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Some priests want to follow their vocation on their own terms. There are warning signs to be seen, when a priest is in danger of preaching his own version of the Faith, and not the Faith in its fullness as handed on since the time of Christ. These signs are a lack of respect for the Pope, contempt for the Catechism, combined with an unhealthy acceptance of serious sin in the lives of his flock.
The greatest fall occurs when a person slips from the heights of intimacy with God into the depths of sin. That is what happened to Satan, the rebellious Angel; and that is why we should serve the Lord in humility, simplicity and patience to avoid that fate.
Pope Pius X fought bravely against heresy, Christ said. It would be wonderful, the Lord said, if everyone could do what this Saintly Pope has done, and decide to fulfil the Father's Will, for His glory, and to save souls, rather than seeking personal satisfaction. It is sad that many Catholics criticise that Pope's life and works, and want to overturn the Church's teachings, even on moral issues.
There is no greater way of showing love and honour towards God than by sincerely saying to Him: "What would you like me to do?" meaning "Here I am Lord; I come to do Your Will, not to fulfil my ambitions". God's Will includes the fulfilment of the duties of our state of life - out of love for Him and for His for our Saviour.
It is God Who has given each of us life, and various gifts, and promptings to do good. People who decide, on a selfish whim, to stop serving God and to fulfil their own selfish ambitions are like a chemist who, having been trained, and given responsible work to do, suddenly wanders off into the sunshine, leaving his work at a critical stage, and hindering and upsetting his colleagues. When millions act like this, we have today's world.
When an employer pays himself an outrageously large salary whilst leaving his workers struggling to pay for their own basic food and clothing, he is treating them unjustly. It's as if he is stepping over an employee as one steps over a mere obstacle, in order to achieve his ambitions and goals.
A ruby wedding celebration today might have numerous gaps in the family photograph, even if most people don't realise it. Those who have had abortions have been too ashamed to say that they have sacrificed the lives of tiny babies to make their own lives easier or to avoid expense or dashed ambitions.
From Heaven, it is as if a great cloud of sin covers those areas of the country and the world where there is mostly ignorance of Christ, indifference to God's laws, determination to fulfil personal desires and ambitions, and no thought about duty, or death and judgement. Faith in Christ is the 'Door' by which those people can reach freedom.
The life we lead on earth must inevitably lead to either Heaven and Hell (even if to Heaven via Purgatory). Those who love Christ, and persevere in charity and purity in earthly life, will enjoy Eternal life in even greater charity and peace, with Christ. People who seethe with hatred, ambition or resentment, in this life, and persist in their selfish ambitions, will find themselves in Hell with others who are self-centered and lack love for Christ.
Some bishops are in danger of elevating their obligation to live out their Collegiality above the duty of each Bishop to shepherd his own flock in his own diocese. They often dash to one event after another, to be together and to make joint statements, and risk losing opportunities to raise their individual and authoritive voices.
It is a terrible thing, to be unprepared for death and Heaven. A man can decide to become a great actor, a successful business man, or a brilliant guitarist - or might have some other ambition. But if all his energies are poured into the success of his ambition he will risk his soul. He will arrive at middle-age or old age having made no spiritual progress, and if indeed he has not lost all hope of salvation he will have a mountain to climb in Purgatory.
Prayer for evil rulers is more important than political activism. The mind and will of a person enslaved by evil is like a temple of doom, where Satan is at work. Principles and persons are sacrificed on the altar of personal ambition, lust or greed; and that person is incapable of doing good because of his enslavement, unless he repents. By the grace of God, he could change.
Although brave or ambitious people might travel to the moon, or explore the whole world, in dangerous conditions, or record the world's flora or fauna, it is the work of the Saints that endures. They have received unparalleled Power: the power of God, in the Sacred Host in Holy Communion. Through prayer and the sacraments they are transformed, and empowered to do the Work of God, which affects the Church and the world.
The journey to Heaven is, for most people, a slow and arduous climb. Christ wants each of us to believe in His love, to persevere in faith, hope, love and humility, and to avoid pride and vainglory. People who want to be Saints think more about God's goodness that about their own gifts, talents, plans and ambitions.
God sees an extraordinary sight, as He looks down upon countless members of the Church who plan their own lives, according to their own ideas and desires, yet deign to give only a moment of their time, now and then, for prayer, unaware of His immense holiness, or His Sovereignty as well as His love.
It is not enough to teach school children to recognise their talents, to celebrate them, and to use them. They need to be encouraged to ask God for direction. He sometimes asks people to hide or subdue their talents and ambitions, for the sake of a greater good, for a while. Children need to learn that humility, and gratitude to God, are of greater importance than the pleasure found in receiving praise from other people for their gifts.
When people have such an elevated self-regard, and, in pride, insist on fulfilling their own desires and ambitions even if this means overturning the good work of other people, they walk away from the sunlight of a healthy society into a cloudy area where people become confused about morality and ignore the laws of God.
Everyone who hopes for union with God in Heaven should ask himself, is he the sort of person who will be happy there: pure-in-heart, peaceful, holy? People who are more anxious about fulfilling their earthly desires and ambitions - including sexual desires - than about honouring God by obeying His laws are not making the necessary preparation for the reception of the gift of salvation.
There are priests and Bishops who die when still imperfect, with serious failings, but who have spent their time and energy in fulfilling their calling. The Lord looks with delight upon such servants and friends as those faithful men who have pointed people towards the kingdom, urging their flocks not to lose Eternal life for the sake of extra social influence or political power or earthly pleasures.
The Lord looks with joy upon women who wish to look after and guide their children, rather than pursue self-indulgent activities. It is true that some women have to go out to work, but when possible God is pleased to see women willing to be of service in the home, and not thinking that such service is demeaning.
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