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God wants us to lead lives which are as pure as fresh snow, with each of our thoughts, words and deeds holy. We should have pure intentions, treating everyone with kindness, speaking the truth always, and leading chaste lives worthy of Christians. None of this can be achieved by our own power, but with God's grace we can change, and prepare for our life in Heaven. Christ asks us: will we be ready for Heaven, when we die?
Those whom Christ has called has called to exercise a Sacred Ministry as members of the Clergy, in the sanctuary, should see themselves as required to live in such a way as to be always worthy to enter to ascend a flight of steps which symbolise the privileged ascent the priest has to the 'altar of God', to meet his Divine Saviour. Confession is the answer for any priest who has been deliberately unkind, disobedient or unchaste, or otherwise unworthy to be at the altar.
There is no easy way of being a Christian. The Lord asks each of us to sacrifice whatever impedes our particular vocation. Traditionally, He has asked priests to sacrifice hopes of marriage and parenthood. Religious make sacrifices to live the evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity and obedience. Married people too must be chaste, and faithful to each other, open to life, and making sacrifices to care for their families.
The prayers of St. Joseph are badly-needed today: the one whom Christ looks on with love, grateful for that care by 'the chaste spouse of Our Lady' for both the Christ-child and His Virgin Mother. This is a time of moral decay, when even many Catholics are ignorant of the Church's moral teachings, or dispute them, or disobey them for a life-time whilst telling themselves that God 'doesn't mind'!
People know that kindness is important, but many forget that chastity is essential, in a life of true friendship with Christ, and preparation for Heaven. Those who mock people leading chaste lives and avoiding immoral entertainments also mock past ages in the Church for the care taken on this matter; but it is better to be disciplined and resemble a cared-for garden than ignore the Commandments and have a soul that resembles a jungle.
When a Government proposes that small children must learn about sex and reproduction, with no reference to God or morality, or chastity or marriage, they destroy the innocence of the young, impose an atheistic outlook, usurp the role of parents, who should teach children when they are older, and help, in effect, to destroy the school as surely (though in a different way) as if a gang of thugs were tearing down a wall.
A worldly priest hopes to fit in, more easily, with society; yet he will do no good amongst those with little interest in religion or the moral laws if he seems to be disloyal to Christ, and disloyal to the ideals of charity, simplicity, chastity and humility that he should uphold.
People who take the wrong way in life are often choosing an easy way, though God asks us to rely on Christ His Son, to grow in virtue, and to persevere in charity as far as Heaven. The easy way is to help patients to kill themselves, and to ask doctors to kill the elderly. But this is bad for patients, for doctors, for families, and for society, as well as being highly immoral and against God's holy law.
Christ is weeping, horrified at witnessing the abuse of innocent children by priests who should have been trustworthy figures in their lives, indeed, should have been 'icons of Christ', holy, loveable and loving, chaste and kind.
If we are serious about wanting to avoid serious sin, we should act firmly, to avoid occasions of sin. Just as a sailor makes sure he keeps away from the currents that could draw him towards a whirlpool, where he would be sucked down and lost, so people attracted to evil images should avoid television and the internet, or be very careful, if they long to watch pornography, or love to watch violent films. Are we drawn towards Heaven or Hell by all we allow to influence us?
If we want to be saved, we must abandon our sins, like good people of past ages. Wise people follow the teaching of the Church. It is Christ Who wants us to believe what she tells us about faith and morals. There are people who call themselves 'practicing Catholics', however, whose ways of life include acts regarded with horror, for centuries: unchastity, contraceptive us, divorce with attempted re-marriage, and a failure to hand on the Faith to their families. Everyone needs the Divine grace given through prayer and the Sacraments, to be able to put the Catholic Faith into practice.
It is as if they are choosing to dive into darkness, whenever Catholics decide to ignore the teaching of the Church and follow a way of life always regarded by Christians with horror - involving unchastity, contraceptive use, divorce and attempted re-marriage, combined with a failure to hand on the Faith in its entirety to the children they do have. To ignore the Church's teaching is to ignore Christ, Who guides her by His Spirit - although Christ sees that some people are not entirely blameworthy, perhaps because of fear or ignorance.
It is a tragedy, when Christian bodies vote to discard long-standing Christian doctrines and offer a truncated version of Faith, having abandoned efforts to believe or share God's laws. Various leaders jettison - as if from a ship, into the deep - the truths that the Catholic Church still teaches about holy, indisoluble marriage, about sexuality, chastity, a male-only priesthood, and other matters.
A person who freely welcomes evil thoughts, or selfish desires, is as if being hospitable to a stream of shrieking demons, who chatter to one another as they enter.
Christ wants us all to follow His Way to Heaven, in chastity. There are young people everywhere who deserve to hear the truth about life: that they were created by the one only God, Who loves each of them deeply, and wants to make them happy and holy. They will not become happy through drunkenness and sexual licence, but through hearing the truth, repenting, and becoming selfless and holy, by the grace of Christ.
The Purpose of the Priesthood, by Elizabeth Wang
‘The Purpose of the Priesthood contains encouragement and advice for Catholic priests. It reminds them about the central meaning of the Priesthood, and about the need to teach the Catholic Faith in it...
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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