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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.
Some Catholics wonder why other Catholics look so light-hearted and joyful. There can be several reasons; but a main reason is because those who have had their sins forgiven have a peaceful conscience, and look forward to the joys of Heaven. Those who cannot be bothered to go to Confession, or who persuade themselves that they do not sin, do not receive such happiness and peace.
Like a mountaineer in a dangerous place, someone who is trying to escape from a sinful way of life needs the intercessions of other people. He also needs trust in God's power, and the virtue of hope, by which he will persevere in the belief that God can change him, save him, make him holy and happy, and bring him in the end to Heaven.
We can save souls, by the grace of Christ, through our prayers and sacrifices. No matter how sick we are, nor how feeble our efforts, if we offer up our prayers, and our pains as penances for people trapped in sin and in danger of falling into the Abyss (into Hell), and if we offer everything in union with Christ's Sacrifice, we join in His work of salvation.
We give glory to the Father, and fulfil His plan for us, through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Jesus Christ is made Really Present to us under the appearance of bread and wine, we are made present to His one Sacrifice, once offered on Calvary. It is re-presented here, so that we in our generation can benefit from its saving power and receive the "Sacrament of salvation".
During the Mass, the whole Church is united in praising God the Father, through, with and in Christ, in the Holy Spirit. All the Saints of Heaven are adoring the one true God Who has brought them to His heart, for all Eternity. We too can hope to enter Heaven if we receive the Sacrament of salvation, and remain faithful.
Christ asked us to reflect upon which of several priests is the one most like Him. It is the one who teaches the truth about God and man, sin and salvation, Heaven and Hell, though also teaching about love for God and neighbour. A kind attitude in a priest is not enough. Boy Scouts can be kind. A priest must hand on the Truth as Christ did, to make Him known.
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.
Christ did not suffer on earth as man, and endure a terrible death, just to persuade us to be nice people who help other people across roads. He conquered sin and death! He can give us the power to conquer our sins, to be transformed, and to cross the Abyss between earth and Heaven! Salvation is more than an ability to be 'nice'.
Everyone who hopes for union with God in Heaven should ask himself, is he the sort of person who will be happy there: pure-in-heart, peaceful, holy? People who are more anxious about fulfilling their earthly desires and ambitions - including sexual desires - than about honouring God by obeying His laws are not making the necessary preparation for the reception of the gift of salvation.
A person who wants to get to Heaven, and who is not against God, but who is not yet willing to repent, is like a man who searches for a way across the great Abyss between earth and Heaven, but is unsuccessful. To cross that great divide, we need the help of the Holy Spirit, Who comes only to those who repent of their sins, and thus allow the Spirit of purity and peace into their hearts.
A call to the Sacred Priesthood is a call to a man, from the Most Blessed Trinity, to accept a way of life in a most exalted state, which no-one can deserve. This call is made in the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Archangels; and loving service as another Christ, in this world, however arduous, will be followed by a glorious welcome in the next.
We all need the prayers and intercessions of others. There is only one Way across the gulf that separates earth from Heaven, and we shall not cross it when we die if we have wandered away, far from the bridge, looking for all sorts of distractions from our ordinary duties, or avoiding the call of conscience, or unwilling to suffer for Christ by remaining faithful. Perseverance is all-important, by the grace of God.
A man who expects to hear the truth about sin and salvation, Church and evangelisation, holiness and Heaven, will often be disappointed at ecumenical gatherings where people are afraid of appearing divisive. They stick to safe subjects such as consumerism, pollution, nuclear war, and global warming, while people long to be helped to understand the meaning of 'Church', or helped in their personal spiritual journeys.
Through Christ and His Church, we can avoid confusion, and avoid Hell. God longs for Catholic priests and Bishops to teach the simple truth, in ecumenical relationships as well as Church events: that God became man, founded one Church, which is still here, teaching the truth, forgiving sins, making people holy, and preparing them to lead holy lives and then to enter Heaven, to be with God, the Saints and the Angels forever.
Christ's saving work on earth was something that only He could do. As God-made-man, He enabled sinful human beings to know and love Him, and, through Him, the Father. We can neither free ourselves from our sins nor know, without Christ and His Revelation, exactly how to please the Father. Through His Spirit, given in Baptism, we receive power; and through His Church, in every age, Truth, to guide us.
The Catholic Church is like a rescue ship which appears out of the darkness, to rescue those willing to be rescued from their disastrous state of alienation from God, trapped in their sins: a state caused by the sin of the first human beings: the Original sin. The good news we can share is that sins can be forgiven and sinners put on the road to Heaven.
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.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is dear to the Father, Who admires her loving heart, which caused her to say 'yes' to His plan of salvation. He is glad to see her honoured by the Church.
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