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Many priests fail to mention the Cross. Jesus died on it, because of our sins. Few warnings are given from the pulpit, by many priests, about the serious sin by which people condemn themselves to Hell if they do not repent before they die. Many are lost because they have failed to repent of their adulteries, suicides, abortions, and lack of faith in God.
The power given to us in Baptism can draw us up to holiness and Heaven; but we can be hampered from 'flight' by these attachments: timidity in sharing our Faith, worrying about what people think our about particular vocation, concern for physical comfort, or neglect of everyday duties. The last 'string' to be cut is death.
There is no greater way of showing love and honour towards God than by sincerely saying to Him: "What would you like me to do?" meaning "Here I am Lord; I come to do Your Will, not to fulfil my ambitions". God's Will includes the fulfilment of the duties of our state of life - out of love for Him and for His for our Saviour.
In a time when Governments are not afraid to issue grim warnings about the results of certain sorts of behaviour - sexual promiscuity, drug misuse, and smoking - the Clergy fail in their duty to warn of the real and terrible consequences of deliberate disobedience to the Laws of God.
A government leader should be like a father, acting towards his people as a good father of a family acts, encouraging mutual understanding, and protecting them, always acting justly, in a spirit of service not pride.
A sick person who is asked to undergo certain therapies which in fact would poison or burn her badly does not have to accept every suggestion. Her duty is to preserve her life, but not necessarily by extraordinarily painful means. She must be aware that doctors cannot act without her consent.
It is not the duty of the priest, at a Requiem Mass, to announce that the deceased person is certainly in Heaven. His duty is to lead the Church in prayer, and to offer the Holy Sacrifice for the remission of the sins of the living and the departed. Only God knows who has been saved - though we should live in hope - and who has gone straight to Heaven: God and His Church, who canonises the Saints.
No matter what the reason given by anxious women, no unborn baby deserves to be poisoned or dismembered in the womb, to resolve a problem or an inconvenience in the mother's life. Each mother, as she carries a child, has a duty to protect her tiny infant, no matter how small.
A person who perseveres throughout each day in simple acts, out of love for God, gives Him glory, by fulfilling duties, being kind to neighbours, forgiving wrongs, explaining the faith, and trusting in Christ, in difficulties, for example. That person's course to Heaven is as straight and well founded as a row of plants in a straight row in a cottage garden.
From Heaven, it is as if a great cloud of sin covers those areas of the country and the world where there is mostly ignorance of Christ, indifference to God's laws, determination to fulfil personal desires and ambitions, and no thought about duty, or death and judgement. Faith in Christ is the 'Door' by which those people can reach freedom.
Some bishops are in danger of elevating their obligation to live out their Collegiality above the duty of each Bishop to shepherd his own flock in his own diocese. They often dash to one event after another, to be together and to make joint statements, and risk losing opportunities to raise their individual and authoritive voices.
When we have shown our love for Christ by fulfilling our ordinary duties but want to offer Him further good deeds, we need not worry about doing one very good thing or another, as if He might be displeased by the deed. It's as if Christ is speaking to His friends in Heaven, at a banquet, saying, 'This friend on earth make me very happy. Every good deed she offers me, whatever it is, is like a bowl of delicious food'.
There is a town which, to tourists, has a surface of appearance of prosperity, at its well-lit, well-paved centre. But the streets soon peter out, and the lighting ends, and the pavements disappears, as the ground slopes down to a dark, rubbish-strewn area where only the thieves and other lawbreakers feel safe. This is like the soul of someone who is well-mannered and pleasant but who, whilst having a duty to teach the Faith, disbelieves much of it and leads others astray by public declarations of disbelief.
A Bishop is ordained to the fullness of the Priesthood so that he can teach the truths of the Faith with a sincere heart. When a Bishop ceases to believe in the moral teachings of the Church, or her articles of faith, and also criticizes the discipline of the Church which he should uphold, his best course is to resign. Teaching the Faith should be central to his life, not a half-hearted, occasional, sad duty.
It is only too easy to avoid doing God's Will. There are some Christians who neglect the Fourth Commandment about honouring father and mother. It's as if a woman complains that if granny comes to live with them, they won't be able to continue with their dinner parties - and the children will grumble about having to behave at meals.
God looks down from Heaven, ready to distribute lavish gifts upon us, yet sees many dispirited priests who are too afraid to teach the Faith in its fullness; thus they are unwilling to imitate their Saviour and risk criticism from those they teach; and so they omit to mention the wrongness of adultery, contraceptive use, desertion of spouses, and neglect of children by mothers, and much more. In failing to rescue people from sin they fail in their duty, as if hiding away in a pit, hoping to be unnoticed.
When difficult things are asked of us, which form parts of our duty in following our vocations, we should turn to God in Heaven, and ask for the qualities or virtues we lack. He is so generous that we should picture Him not as a miser who might be persuaded to give an occasional gift but as a farmer who scatters seed-grain lavishly, confident of a good crop.
This is a picture of a mind, as someone wonders if he can avoid a moral obligation. Although we can freely make any one of several decisions, in following a good career, or choosing a spouse, for example; yet when we are reluctant to act, in moral issues, we often see that there is only one way - Christ's Way - by which we can please God, do good, help others, and gain or re-gain our peace of conscience. He can give us the courage to walk where He leads us. We can avoid our kaleidoscope of temptations, and call on Christ to lead us: to holiness and Heaven.
God has made a Way, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by which we can walk straight towards Heaven, with His help. It is our duty to co-operate, in love, and to resist all temptations: all temptations to over-indulge in natural earthly pleasures, and temptations to indulge in perverted, evil actions and ways, hidden away in sin.
Christ died and rose again, to save sinners. He has called men, through the ages, to serve as priests in His Church, to save sinners. If, in their preaching, their celebration of the Sacraments, and their pastoral work, they are not saving sinners from the consequences of their sins, they are failing in their duty. It is not enough to be kind, yet to be off-hand about doctrine, feeble in efforts to draw people from sin to holiness.
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