Showing 21 - 40 of 64
Even someone as selfless and Christ-centered as Mother Teresa had to undergo - for her soul's sake - a long period in interior darkness. God provided her with this spiritual purification to make her perfect, as her order expanded and she experienced outward success and adulation as well as opposition.
Although some people preach different versions of the Faith, even within the Church, we can be sure that if we listen to the constant teaching of the Pope and the other Catholic Bishops we are hearing what Christ is teaching us through them - even if we are labelled 'fundamentalist' or 'over-dogmatic' by fellow-Catholics.
It is a fearsome thing, to take a person's life. But some who loudly criticise the 'God of the Bible' for his punishments think nothing of the fact that thousands of innocent babies are slaughtered in the womb, every year, in one country, and many more elsewhere.
As the Son of God pondered His descent to our sinful world, He knew that through all His future agonies He would have millions of Angels cheering Him on. He wants us to know that as we meet opposition (from inside as well as outside the Church) in the practice of the Faith, we have not only Angels but also thousands of Saints, cheering us on.
It is important not to 'cast pearls before swine': not to offer spiritual advice, too early, to those who despise spiritual things, nor to press information about the Church upon people who hate the mention of her name. This causes such people to be even more exasperated and confrontational. Our prayer for them is more important, for the moment.
Whether he is speaking to fellow-Catholics, or with atheistic government men, a Bishop is meant to speak as a mouthpiece for the Will of God. He should know God's will for human beings, and not be afraid to speak frankly about it, and to be fearless when challenged.
Christ spoke the truth, in the Temple, about the activity in the Temple, and risked criticism and revenge. We too must speak the truth about wrong-doing in our society, rather than condone it or keep silent about offensive behaviour.
Christ was betrayed and left alone with His enemies because people were afraid - or did not believe in Him. Today, He sees many Catholics betray Him when they dispute or ignore His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, or other teachings of the Church, and when they criticize priests and lay-persons who speak the truth about sin and virtue.
As Sacred Scripture tells us, we are certain to be attacked, as followers of the Crucified Christ. Whether we suffer verbal, physical or spiritual assaults, however, Christ sees what we undergo for love for Him; and He sometimes intervenes with Divine power, to banish the attackers and to bring refreshment and peace.
It is outrageous, that good people who want to heal the sick, and who apply for medical training, or for a post in obstetric care, will be looked upon as eccentric or uncooperative if they refuse, for moral reasons, to kill unborn babies by abortion.
The truth about society is presented in all sorts of strange ways, according to the policies of celebrities, or people in Government or in medicine. It can happen that good people who want to stop the killings which inevitably occur in a war, are labelled 'peace-lovers', and applauded. Others, who want to stop abortion killings, are labelled 'single issue fanatics'.
Nursing used to be seen as a caring profession. Now, those nurses who are deeply upset by the killings which are called 'termination of pregnancy', are shunned as over-emotional, or trouble-makers, or as unsympathetic to women 'in trouble', whereas they deserve support: and the right to avoid involvement in such evil procedures.
It is only too easy for the Clergy to use the excuse of 'pastoral sensibility' to avoid speaking about moral issues that can bring death-of-soul to some parishioners, such as abortion, and to speak out only against issues that will not cause controversy or local antagonism: for example, nuclear war, the arms race, and pollution.
In societies where abortion is allowed in grave circumstances, it then becomes common-place, then is claimed as a 'right'; and this leads to the gradual approval of further types of killing, such as withdrawal of sustenance from the sick, doctor-assisted suicide, or even calls for the infanticide of children handicapped or sick. It can even lead to pro-life supporters being called religious fanatics.
Some people accuse the Church of speaking far too often and too forcefully about sexual immorality. Yet Christ wants everyone to know what is sinful, and to abandon sinful behaviour. Christ is pleased with Clergy and parents who speak truthfully about morals.
We must expect to meet criticism, especially about chastity. Critics of Christians and Christianity call good people 'prudish' or old-fashioned, when care is taken to wear modest clothing, to lead chaste lives, and to avoid indecent films and art displays, and to protest at public nudity. This must not deter Christians from keeping the Commandments, and striving to be 'as pure as Christ'.
If it is really necessary to ask people not to chatter loudly in church, where Christ is Present in glory, as His angels adore Him, and people are still kneeling in prayer, we must not be upset if we are criticised for sharing the truth: that this building is a house of prayer. If we are reviled, for Christ's sake, we should rejoice.
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.
It is an offense against God and His law of love, to ill-treat a fellow human being; yet it is an even greater offense to spread heresy, and to mock the faith of fellow-Catholics; for if we endanger their spiritual lives and their immortal souls we risk bearing some blame for causing them to move towards Hell, not Heaven.
It is hard to bear criticism for doing right, or persecution, personal abuse or slander. But if we bear it in patience, with peaceful words and peaceful hearts, we please Christ, Who has power to give us whatever help He wishes. He has power, too, over our persecutors, even when He has given them the freedom to do good or evil.
Showing 21 - 40 of 64