Showing 201 - 220 of 268
The new Covenant which Christ made between Heaven and earth was sealed by His own Precious Blood: poured out on Calvary, on the Cross. That very same Covenant is renewed as that same Sacrifice is re-presented before us at every Mass.
Christ invites each priest to renew his trust in Him. Even when a priest approaches the altar with heavy footsteps and a leaden heart, and feels so lacking in love or fervour that it's as if he is offering the Holy Sacrifice in a frozen waste, surrounded by snow drifts and icy winds, Christ never fails to come to the altar at the Consecration, as if leaning down from the Cross to say to the priest: Yes, I am here! I love you. You are doing My work, offering My Sacrifice. Persevere, and you will become joyful.
We pray, in the Mass, "Save us from final damnation". It is Jesus Christ who calls out from our altar, across the Abyss which separates earth from Heaven, and asks the Father to save those who are present, or who are associated with the Mass, for example sick members. The Faithful Departed are the other people helped by His sacrificial prayer. Catholics who refuse to attend regularly or at all, are refusing to be present as Christ prays for them. They condemn themselves, by their attitude.
Children deserve to be helped to reflect on their behaviour. When Bishops and others hand on the Faith to children, they should ask: Are you worthy to enter Heaven's glory, when your life ends? Are you ready to be carried by the Holy Spirit, across the Abyss, into the purity of the Godhead? Are you willing to prepare for that time?
It is tragic that many people do not believe in God our Creator, Who gives signs of His wisdom and beauty in the natural world; it is tragic that they never speak to God in prayer, or ask for help of any sort. We must ask, about any atheist who dies, "Who will carry him across" - across the Abyss, to Heaven, if the deceased has refused the help of the Holy Spirit.
Christ did not suffer on earth as man, and endure a terrible death, just to persuade us to be nice people who help other people across roads. He conquered sin and death! He can give us the power to conquer our sins, to be transformed, and to cross the Abyss between earth and Heaven! Salvation is more than an ability to be 'nice'.
A person who wants to get to Heaven, and who is not against God, but who is not yet willing to repent, is like a man who searches for a way across the great Abyss between earth and Heaven, but is unsuccessful. To cross that great divide, we need the help of the Holy Spirit, Who comes only to those who repent of their sins, and thus allow the Spirit of purity and peace into their hearts.
Those Catholics who never frequent the sacraments, or never pray, or live trapped in mortal sin, are in great spiritual danger, with no sure hope of being carried across the Abyss to Heaven when they die. It's as if a man is walking surrounded by clouds thrown up through his own sinful ways, clouds which hide from him the sight of the Abyss in front of him, and the Heaven which lies at the other side. Unless he repents, and sees where he is heading, he will fall into the pit.
We all need the prayers and intercessions of others. There is only one Way across the gulf that separates earth from Heaven, and we shall not cross it when we die if we have wandered away, far from the bridge, looking for all sorts of distractions from our ordinary duties, or avoiding the call of conscience, or unwilling to suffer for Christ by remaining faithful. Perseverance is all-important, by the grace of God.
The gift we are given at Baptism is the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who can lift our souls up to Heaven, across the gulf, when we die. A person who has become careless or disobedient and who has driven away the Spirit of Love, and no longer lives in a state of grace, will be lost, at death, in the Abyss, unable to rely on the Holy Spirit, having refused Him.
We should work and pray for the Gospel to be spread. It is plain to see, if we look across the world, that a Catholic who has his sins forgiven, and approaches death in the grace of God, with the hope of Heaven, can be at peace, whereas someone not knowing about our loving Creator or His wonderful Son, and expecting to be returned to earth in some other body, to endure further trials on earth, is unlikely to be joyful, and perhaps is terrified.
Just as people who follow a bridle path upwards, across the hills, in fine weather, can enjoy a beautiful view, so, people who 'ascend' in prayer, by the Lord's power, as they spend more time with Him, can see and understand spiritual things more clearly; but it is not always pleasant. Perhaps they see faults they had not previously noticed; but this is part of the process of growing in holiness.
Only because Christ suffered and died, as man, to conquer sin and death by rising up from the grave, has He made it possible for us sinners to follow in His Way. We who trust in Him, and go into the 'tomb' in our Baptism, and renounce sin, and carry our sufferings in patience, like crosses, know that our prayers are heard, and that Heaven awaits all who remain faithful.
Just as Christ was left half-dead, after a cruel scourging, and was about to die on the Cross of Calvary, so it frequently happens that an aborted baby is left half-dead on a work-top, unwanted and untended, left to die solely because the child is unwanted. It is a monstrous sin, in God's sight, to kill the innocent.
Christ wants each of us to believe that His love for us is real and everlasting. He was willing to live on earth, and even to be mocked and put to death on the Cross, in order to save each of us from the consequences of sin. Every individual can say: "He went to the Cross, for my sake". We can believe, and respond with gratitude - or, with hard hearts, turn away.
As generation succeeds generation, so one group of priests succeeds another group - as surely as a Big Wheel turns across the sky. Christ wants the priests in each group to be really united in love for Christ at the Mass, even if some prefer the Novus Ordo and others the Extraordinary Form.
The love of God is like a great flame that encloses all who trust in Christ. By our Baptism, we are made members of the Church and children of God. We already share in the life of God, and can be confident that our prayers are heard, and confident that, if we do not leave that state of grace, we will be carried across the Abyss when we die, to be brought towards Heaven: carried in the love of God, with no fear of being lost.
Everyone has a desire to pray, unless it is stifled by false teaching. Almighty God sees and hears everything that is said or done by people on earth. He loves everyone; yet those who have freely chosen to repent and to believe in His Son and to share His life through Baptism can be confident that God hears them because they already live 'in Christ', as if enclosed in a great flame of Divine charity which has reached out across the Abyss which separates earth from Heaven. Children of God should be confident in prayer.
If we are tired or despondent, or feel over-burdened by Crosses, we need to reflect on the love that surrounds us, if we have remained faithful, living 'in' God, the Blessed Trinity. What joy we give to the heart of Christ, as He turns to the Father Who sent Him to us, and to the Holy Spirit Who is making us holy, and says with delight: "She loves us!" - or "He loves us!"
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'.
Showing 201 - 220 of 268