causes confusion to the Faithful. He harms them as much as a parent harms his children if he feeds them contaminated bread.
A person who dislikes one of the Church's teachings and therefore refuses to look clearly at the Divine Origin of the Catholic Church, makes himself blind to the other truths the Church offers, about life and death, sin and virtue, and will remain blind unless Christ intervenes to give her special help.
There are things taking place in Catholic Churches which are outrageous; some of the worst have been interruptions to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in New York, by people who ridicule and despise the Church's teaching on morals.
It is a sad truth today that some people attend Mass with unusual intentions. Instead of coming to church to praise God, they enter the church posing as ordinary worshipers, yet then interrupt the Mass - our most sacred rites - to promote sinful behaviour or to protest at the constant teaching of the Church.
People who use Mass as an opportunity to make protests against the teaching which Christ gives us through His Church make a sacrilegious interruption to the Church's most sacred rites. Christ suffered death on the Cross - a death remembered and re-presented at Mass - for our sins, including the very sins those people promote today.
Jesus told His friends a parable to encourage them to pray and not lose heart. But then He asked, about the future: "When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Today, He is asking us: Can He find faith in our homes? Are Catholic families following the teachings of the Church Christ founded, and teaching them to their children?
We give great joy to Christ when we obey his wishes, whether His inspirations in prayer or the teachings of the Church; He even praises the Father for the good He sees in us. Christ knows that by our good thoughts, words and deeds we become more like Christ, and give glory to the Father.
Christ was betrayed and left alone with His enemies because people were afraid - or did not believe in Him. Today, He sees many Catholics betray Him when they dispute or ignore His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, or other teachings of the Church, and when they criticize priests and lay-persons who speak the truth about sin and virtue.
There are three groups that endanger their salvation by not benefiting from the 'Bread of Life' which is Jesus our Eucharistic Lord: those who refuse to believe in Him or to join the Church, those other Christians who insist on believing that their Orders are valid, but who receive only bread, and those Catholics whose Communions are ineffective because of the refusal of those Communicants to believe in what Christ teaches them through His Church.
Christ asked His followers to follow the teachings given by religious leaders but not to do as they did. The same is necessary today. We should follow the authentic teachings offered by faithful Bishops, but should never do what some Bishops do, which is to water down the Faith to make it acceptable to non-believers, and to avoid being seen as 'rigid' at ecumenical gatherings.
Some Catholics ignore Christ; others look bored in His Presence; many take no notice of the teachings He gives through His Church. They scarcely believe that He is a real person - a Divine Person - Who is pleased to be shown love as well as to give it.
Those people who make a great noise within the Church by their constant refusal to accept the Church's teaching, their attempts to lead others astray, and their disobedience towards those placed by Christ in authority over them, are as if living in a dark cellar of discontent, beneath the 'house of faith'.
The Church teaches the truth, in every age of our history, yet each of the mystics experiences it - for example, St Paul, St Teresa of Avila, St Thomas Aquinas. It is the Christian mystic who prays with trust, reverence and humility, who knows God better than anyone, through union with Christ in prayer. The mystics have produced the most lyrical and intellectually-coherent accounts of what they have learned of God - which knowledge echoes and confirms the truths taught by the Church, and illumines them.
It would please Christ very much if priests were to say: "We all do wrong. The Church can tell us what is right and wrong, but we can be forgiven. I shall be in the Confessional at certain times, this week, and every week". Christ wants them to invite people to repent, to change their lives, and to find freedom and peace-of-soul at last.
It is commonplace to see Catholics on television who deny the truths of the Faith; yet people call them 'practicing Catholics'. It would never be said, or people of another religion, who despised its teachings, that they were faithful to it. This is one sort of danger that Christ warned his followers to expect.
The Catholic Church is the 'city, set on a hill' by Christ, so that everyone can come to her, learn from her about God's plans, and about sin and virtue, and be reconciled and prepared for Heaven. Catholics must not disfigure the Church, by their bad behaviour; yet other Christians, though baptised, need her. She alone teaches the complete truth about Christ and His Way, opposing the spirit of of the age.
We are wise if we listen to the Pope and His teaching. A priest who is unorthodox misleads those he should guide. It is as if he has set up and climbed a short ladder, so he can look upon the Church and the world, and decide on a personal opinion to share. The wise priest hands on what he has learned from Christ and His Church - through the Scriptures and the Sacred Tradition - because Christ has seen everything from a higher place: from Heaven, which He once left for our own sake, and where He now reigns.
A person who goes his own way, ignoring God's laws, and not caring about committing mortal sin, is like a person in a lift which is hurtling towards destruction because the cable has snapped. Unless he accepts that he is in danger, and calls for help in time, he will perish.
In a story, a kind king told His children that He would give them every advantage, and make them very happy, but they must learn to take responsibility for their behaviour. He said: When you are grown-up, and if you deliberately do grave wrong, you will go to prison. They all agreed that the king's words are wise and just. And so it is, with the warnings given to us by Jesus Christ our God and King, about persistant grave sin, and Hell.
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