The Great Sin Of Our Age

What would you say is the greatest sin of our age? Would you say abortion? Maybe you believe it to be homosexuality or even adultery. We live in such a promiscuous society; surely one of the sexual sins would have to be the greatest in of our day.
You can make an argument for greed. Today too many think that greed is a virtue. How much of what is wrong in our society can be blamed on greed. Surely, greed is at the root of many other sins and problems like drug abuse, pornography, exploitation of the poor and materialism. How much better off we would be if greed was not so common?
Maybe we feel good because we aren’t guilty of any of these sins. We’re pretty straight-laced and honest. We don’t have to worry about sexual sins or exploiting the poor. We don’t even cheat on our taxes. That doesn’t mean we aren’t guilty of the great sin of our age.
What is at the root of all these other sins? Greed may be involved with tax cheating or refusing to pay a just wage. What is at the root of abortion, gay marriage and adultery? Isn’t it the conviction that we know better than the Church, we know better than God? Isn’t it really pride? We don’t have to follow the Church, we don’t have to listen to the bishops or priests; we know better than they do. We can do what we want and you’re wrong if you criticize me. Isn’t this attitude really at the root of all that is wrong in society?
Maybe we don’t disagree with the bishops or priests on abortion or gay marriage but what about our attitude on other issues? How dare the bishops criticize this country on its immigration policies or the war in Iraq; who do they think they are advocating a just minimum wage! How dare the pastor make that decision? Priests shouldn’t preach about divorce, greed or sin. How dare they talk about dressing indecent?
Mae we need to take a good look at ourselves. Are we guilty of pride of believing that we know better than the Church, our bishops, priests even the Pope?


Are We Like The Pharisees?

Our faith tells us that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. Hebrews 13:8 says that”Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever”. This means that present in the Eucharist is the same Jesus that healed the lepers and raised Lazarus from the dead. Yet we do not see miracles when we go to mass. Why not? Could it be that the reason is that we are too much like the Pharisees or the people of Nazareth?
Are we like the Pharisees hung up on rules and so busy fulfilling every little rule and critical of those who seem less ardent? Are we so concerned with carrying out the letter of the law that we forgotten the spirit of the law which is love? Do we love the people we encounter both in and out of church?
What is our attitude when we go to mass? Are we seeking the gem God has for us in the homily or are we too busy looking for a reason to complain? Are we judgmental and overly critical of the homily, the collections, the ushers, lectors and extraordinary ministers? Are we looking around to see who’s there, what they are wearing or are we focus on Jesus who we will receive in a short time?
Are we like the publican who prayed in humility for mercy or are we like the Pharisee who was so full of himself and critical to others? Are we focus on criticizing the priest and everyone else, always looking for the negative, thinking that we know better?
Are we willing to recognize the fact that we are broken people, that no one is perfect especially ourselves? Are we open to the idea that we need to repent, that we need to change and open ourselves up to God’s grace of do we think we’re perfect?
Why are we even at mass? Are we there out of love for God and a desire to worship Him with all our heart? Do we come to give ourselves to God? Or are we simply fulfilling a rule? Maybe we’re there because we want to be seen, to make a positive impression on others. Maybe we want to impress people with how holy we are. Why are we there?
Are we actually expecting anything? Are we like the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak expecting to be blessed in some way? Or have we gone to mass so often that we expect or hope for nothing more than a good homily and a short mass? Are we closed to the possibility that God might do something new, something we don’t expect, something out of the box we put Him in?

You Can Start Over With God!

Have you ever watched an adult being baptized and wished that could be you? Think about that. Their souls are completely clean. All of their sins were washed away by the waters of Baptism. They get to start completely over with God, a fresh start, their past completely erased. Wouldn’t you want your past sins completely erased and forgotten, no punishment, just start over, all the years away from the Church, all your sins wiped out and a totally clean slate?
The good news is that it is possible. It is what Jesus wants for you. He wants to wipe out all your sins and punishment. In the 1930’s He appeared to St. Faustina and requested the establishment of the Feast of Divine Mercy to be held the first Sunday after Easter, this year on April 12, 2015 Instead of reading my words let’s look at the words of Jesus to Faustina.

“My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy.”
“Be not afraid of your Savior, O sinful Soul…be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish His graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon my hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.”

”My Child, Do you fear the God of Mercy? My holiness does not prevent Me from being merciful….You can come to me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and grant you grace. My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart.”

No soul will be justified until it turns with confidence to My mercy, and this is why the first Sunday after Easter is to be the Feast of Mercy. On that day, priests are to tell everyone about My great and unfathomable mercy. ”

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy, and I demand the worship of My mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast and through the veneration of the image which is painted. By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works.

I desire that My mercy be worshiped, and I am giving mankind the last hope of salvation; that is, recourse to My mercy. My Heart rejoices in this feast.

I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy

Say, My daughter, that the Feast of My Mercy has issued forth from My very depths for the consolation of the whole world.

To sum up the feast, in order to receive the graces being poured out on that day one should: sincerely repent of all our sins; place our complete trust in Jesus; go to confession, preferably before that Sunday; receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast; venerate the Image of The Divine Mercy; and be merciful to others, through our actions, words, and prayers on their behalf.
Don’t worry about confession. Priests are used to hearing the confessions of fallen away Catholics before the feast. For most it is a delight and privilege to help people come back to the Church. It is why many became priests. Hearing your confession after many years is a joy to them. Don’t let fear keep you away.

What Is Wrong With The Church In America?

The more stories I hear of Christians being persecuted and killed for their faith in the Mideast the more I wonder what is wrong with the Church in America. Over there people are sacrificing everything for their God and faith. They are lucky to escape with their lives and too often they haven’t. They have all the reasons you can possibly think of to convert but they don’t. They have endured centuries of religious persecution and stayed true to their faith.

On the other hand the second largest denomination in America is fallen away Catholics. American Catholics have abandoned the faith in droves often over little issues like the comment a priest or nun made. Maybe a third of American Catholics bothered to go to mass this Sunday yet in Iraq they go knowing there is a possibility of being killed. We need to ask ourselves serious questions.

What is wrong with us? What are we missing? What is it that Catholics in the Mideast know that we don’t? Why is their faith so important to them that they are willing to die for it? Why do we feel our faith is so unimportant? Why are we willing to abandon it so quickly?

Do we really know our faith? Too often we think it is about us or the priest who hurt us, boring music or boring homilies. That is not what our faith is about. It is also not about rules or punching a time clock every time we attend mass on Sunday. It is about the greatest treasure we could ever find, the greatest love we can ever know or experience, a love worth everything we possess including our lives, a love that would never leave us.

Do we get this? The Catholic faith is about a relationship with Jesus, the God who loves us and created the Church to make it easier for us to experience His love especially in the Eucharist. It is about the God who passionately loves us with an infinite love and ardently longs to bless us, who wants what is best for us. It is about coming to know this passionate lover and opening our hearts and souls to the blessings He yearns to pour out upon us in the Sacraments. It is about our glorious loving Father who longs to draw us close to Him.