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Christ wants us all to know how deeply touched He is, as He looks upon those who bear the Crosses which go with discipleship, with faithfulness to the Church and the sacraments, stable family life, and day to day witness.
Christ showed me in Holy Communion that the Father in Heaven gazes with delight upon all who work to see the sacraments - including the Mass - celebrated with due reverence and gratitude, and to ensure that the Faith is taught in its fullness and not watered down to 'fit in' with what others think.
God pours out into our souls tremendous graces when we confess our sins in the Sacrament of Penance. As a dirty room needs cleaning right into the corners, so our souls need purifying in every 'area' - by the grace of Christ, Who is at work in His Church.
After Confession: Christ took my face in His hands and said to me: "Well done"! In this way He showed His delight in my sincere Confession this morning in the Sacrament of Penance.
The Lord showed me a series of posters which represented the many subjects studied in Catholic schools. If the children don't learn spiritual truths, however, they will be lost. They need to know about God's love for them, and their unique worth; and also about the importance of prayer, the sacraments, holy living, the Mass, and perseverance in grace until death.
Christ's Sacrifice of Calvary, re-presented in the Mass in a sacramental manner, is the 'fragrant' sacrifice whose scent - of obedience and love - rises to Heaven, gives worthy praise to the Father, and is all-sufficient.
There are priests in great moral danger who need our prayers. A priest who leaves his sacristy in order to commit deliberate sin is like a man who leaves a clean room to enter immediately into a filthy alley, where he will inevitably become dirty and foul-smelling, and unworthy to celebrate the sacraments.
No other body, amongst Christian groups, is One and Holy and Catholic and Apostolic, as is the Catholic Church, and with Christ Himself Present within her in the sacraments, particularly the Blessed Sacrament. Some Christians have sacraments but not complete unity. Others seem united but have few sacraments and are not Catholic.
Those souls who live as Catholics but who never use the Sacraments of Penance are like people who never wash or clean their teeth but who imagine that they are pleasant to be with. Souls not properly purified stink before Heaven.
When a man and a woman are about to make their marriage vows in a Catholic church, Christ is there with all His Saints, to witness the marriage, which is a sacrament of the Church. The saints will celebrate the union, and after the vows, will pray to the Father for the couple; and the Angels also pray.
It is no small matter, that through a break in Apostolic Succession at the Reformation, many Christian leaders have invalid orders. Not being priests, they cannot consecrate bread and wine. They and their followers receive only bread and wine at their Communion Service. It may not be their fault, but they do not receive the transforming food, Christ Himself.
It is no small matter that many Christian bodies do not have the 'fullness of the means of salvation' which the Catholic Church has, as the 'one true Church'. In a matter of life and death, in bodily care, people take the tablets which are of known origin, proven efficiency, and correctly proportioned good ingredients. And so, for the spiritual life, for Eternity, we take 'medicine' from the Church of known origin - coming from Christ, known to have saints, and with valid sacraments.
Lourdes is not just an example of care of the sick. In looking at the Domaine in Lourdes, we have a picture of the Church which is in the world but not of it. We have a place for the sacraments, and for Reconciliation, a place for Adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, a place for devotion to Mary, a place where contemplatives pray for Church members - and much mutual help between pilgrims during our pilgrimage, including care of strangers.
Truly, only by His Death and Resurrection did Christ defeat sin and death; and that saving work is made present now, in what we call a sacramental manner. Hidden under the appearance of bread and wine, Jesus Christ is bodily Present with us, offering His once-for-all Sacrifice to the Father, in the Spirit.
Just as a person who tries to clean the outside wall of a house has little success with a garden hose but amazing results from a power-hose, so a sinner who is ashamed but does not bother to go to confession remains stained with sin, whereas one who is cleaned in the Confessional in the Sacrament of Penance emerges with a soul made glorious by Divine action.
Some preachers live alongside their flock, keeping silent. We can picture a man who finds a field of corn, growing naturally, but refuses to let it be cut to feed the hungry because it looks beautiful. That is what happens when Missionaries refuse to endanger 'natural' religions by refusing to offer the Gospel. They deny the people, amongst whom they live, the bread of truth, and the Bread of Life, which is Jesus Christ, with His Church, Sacraments, and Eternal Life.
We cannot save ourselves. There is only one Saviour. Countless sinful people are being carried away by their sins towards their doom; yet Christ came into the world and conquered death and sin, and now, we can conquer sin by His power, given through His Church and her sacraments. Rescued from the flood, we can share Christ's life and look forward to Heaven.
Through the free gift of Divine grace, all that Christ out God did for us in His earthly life has been given to the Church to dispense. It all stemmed from His being made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary. As man, He preached the truth, suffered and died for our sins, rose up from the tomb, and by rising up to Heaven made a Way in which we can follow, by our union with Him in our Baptism: a union made stronger by prayer, sacraments, and good works.
The Mass is the Sacrifice of Calvary, re-presented in a sacramental manner on the altar, whether in a great basilica or in a tiny convent chapel, a thatched hut, or an ordinary parish church. Christ is Present, interceding for sinners.
The Lord chooses all sorts of men, to serve as priests. They bring their own weaknesses with them. The sacraments they confer are valid, despite their sins; yet priests are sometimes mistaken in their personal opinions. The best priests are those who believe in all that the Church teaches, lead humble and chaste lives, fervent in love for the Saviour and His Church, and charitable towards everyone, though unafraid to speak the truth, in charity.
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