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When in Queen visits a hospital, people use every possible means of showing respect, through their approach, dress, speech, manner, welcome, warmth and gestures: yet how many Catholics use any of these means of showing reverence towards their King: Jesus Christ, Divine King and Savior, Present on the altar and in the tabernacle?
We have the Pope to guide us on modern problems as well as well-known evils. Society is being damaged, as abortion becomes more and more commonplace, just as scientists are confirming what God has told the world through His prophets, His Son, and His Church, for millennia, that each human being, however tiny, is a unique individual. Each deserves to live all the life that has been given, from conception, in the manner decreed by Almighty God.
In a New Covenantal Sacrifice, Jesus Christ poured out His Precious Blood on the Cross, Victim of sinners yet praying for sinners; and that same Sacrifice is re-presented, at every Mass, yet in a Real but sacramental manner: an un-bloody offering.
Christ is pleased when a mother imitates Him by giving thoughtful, unconditional love to her children, and being close to them, helping them at each new stage, whether basics like washing and dressing, or giving them confidence when they go to school, teaching them good manners, and encouraging love amongst relations - and love for God, shown by reverence in church.
When some Catholic children receive more teaching on self-esteem than humility, this endangers their souls. There is so much outward show, in acts of charity, and little self-effacement. The sin of pride was Satan's great fault. To become proud is to place oneself under his banner, in the war between good and evil.
The Lord asks us to deal with some injustices in the manner of Saint Francis, who was reported as saying: if he were to trudge for miles through a snowy landscape, in darkness, and hungry, only to be met with insults, picked up and thrown aside - and yet be able to bear all this with patience, without food and warmth, that would be perfect joy, because then he would have been found worthy to be treated like Christ, and to be able to imitate Him.
There is a town which, to tourists, has a surface of appearance of prosperity, at its well-lit, well-paved centre. But the streets soon peter out, and the lighting ends, and the pavements disappears, as the ground slopes down to a dark, rubbish-strewn area where only the thieves and other lawbreakers feel safe. This is like the soul of someone who is well-mannered and pleasant but who, whilst having a duty to teach the Faith, disbelieves much of it and leads others astray by public declarations of disbelief.
This is the ideal, for a priest: to be totally conformed to Christ - and for lay-persons too, who want to do the Will of God. Whoever conforms his will to the Will of Christ, and believes and practices the teachings of the Church, for love of Christ, and has a pure heart, avoids all sin, and shares the Faith where he can, and loves his neighbour, is a channel for God's powerful graces to others, even if he or she has weaknesses and imperfections from character defects, or poor upbringing.
Water flows downstream, because of the law of gravity. This is the normal way, planned by God. Likewise, He has plans for families. It is usual for a child to be conceived of two parents: a man and a woman. It is the Will of God that children are looked after by a mother and a father, or, in case of tragedy, by a substitute mother and father.
We please Christ whenever we act to help and encourage priests in their vocation. We also please Him when we encourage those priests who love to celebrate the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. It is Christ Who has always loved the Mass He instituted, and also developed through His Spirit; and it is Christ Who has inspired Pope Benedict to allow priests the freedom to offer Mass in the Traditional manner.
It can sometimes seem as if the small number of Parliamentarians who want to do God's Will in opposing laws which permit abortion, and the killing of the sick or the elderly, cannot possibly succeed. Yet Christians do not work for good all alone. Just as an army of Angels accompanied the brave men who once crossed the Channel to defeat an evil regime, so armies of angels and Saints are ready to help any 'child of God' who calls for their aid and has confidence in their communion with him, 'in Christ'.
Christ holds up St. John Vianney, inviting all priests and Bishops to peer through the mists of time to meet a Saint whose priestly ministry was simple, fervent, Christ-centered, self-forgetful, pure and holy. St John is the ideal patron Saint for all Clergy. Faith and love are important, today, not trying to be being 'relevant'.
St. John Vianney's burning desire was to share the Faith and to save souls. His first preparation for his priestly task was to pray to the Lord, at the tabernacle, pleading for his flock, and also making a worthy preparation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which he would offer for his parish as well as the whole Church.
St. John Vianney had lots of Confessions to hear, partly because he was brave enough to seek people out in their homes, and to preach about sin and Hell. He did not think it a waste of time to wait in the Confessional at the appointed time until someone came.
St. John Vianney was not a great scholar, but he loved God with all his heart, and so did all he could to write interesting and powerful homilies in order to lead people to repentance, new life, and sincere love for Christ, and for their neighbour.
St. John Vianney was not afraid to preach the truth in the pulpit, sometimes weeping as he spoke, as he described the miserable state of souls who cared nothing for God and might never arrive in Heaven.
Out of love and concern for children, St. John Vianney founded an orphanage; but he did more than that. He visited, daily, and taught the children the Catechism, so that they would become holy children, holy adults, and then Saints in Heaven.
St. John Vianney was so fervent that he was inevitably attacked by Satan, who wanted to frighten him into giving up his Ministry; but St. John knew the power of Christ, and trusted in Him. He learned to laugh at Satan, and continued to work and pray, to save souls.
We are used to making kindly judgements, as Christ has requested; but it can happen that a priest grows lukewarm. He acts in a pleasant, affectionate manner, whilst neglecting his prayers, and failing to show people, in private, the respect he shows in public.
A person who takes a vehicle on the road needs to follow the route carefully, and obey the signs, or he will certainly not arrive at his destination. A person who wants to arrive in Heaven needs to follow the correct route, and obey the signs that have been placed by the One Who planned and built the road. We are foolish if we ignore or disobey Christ and His Church.
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