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The idols or 'golden calves' which many people worship today, are their own selfish opinions, often contrary to the Church's teachings, their lack of reverence towards God, their neglect of penance and prayer, and the neglect of the ordinary duties of their state of life.
Just as the ancient people of God made an idol of a golden calf, so many people today make an idol of their private opinions, neglecting God's law, or they lack reverence in church, neglect prayer and penance, and disregard the duties of their state of life - loving their own will instead of the Will of God.
Only a Bishop who goes amongst his people can see which 'plants' in his garden are not healthy but diseased, and which are infecting other healthy plants (by distorted or faulty catechesis).
Many people neglect their duties towards God and their neighbour. They fight and argue until death - when there is no spirit of charity in them to bring them up to Heaven.
Someone who searches avidly for new devotions is like a fish which searches for food, day after day, on the Barrier Reef. We need spiritual 'food', but also to make time for our everyday duties, and for care of our neighbour.
If we looked, with God's eyes, all around the globe, we would learn that few people on this earth truly desire, more than anything, to do God's will, determined to love Him and their neighbour.
Every person on earth will one day arrive either in Heaven (perhaps through Purgatory) or Hell. It is our urgent duty to work for the salvation of souls.
If the Bishops would examine their diaries, they would see what proportion of their time is spent in teaching the Faith, or directly encouraging people to put it into practice. They will be accountable to God, when they die, for the state of the souls in their care.
We need to give practical help to those in need, as well as prayer, when people are in trouble. It is not enough, usually, just to say: "I'll pray for you".
Amongst the many people in Heaven are parents who would have liked to receive love and thanks from their children in earthly life. God wants families to show love for one another.
All the Saints in Heaven know what people right back to Moses have known, that God wants us to honour our mother and father. It is His Will that we know who our parents are, if possible. It is not His Will that people use immoral reproductive technologies.
The Lord wants us to keep alive the hope of Heaven. We are not all meant to be busy campaigning about great causes. He is grateful when faithful people love Him and remain faithful to their ordinary duties and to prayer, and are kind to their families and friends.
It is really important, as we journey together in the Church towards Heaven, that we love one another, and do not overlook the command to love our enemies, or to love the sick, shy and poor in a parish.
Christ sees that many people ask: "What can the Church do for us?" The Lord would prefer to hear each of us saying: "How can I love and serve the Lord and His Church? What can I do to help?"
Those who enjoy visions but are content to do without them are like housewives who love to see a visitor for coffee and a chat but who are content to get on with their ordinary chores - unlike someone consumed with a desire for entertainment (or visions), who neglects her ordinary duties.
The Godhead is like an opaque cloud, in that we cannot pierce it by our sight to understand God's plans and thoughts. Yet we know His Will for us, which is that we keep His Commandments and fulfil our daily duties.
It is not necessary for everyone to live in grim, colourless, puritanical surroundings, as if by austerity and simplicity we can prove our love for God and the poor. It is part of the duty of family care, and hospitality, to greet and entertain people in pleasant surroundings, just as Jesus offered 'the best wine'.
A person who is at work fulfilling his ordinary duties for love of God is very beautiful, in God's sight. This is what Our Lord Jesus Christ did, for many years, before He set out for His brief but amazing Public Ministry. We too, can be sure that we please God when we fulfil our daily duties.
We please Christ if we are 'faithful in little things', for example, by reaching out to help someone in need, instead of ignoring that person to fulfill our own plans.
People who fulfil their everyday tasks in union with Christ, in the home or the workplace - or in the Priesthood - grow in holiness. Their communion with Him drives them to do everything for love of Him and of the Father, Who is the Source of all holiness. They are becoming ready to live one day as Saints, with the Father in Heaven.
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