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By deliberate misdeeds, whether acts of malice or immorality, it's as if a man places himself at a distance from Christ. He cannot hear Christ's good advice about repentance and salvation; indeed, he does not want to listen - yet there is no way into Heaven except through Christ. We must pray for all sinners.
Some Christians hope in vain for re-union with the Catholic Church, while they cling to mistaken beliefs about morality, or continue to believe that their ministers have valid orders. It's as though they want to worship God in communion with Catholics, but have erected or maintained a screen or wall, which has the appearance of beautiful church architecture, but which in fact separates them from the full life of the Church, and from her teaching and liturgical life.
There are people who lead outwardly respectable lives but who are half-way to Hell, God sees, because of their disbelief, and their deliberate refusal to lead good lives in obedience to His laws of morality. Unless they repent before they die, they will fall into the bottomless pit, which represents eternal alienation from God chosen by the wicked.
Christ looks down from Heaven, and notices the great silence in the Church, as few women show concern about their own contraceptive use, only a small number defend the Church's teaching on sexual morality, and many clergy are silent on the subject, preferring to preach about other less challenging issues.
When a Catholic disputes the teaching of the Church on sexual morality, and argues, insisting that the Church is wrong, it's as though that person is arguing with Christ, Who finds that He cannot invite her to undertake great work for Him; for how can He rely on someone to do difficult tasks if she has already refused to carry out His instructions in ordinary life, about sexual morality?
Just as skiers might find themselves on a dangerous slope, so, we can find ourselves in spiritual danger through, for example, current wrong ideas about morality, or through worship with pagans, or through unholy behaviour in the home such as neglect of prayer, or self-indulgence or pornographic television viewing.
Amongst faithful priests there are others who act with timidity or cowardice. People complain when priests are guilty of sexual immorality; yet Christ sees something scarcely less sinful in His sight as He watches priests who have their heads down, as they avoid giving clear teaching on sexual morality; in this way they fail to give the guidance they have been called to give, and fail to lead sinners away from their sins.
The Purpose of the Priesthood, by Elizabeth Wang
‘The Purpose of the Priesthood contains encouragement and advice for Catholic priests. It reminds them about the central meaning of the Priesthood, and about the need to teach the Catholic Faith in it...
Autobiography of Elizabeth Wang, Part 1
This text forms part of Elizabeth Wang's Falling in Love: A Spiritual Autobiography (1999). It tells the story of her life and of her spiritual journey as she came to know Christ and His Church. You ...
A Picture of a Faithful Diocese
A short piece of writing by Elizabeth Wang about how the Catholic faith can be lived and celebrated within a Faithful Diocese, and the responsibilities of all the faithful - and especially bishops - t...
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