Priests, I think, are surprised after hearing their first confessions, but not because of what they’ve heard in the confessional. They’ve studied for that, they’ve prepared for that. They’re human themselves. But I think they’re surprised at the sense of love and generosity that overwhelms them in the confessional. It’s not something they can do themselves. It’s purely supernatural. [Read more…]
God chose to become man. And he chose to do so in Mary, and by Mary, and through Mary. God chose Mary, and Mary accepted the honor of being chosen, to share in the fruitfulness of God and bring forth His only Son, and then all the mystical body of Christ.
In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says, “he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Religion teaches us to do the will of God. That seems pretty obvious. But there’s this powerful error on earth today that says something very different. The error tells us that those that accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Those are two different religions, one who tells us to do God’s will to be saved, and one that tells us all we have to do to be saved is to believe. And they result in two very different ways of living.
In the Gospel of Divine Mercy Sunday, our Lord gives His priests the power to absolve from sin without limit. In the first half of the Gospel, we are required to have faith and to accept God’s mercy, and in the second half of the Gospel proclaims, “Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.”
Love is an act of the will, so it’s something we actually have control over. It’s not about feelings, but those feelings themselves are not love. Love is an act of the will. Being an act of the will, we can do it whenever we want. But this love has to be backed up by actions or we will soon see it is a weak love from a weak will.
We know that the moral life consists essentially in loving God. And if we’ve noticed anything at all about life, it’s that loving God is not easy, and as a result, we are going to suffer. But the point of the spiritual life is not the suffering, it’s the loving. So what is love, and why does it involve suffering?
St. Paul tells us certain truths that we know only through faith. For example, it would seem madness that Jesus Christ was crucified and yet he lives, except we know these things by faith. Those who live with Christ live by faith. How often do we say to ourselves, “If I only had more faith.” But what if we did have more faith? Do we really know when we’re talking about when we say “having faith”, the kind of supernatural virtue of faith that will make the difference we are looking for?
Names tell us what things are. The Rabbinic understanding in the 2nd chapter of Genesis was saying what each thing was according to its nature, not just what he called it. To the Jews, then, names tell us what something is, it gives us an idea of that thing’s essence. So a name is fundamental to understanding what a thing is. Take the name Jesus, for example. It means “Savior.”
“The Word Became Flesh” is the central mystery of our faith. The first two Masses for Christmas day (the Mass at Midnight and the Mass at Dawn) told about the birth of our Savior according to the flesh, born in a stable in Bethlehem. But in the Mass of Christmas Day, Holy Mother Church wants to make sure that we understand the significance of that event, the Word became flesh.
The devil knows he has lost one who perseveres in mental prayer. So mental prayer is something we want to persevere in. St. Alphonsus says, “Those who pray are certainly saved, and those who do not pray are certainly damned.”