Showing 181 - 200 of 231
It can happen that a person becomes so despondent about the demands of the Gospel that he begins to blame God, or the Church for what he sees as unfairness; in his rage he might fall, and endanger his spiritual life and his immortal soul. It is important to persevere in prayer for people in difficulty.
Christ wants us to avoid the ultimate disaster. Christ leads us by love, encouraging us to follow the Way to Heaven, helped by His guidelines and graces; but those who persist in disobedience and foolishness, ignoring His Commandments and decrees, or neglecting prayer, or corrupting others, or being irreverent towards His Sacred Ministers, or persisting, without repentance, in any grave sin, are allowed to follow their own paths. Alas, these lead to the great sewer which carries souls to Hell.
One of the main duties of a Bishop is to teach the Faith. In doing so, and teaching the Faith in its fullness, it's as if he is leading people away from spiritual and moral danger, away from the cliff-edge which represents spiritual and moral disaster and - for those who are unrepentant when they die - the way down to Hell.
There is no gift from Heaven so precious as the gift of life, in a tiny child, except the gift of Eternal Life, which is Heaven, and salvation. Those who refuse the gift of life by rejecting the infant in the womb, are rejecting the Giver, Who is God, and failing to trust in Him. By killing the child, they risk their eternal Salvation.
None of our unavoidable sufferings or humiliations need be wasted. By our intercessory prayers, and the patient 'offering-up' of our sufferings, in union with Christ, we cause an outpouring of His grace to fall upon someone in danger of falling into mortal sin, or falling into Hell. Christ gives us the privilege of joining in His saving work, even though we are imperfect, as long as we live in a state of grace.
People who are in grave sin, engrossed in their evil ways, are spiritually dead - though only God can judge souls and know who these are. Yet for as long as people persist in such sins they resemble dead people, walking, making their way, bit by bit, underground, on the road that ends in Hell.
People who freely choose to request or assist with a direct abortion, are responsible for the death of an innocent human being who has received life from God. Such choices mean that those people, in disobeying God, separate themselves from Him. Unless they repent before they die, they will find themselves in danger of Hell, by their own fault, having ignored all requests to do good, and all warnings.
By requesting or assisting in an abortion, people ignore God, and His laws. Many people know that as well as destroying babies, abortion harms the mothers involved, whether by the grief and guilt many feel, or psychological problems, or even a greater likelihood of suffering physical ailments; but everyone deserves to know the truth which is rarely mentioned: that all who request or take part in an abortion risk their Eternal salvation, unless they repent before they die.
Jesus wants everyone to know that by killing innocent human beings, people are setting themselves, by their own fault, on the path towards Hell rather than Heaven. To assist at or request an abortion is to kill the innocent; and Christ warned us, long ago, that it would be better for a man to be thrown into the sea with a millstone round his neck than to injure or corrupt one of his 'little ones'.
A person on a joyful drive through the country-side in Spring, to a pleasant destination, can enjoy the new greenery, and the blossom on the hedgerows; but it is necessary to remain alert for the whole time to road-signs, both well-established and new, to avoid danger. So it is on our journey to Heaven. We are foolish if we ignore the warnings offered by the Church, as well as accepting her food and fuel for the way.
Real charity, in practice, includes speaking the truth. A member of the Clergy who panders to the desires of the laity not to hear about sin, and who fails to do his duty of issuing warnings, as Christ did, will be held responsible for when people do sin, just as people are held responsible for road-crashes when they have failed to put out signs about road-works, or major junctions.
People who ignore road-signs about sharp bends, or speeding, are liable to crash when they suddenly arrive at a dip in the road, or roadworks. Just as they would be unlikely to finish their journey, so, people who ignore God's warnings about keeping the Commandments are unlikely to reach Heaven, unless they repent.
Some people say that Christians lead sad lives, think too much about death and judgement, and are too cautious about their behaviour. A dismissive non-believer might be pictured as someone over-confident of his skill as a motorcyclist. He will be in greater danger, if an obstacle appears in his path, than a careful driver of a small car who keeps to the speed limit.
We should pray for people without faith. People who don't love God or keep the Commandments are as if floating along on the great river of life, mostly unconcerned about the future, but likely to be carried as if over a great waterfall to disaster, when they die, unless they seek help from Heaven. They cannot save themselves by mere will-power, or good works alone.
There are occasions when inter-religious co-operation is wise. It is not wise for Catholic Bishops to take part in inter-religious events that would confuse the Faithful; but when all persons who honour God find themselves in opposition to a series of Godless leaders in Europe, for example, who impose Godless programmes and even immoral plans, for citizens and even children, religious leaders should unite to speak about shared values. When people are in danger, it does not matter whose hands you hold, to remain upright.
Membership of Parliament can be like a journey on a boat downstream, in which people occasionally find themselves going over a weir, to experience turbulence and danger. People who are courageous, and prepared for such upheavals, do not panic, but don't allow plans to be wrecked. They persevere, to relaunch a boat, refusing to let their good intentions be wrecked by careless members more concerned with self-interest than with service of the nation's voters.
For every little or large suffering we willingly bear in patience - even an experience of pain at the dental surgery - we can help to save souls, by that offering of penance in union with Christ. We can help someone in mortal sin who suddenly realises what a dangerous state he is in, or perhaps a dying person, who suddenly receives the grace to turn to God, in trust and hope.
A person who deliberately sets out to harm another, in a spirit of malice, even if he knows this is foolish, is like a man on a motorboat who, full of bravado, aims his craft towards the rapids on a dangerous river. He is doomed, but does not care. People full of such malice are sure to be damned, unless they repent before they die.
Just as desperate drifters all over the world might travel the highways of rich countries but have little hope, so, people who are spiritually lost might be in danger of despair. Yet to turn to God is to change things, by His grace. With encouragement from sincere God-loving people, those in turmoil can see a prospect of change.
Saint Paul spoke wisely about bearing our sufferings. We are right to offer up our sufferings in union with Christ, and, with Him, to intercede for people trapped in mortal sin and in danger of being lost for ever. Someone in mortal sin is as if trapped on a small ledge, above the great Abyss; and by our prayers and the grace of Christ he or she can be rescued and made safe.
Showing 181 - 200 of 231