Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Life High the Cross

Triumph of the Holy Cross (14 Sept)

It has been trendy in many quarters to downplay the difficult things that Christ taught, and that the Church has always taught: the unicity of the Christ's Church as the means of salvation, the need for regular confession and the duty to avoid sin, the nature of sin, the need to sacrifice. The tragedy is that the Church hasn't got anything else, really. People can go elsewhere to find easy comraderie. Any nightclub is more exciting. One doesn't have to go to Mass to get "coffee and doughnuts downstairs." Even eternal life (or at least a cheap substitutionary illusion) is available through forever-young magazines and facelifts.

A central project of the Enlightenment is to achieve communion without sacrifice, love without suffering. We have to shake that notion. We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived any longer: the Cross of Jesus Christ is the sole glory of the Church that provides the spiritual drive for everything else, starting with the Resurrection. If we hide the Cross for fear of repelling people, we will find that we have nothing left with which to draw them. Moreover, in recent years more and more leaders in the Church are awaking, as if from a pleasant dream, to find the reality that even those who have stayed in the Church through her watering-down of unpleasantries are not in fact much more than lukewarm in their Catholic Faith.

Our Lord himself said, "And I, when I be lifted up, will draw all men to myself." The Church is not an association of vaguely religious people. It is the Body of Christ extended through time and space, men and women gathered by Him to participate in His Cross and Resurrection, and called to extend that invitation until all be gathered in. Unveiling the Cross unleashes the power of Christ Resurrected. But we must pass through suffering and death to reach the Resurrection. The road to the Heavenly Jerusalem passes by way of Calvary, just as the road to the earthly Jerusalem does.

The difficult things of Christ (e.g., self-sacrifice, love of poverty, mortification of inordinate desires, spiritual homelessness on this earth, to name a few) must be preached and lived if we are to convert and inspire conversion.

No comments: