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When we are with fellow Catholics on a retreat or a pilgrimage, we have a great opportunity from the Lord - Present amongst us in the Blessed Sacrament - to encourage one another in the Faith, and to declare our faith in Christ and in His Church - although not interrupting people at prayer.
People in Government, in any country, who promote legislation which encourages abortion or sexual immorality, or other serious evils, will find themselves moving along the 'broad road' to Hell, unless they repent before they die. In Hell, there is no love, peace, purity or joy but only fire, terror, noise, anger and pain.
Many prominent Catholics encourage dissent and spread confusion by their public expression of their doubts about Church teaching. Priests should be honoured for their sacred office, whatever they say or do; but those who mislead the faithful by their stance, and cast doubt on Church teachings on marriage, giving the impression that contraceptive use is of no great significance, betray their calling and horrify their Saviour.
Plain churches, without images, encourage ordinary behaviour. Some of the Saints, to whom our churches are dedicated, would weep, if they could hear that noisiness, and see the disrespect shown by many Catholics in church. A wise priest in such circumstances puts out a notice, as a reminder.
God invites us to kneel in adoration. The Pope is right to encourage us to offer reverent praise to God the Father, Who is Creator of the whole Universe, greater than the Universe, and awesome in His attributes, and in the beauty of His loving nature. We owe the same praise to Christ His Son, Who is Present in every Catholic Church, and yet often receives praise that is banal, vain, irreverent, frivolous or mundane.
Whenever a person speaks courageously about Christ and the Catholic Faith, whether or not they are welcomed, and is prepared to be ostracised or persecuted, that person is brought even closer to the Father's heart, wrapped in His Love.
When dissenting Catholics voice their opinions, and encourage others to dispute the constant teachings of the Church on faith or morals, they act as irresponsibly as people on a safari, looking at wildlife from behind a protective fence, who urge other people to leap over the barrier, or who even, jokingly, make to push people over, saying: 'You won't come to any harm!'
When members of the Clergy, or theologians, or other people in the Church urge people to believe that behaviour once everywhere known as sinful is nowadays to be seen as reasonable or even good - such as contraceptive use, or sexual activity outside marriage - they endanger souls. To encourage people to sin is to help them on the way to Hell. The demons lie in wait for careless souls just as wild animals lie in wait for safari tourists who are foolish enough to leave the safety of the path.
In the play called 'Pygmalion', a rich man gave lessons to a poor working girl, and transformed her speech and outlook, and clothing. Christ works an even more marvellous transformation, by His grace acting within a willing soul. He transforms the whole person, leading each to Him, to find security, joy, peace-of-soul and fulfilment in sharing His life, and also to grow in wisdom, purity, courage, hope and charity.
When following Christ's Way we can only see one step at a time. The future is hidden from us; but Christ wants each of us to know that, at every step, He is beside us, showing us the Way, giving encouragement and peace.
It is a dreadful thing, in Christ's sight, that many people are so blind to the wonder of human life, or blind to it being a gift from God, or determined that a woman should not be inconvenienced by a pregnancy, that they support and encourage the killing of babies in the womb: innocent children, to whom He had given the gift of life.
We do not always realise how powerfully we affect others, for good, when we witness unashamedly about the kindness and goodness of Christ. We can powerfully encourage and help individuals; and we should be aware that it's as if we warm Christ's heart by our love, and our desire to see Him loved.
We are wise to ask the Saints for their prayers. They are alive, living in glory, and love to intercede for us with God. As we pray, and work, it's as if by their love and companionship they help to form a fence around us, to protect us from evil, and to encourage us to raise up our hearts and minds to the Blessed Trinity, above.
There are many people who have been urged to have abortions, but who have been given little advice or encouragement on the subject of adoption. This is usually second best, after caring by the birth parent; but it is always better than the killing of an unborn child; and it can give joy to couples unable to conceive children of their own.
Christ looks on with sadness when He sees people being received into the Church who have not been encouraged towards a radical conversion, but who enter the Church to receive the sacraments while persevering in behaviour which is, objectively speaking, gravely sinful, for example, co-habitation and contraceptive use.
Christ wants us to encourage one another to keep a reverent silence in church, where He is Sacramentally Present, adored by the Angels. If we suffer unpleasant reactions to our gentle words, we should remember Christ's words: that when we are reviled on His account, our reward will be great in Heaven.
Those politicians who repeatedly seek to encourage further abortions are as if moving their desks further and further away from their proper place, so that those people are sitting within an inch of Hell - into which they will fall unless they repent before they die.
Many people have a poor understanding of the purpose of the Priesthood. It's as if they peer at these men through a great cloud of incomprehension, and yet expect Baptism, marriage services and burial. If more of the Clergy did what the Lord has called them to do - asking sinners to repent and to avoid Hell, and to accept the grace that leads to Heaven, people would understand them more clearly, and some would respect them for their courage.
Since it is extremely sinful to ignore our Creator by choosing for selfish reasons to miss Mass, or to encourage other people to sin, it is plainly even more dreadful to tear, limb from limb, another human being - albeit a very small person in the womb, given life by God the Father. To suggest, undergo, or assist in a direct abortion is to place oneself on the side of the demons, in the war between good and evil.
Even when people persist in disbelief or grave sin, there is hope that a person can be saved - provided he repents before he dies. Christ continues, to the last moment of such a person's life, to encourage him to turn to Him. If someone has never heard of Christ, Christ will even appear to him as that person dies, to give him the opportunity to repent and believe - or else to fall away forever.
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