Hello! What an incredibly busy week and a half (ish) it’s been. We’ve got the turbo engines going on the Seminary Prep Mobile and the days on the calendar are just whipping by. Finally went shopping for new clothes (thanks, Dad!) and my new surplice and stuff has come in. Now all I have to do is pack…………….
I was honored to lead a Via Crucis, or ‘Way of the Cross’ service tonight at the St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Center in Romeoville. The turnout was light, but that was expected. People often get confused when we do the Stations outside of Lent. While Lent is a perfectly opportune time to recall and observe the powerful, essential passion of the Lord, God does not always work based on opportunity, and neither should we. As one of my favorite sayings goes, ‘Today is a good day to do great things for the GLORY OF GOD!’ Today is a good day to remember the Lord’s passion because, out of His love and connection to us, Jesus Christ died on that cross so that we might live.
The cross, as our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, explained during his prayer to the youth during the World Youth Day Stations this afternoon, the cross of Christ is the ultimate symbol of love. Why do we Christians worship a tool used for death? First of all, we’re not worshipping the cross. It’s a symbol our faith in Jesus and, most importantly, of His love for us. The cross of Jesus IS love. It teaches us how to love and gives us the instruments to be loved in return. I’m glad I could lead such a powerful Christian devotion tonight.
Turning the page, let me share with you my least favorite question: ‘What faith are you?’
…what faith am I? I am not a faith. I have faith. I have faith in God and I have faith in Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit but I am not a faith. I’m sure I’m violating some Code of Canon Law or breaking an important theological principal I have yet to learn, but it seems to me that it makes no sense to say I am of the Catholic faith and you are of the Lutheran faith and she is of the Methodist faith and Bob has a nondemonational faith. The faith is same! All of these parties have faith in the same thing, Jesus! But what exactly is their faith doing for them? Faith, when it is seem not as a being but as an object, something we have and hold, is much more powerful and, I feel, can do us a lot more.
Sometimes I wonder if the Catholic Church is struggling because people are operating on an irrational founding of ‘faith.’ Is your faith some you are? Or is it something you have? Before you all yell, I’m not saying your faith cannot or should not define YOU and your LIFE…it should, that’s the very point of your faith. But your faith in this Church should be your vehicle…your very means of becoming who are you and reaching the way we should all live our good, Christian lives.
Faith is a firm belief in something and beliefs are things which we hold or have. We are not beliefs themselves. It is our belief, or faith, in the Gospel and teachings of Christ, His apostles, and Their successors that help us remain firm in our beliefs and, thus, guide our actions.
Take courage and be strong, HAVE faith in the Lord Jesus for your salvation. Have faith in this Church. Have faith in the Holy Father and his Bishops. Have faith, most importantly, that the Lord Jesus loves you unconditionally; nothing is too great or too small for him worry about; He knows you and He wants, more than anything, for you to know him; He was, is, and always will be waiting to receive you, forgive you, feed you, confirm you, wed you, ordain you, and prepare you through the Sacraments of this good and holy Church.
Peace to all of you. PRAY FOR ME! †
Know of my prayers for all of you.