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Bishops are appointed to teach, and to lead the Church in prayer. When the Pope's advisors are discussing which men might be appointed as Bishops, it is not enough for anyone to say that a certain man is very 'pastoral', if he is not also doctrinally-sound in his beliefs, and fervent in ensuring the reverent conduct of the Sacred Liturgy.
It is good that the Pope is advised by a group of colleagues as he chooses men to be Bishops. It is not enough for men to be known as good 'pastoral' men, if they are unsound on doctrine or lack concern for the reverent conduct of the Sacred Liturgy.
Some Catholics foolishly ignore the evidence; that the evil one has been especially active in the Church for four decades, determined to strike at Christ and Catholics by striking at the Mass. The evil one uses all sorts of people and methods to increase ignorance of the Real Presence, to confuse the laity, to discourage priests, to bring about a distorted or truncated presentation of the Faith in catechesis. It's as if he is lurking beneath a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, planning how to lessen our love for Christ and to diminish our fervour.
Some children's books are far too simple. It is often said that children are too young to learn words which Christians have used for centuries about the spiritual life and the sacraments. Yet even young children can remember complicated film-plots, and the names of foreign weapons, and hierarchies. Can they not be helped to learn the correct words for religious matters?
Christ wants us to reflect on what He sees, from Heaven. Christ sees a strange sight, today. In every century, people have accepted instruction in order to enter the Church and lead holy lives. Today, many are badly instructed; many continue with sinful practices; and in arguing with the Clergy about morals some make themselves unavailable for great work for Christ. How can they help Him in great things, if they will not obey in moral issues?
The priest is the man at the heart of the process of conversion. He brings good news about God's love, and the forgiveness given to repentant sinners. He brings Jesus to us: in His Word, in the Real Presence of Christ at Mass and in the tabernacle. He organises Catechesis; and he preaches, offers the Holy Sacrifice, prepares us for death, guides and helps the bereaved - and the faithful priest will be marvelously rewarded, even in this life. His greatest friend is Jesus Christ.
We should think about God's nature, when we think about catechesis. Wherever a person whose duty it is to teach the Faith distorts it, or truncates it, to make it more palatable, that person does wrong. God Himself is Truth, so if we offer people a distorted truth, or a truth which leaves out essential elements or difficult-to-comprehend aspects, we insult God, even if we don't realise it.
It is not enough for a bishop to rely on committees, in managing the education, catechesis and liturgical celebrations in his diocese, if this results in unorthodox statements or programmes being put forward, or irreverent or foolish liturgical practices. He has been given authority by Christ; and should step in, to ensure that everything is in accord with the 'Mind of Christ'
"Radiant Light" Images: These provide a sort of 'Catechism in pictures'. The purpose of 'Radiant Light' images is to cast light upon the teachings of the Catholic Church, to enable people of all places and backgrounds to see with clarity the most important truths of the Catholic Faith, to help them to enter or persevere on the one Way to Heaven, following our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
A person who cannot love his own family is unlikely to love others, and is more likely to refuse to join the Church than to make a humble request to be received - and he is less likely to enter Heaven in the end, unless he changes. This is one of the reasons why the family is so important. It should be a training-ground in virtue as well as a home.
We are glad when people are happy, in church; reverence in Church cannot be separated from dignity, however; and when young people show their delight in the arrival of church banners by loud shrieking and whistling - as if greeting footballers before a game - they demonstrate their ignorance, and their poor catechesis. It is tragic that these Catholics do not yet know how to prepare for the reverent worship of almighty God.
Through the Sacraments we receive Divine Life; and so the Lord wants everyone - especially every Catholic - to remember that a Catholic church is God's House: a place of holiness. It should therefore also be a place of reverence and dignity, worthy worship of God, and beauty, as well as having artworks that tell out the truth about the Gospel message or symbols, and God's plan of salvation. It is not a place for frivolity and silliness.
Autobiography of Elizabeth Wang, Part 2
This text forms part of Elizabeth Wang's Falling in Love: A Spiritual Autobiography (1999). It tells the story of her life and of her spiritual journey as she came to know Christ and His Church. You ...
A Picture of a Faithful Diocese
A short piece of writing by Elizabeth Wang about how the Catholic faith can be lived and celebrated within a Faithful Diocese, and the responsibilities of all the faithful - and especially bishops - t...
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