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The eye has a simple function: to enable us to see; yet its working depends on millions of cells in the brain and the optic nerve. The Godhead is simple; yet God has millions of means of dealing with human beings, in order to help us; so our Religion is not simple - although it's purpose is simple: to bring us to Eternal union with God.
A person who decides to leave the simple Way of Christ, of regular prayer, faithfulness to the sacraments, and simple goodness, is like a foolish man who decides to leap off a moving train which is on its way to Heaven. He will not be able to climb back on, unless he receives power directly from Heaven, or mediated through the prayers of someone who cares for him and his salvation.
A person who chooses to leave a life of simple goodness, regular prayer, and faithful reception of the sacraments is as if jumping off a moving train which is on its way to Heaven. There is no other way to Heaven - and it is impossible to climb aboard the train again, without receiving help. That is why sinners are foolish as well as sinful.
Christians should ask for the grace to be charitable; but this does not mean that we must fail to speak necessary truths in order to spare people's feelings. Charity without truth is merely flattery, or leads us to placate those who need help in order to change. We should be as simple and straightforward as Christ, in our speech: kind and gentle, but unafraid to offer unpopular truths.
An important way of achieving a simplified and more mature Catholic life is a clear appraisal of activities and possessions, discarding what is no longer necessary or helpful. Just as we might discard a pot-plant that is impossible to revive, so we should discard or give away or store what is no longer required.
Christ holds up St. John Vianney, inviting all priests and Bishops to peer through the mists of time to meet a Saint whose priestly ministry was simple, fervent, Christ-centered, self-forgetful, pure and holy. St John is the ideal patron Saint for all Clergy. Faith and love are important, today, not trying to be being 'relevant'.
A worldly priest hopes to fit in, more easily, with society; yet he will do no good amongst those with little interest in religion or the moral laws if he seems to be disloyal to Christ, and disloyal to the ideals of charity, simplicity, chastity and humility that he should uphold.
Who can claim that when some creatures, similar to humans but not human, were living at one side of a fast-flowing river, God could not have created, at the other side, human beings, who would begin life in simplicity and peace?
Anyone who speaks for Christ, in everyday evangelisation, or a special mission, should set a good example, and should be free from the 'burdens' of anxiety, or personal plans, or great worries - or great possessions. Simplicity of life should be the aim, so that he or she can do the Lord's work unhindered.
Christian women who live and work in the world need not fear they are sinful if they take care of their appearance, and try to look attractive for their husbands. Sensible decisions about clothing and hair care are necessary; it is only vanity and extravagance that are unworthy of people bound for Heaven.
The Saints and Angels stand around Our Blessed Lady now, in Heaven, in awe of her privileges -- her Immaculate Conception, and her Assumption into Heaven - and in awe of her amazing holiness; yet she is as simple as a child, and kind, like her son, Jesus. We must not be afraid to approach her, to celebrate her feasts and to ask for her prayers.
Just as sailors at sea know how to 'batten down the hatches' and survive in a storm, because of some basic duties and basic wisdom, so must we hold fast to some Catholic 'basics' that will help us to remain faithful in all the storms of life. We need to know and love Christ, to turn to Him in prayer and in the Sacraments, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and Confession. If we study the Scriptures, and ask for the prayers of the Saints and Angels, and show love to our families and to the poor, we do well.
Christ hears all sorts of prayers. Some people show their love for Christ by praying usually with very flowery language: very formal, or poetical or elegant. It springs from the traditions of their family or country. Others, brought up by plain-speaking parents, pray simple, honest, reverent prayers with no clever words but much love. We must not worry, about our simple prayers, since Christ said in the Gospel, 'Let your Yes be Yes and your No be No.' He likes our simplicity, just as He likes the beautiful words that other people offer, too.
Christ has shown us the Way to Heaven; but many people rush around from one job to another, anxious and tired, forgetting to pause and ask God's help, and some yearning for marvellous spiritual experiences or assurances about the future. The best sort of yearning is directed towards loving and pleasing God. Life becomes simple, if we pray, trust, work, and persevere in all trials.
If we share our faith we ought not to complicate matters. Without being over-eager, or tactless, we ought to seize every suitable opportunity to share the Good News about our Faith: about the existence of God, the one, true God who has come down to share our lives, in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Everyone can have the power, from Him, through His Church, to conquer sin and misery, to do good, and to look forward to Heaven.
Holiness, by Elizabeth Wang
This text is the complete version of the pamphlet entitled 'SPEAK ABOUT HOLINESS'. It is based on a talk given by Elizabeth Wang. Preface. This little book contains the full version of the text I wrot...
What is Mary Like? by Elizabeth Wang
This text is the complete version of the pamphlet WHAT IS MARY LIKE? “Now having met together; they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘...
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...
How to Pray: Stages of the Spiritual Life
This text is published as Chapters 7 and 8 of How to Pray (Part One: Foundations). An introduction to the life of prayer with much practical advice about how to deepen your prayer life. 7 ABOUT THE JO...
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 ...
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