The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Second day of the Parish Mission in Perth – 01.XII. 2014

Where are we going?
From darkness into Light
How will we get there?
Faith in Christ --> Love of Christ --> obedience to Christ Salvation – man’s way and God’s way, wrong idea of self-salvation.

Many times was I told: "father please don't be so mournful, don't tell us constantly about sins and the necessity of conversion, Jesus in His Gospel is preaching love, forgiveness, and mercy."

Yes indeed He is but did you notice that actually if you read carefully the Gospel you will find that Jesus is talking 4 times more often about sin and necessity of conversion then about love?

Example from the RCIA – NON CATHOLIC reproaching that the Catholic Church is mournful.

Her name was Anna, she read the 4 Gospels, it took her 6 months but at the end she came and said … Father You are right … the main message of the Gospel is conversion and in this consist the LOVE OF CHRIST. He calls us to convert and to change our life because He loves us, and we Love Him truly when we convert and follow His commandments!

She became a very strong and regularly practicing Catholic and she gave me a permission to talk and present her story whenever I have the mission and when am I talking about the true message of the Gospel.

We have to trust Jesus and only Him, but we have to recognize also that He left us not only His words but also His Church.

Let us imagine a little trick from geometry
-         One point in the space …. How many direct, straight lines can I draw going through this points ? an infinity … and each of these lines is equal, there is no one which is better or privileged …
-         And if we have to points? How many straight lines can we draw ? only one …

The situation is similar with what we are talking about … if we have only the Bible … each interpretation is equal and why it shouldn’t be …

Short history of the Lutheran pastor who after 17 years became Catholic … one of the reason … I was always upset why in three different Lutheran churches I hear three very different … sometimes even radically opposing interpretations of the same Gospel passage?

So why do I say sometimes I believe Christ but I don’t believe His Church?

Pope Francis has stated (in August last year), there is no Jesus without or apart from the Church.
Is it not Jesus who said to St. Peter: "You are the rock and on this rock I will build up my church and even the gates of hell will not prevail?"

The fundamental question in this matter ultimately is:

Is Jesus Christ the centre of my life?

If He is, I cannot have the problems with my faith, because my faith is rooted in Christ and whatever comes into my life I can deal with it.

If He isn't the centre of my life, so I shouldn’t be surprised that my faith is weak and fragile.

Do you think that Jesus is hones with us?
Do you think that we can trust Him or rather be very cautious or wary?

Because, if I really trust Jesus in my life I will be following Him fully and without restriction, but if I don’t trust Him … so where are the sense and the meaning of my life?

We all are in the constant quest for love, meaning and sense, for happiness and fulfilment in our lives.

Would you like to be happy?
Would you like to be loved and to have deep and meaningful relationships?
Would you like to see your life to be fortunate and sense full?

Or rather you will tell me I DON'T CARE!?

Where can I find the fulfilment of my deepest longings and my most painful yearnings?

Jesus is certainly not an "easy going fellow" who doesn't care what you do and what is your life like.
He will never tell you "DOESN'T MATTER" … or "KEEP SMILING" or "TAKE IT EASY".

He will rather say … "do not be afraid I am the One who can help you and lead you out of the mess you encountered I your life." But be a little bit more careful and cautious because sometimes you are going too far and you follow very dangerous paths. If I am giving you the commandments it is not to make your life miserable, not to make it difficult or to limit your freedom … it's rather a kind of warning. By the commandments I would like to prevent your fall, your disappointment your failure and depression. Trust and believe me … what I am telling you is only for your good and not to cause you misery.

So I have to re-examine perhaps once more the question: "What or Who is the centre of my life?"

A story of a drug addict let us call him Peter …

He started at the age of 12 when he was still in the elementary school … he started out of simple curiosity just to know what it means to feel cool … he started with very mild drugs an in the very tiny doses…

I meet him when he was already 22, ten years later and close to die … in a hospital for terminally sick …

You know father … - he told me- it was like going downhill on the skis or on the snowboard. At the age of 16 –while physically still quite good and healthy – he was a skier or rather he was very good in snowboarding. He won even some international European competitions in snowboarding … he was really good. But –as he said sincerely- he was also sliding down and rapidly into the drugs, more and more, deeper and deeper, stronger and stronger … And nobody was able or NOBODY WOULD LIKE TO HELP HIM …

He said:
"I have had so many friends and colleagues but nobody even dare to say me … "Peter you are sliding quickly into hell". And actually I was sliding into hell – he said. And now I know – I am in hell because I see that I am dying and I cannot live more than two – three hours without a dose …"

At the beginning I was able to live without "shot" even for months … but after few years it was impossible for me to stay "dry" even for two or three days."

I needed more and more often. And there was no force, no power which can stop me or end this nightmare.

it was cool but only at the beginning, later on it became a kind of necessity and obligation. I cannot stop it I can do nothing, I was like forced and spell bounded by a mysterious force …
It became a real nightmare … terrifying and dreadful awful and frightening …
One night when I was sitting at his bad in the palliative care facility he asked me:
"Father, can you please read me the Gospel, this passage when Jesus is talking about the building the house on the sand and on the rock?"

So I read it for him the passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 7:

Jesus said to His disciples: "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

He interrupted me here and said:

"This is very truth Father, for last ten years I was going the very broad and wide road of pleasures and self-indulgence … I was listening to nobody, than to my feelings and desires … and now I can say honestly it was the way which leads to destruction."

And he called the nurse, who came to administer him once more the dose of painkiller, because he was not able to support the pain and the hunger for narcotics anymore.

After the nurse left I continue with the reading of the Gospel:

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them.

And once more he interrupted me saying:

"How true are these words, how true? I was living in a fancy world of false friends and buddies who were really like the wolves in sheep's skins. Where are they now? Where are now all those friends and palls who were repeating me that it is cool? Why nobody told me that I can't go out of this? Why I was so stupid and so week to continue my way which was leading me to hell? And nobody intervened or had enough courage to save me? I didn't trust Jesus however I believe that He is the Lord, but … I didn't took seriously His teaching"

Father please continue the reading"

So I did continue the parable of Jesus where He says:

Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven"

Father – he interrupted again asking – do you think that I am a rotten tree? Do you think that I am dying and I will be condemned?

Do you think that when Jesus says: "Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." it applies to me, that I will be cut down and thrown into the fire?

I feel so bad, so bad physically but even worse psychologically … I totally destroyed, ruined my life. Please read further the Gospel.

And so I did continue:

Jesus said: "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock."

And he interrupted once more: "I think that I can win my life and now be in a totally different situation, studying and having some wonderful perspectives in my life if only I build my life on the rock …, but …

Please read the last part of this Gospel.

And the last part is:

"And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined." (Matthew 7:13-29)

Do you think Father that I am an example of this last part of Jesus' Gospel? I did build up my life on the sand of sentiments and feelings and I am now ruined. Do you think that I cannot be saved?

I don't think – I answered- that you cannot be saved, because finally you recognised your error and I am pretty sure Jesus Christ will certainly see your honesty and will find for you the way to His Kingdom.

He looked at me with a certain hope and seems to be relaxed.

Thank you Father but can I ask you one think? Please tell others about my life and help them to understand how stupid is to build up their lives on the sand of emotions, feelings and desires. Please tell other young people to trust rather Jesus than their false friends and wrong teachers.

How do I build my house? Do I build it on a rock or on the sand?

We are living the civilisation of feelings, emotions and sentimentality.
Cult of sentimentality,
If you feel good do it,

Is this not what we are exactly living now in the church? Everybody has his or her own truth his or her own opinion, his or her personal conviction and if the teaching of the church is not going with my whims I just deny and neglect the Church because "SHE" is outdated.

It seems that we are living in the time of a disappearance or even an evaporation of faith. I am not accusing anybody I am just stating the visible fact … Faith is disappearing from the contemporary world. We are witnessing to the atrophy, degeneration and withering of FAITH.

1.    What is the situation of our faith in the contemporary world?
-         What are the symptoms of the crisis?
o   Deep unhappiness and frustration of those who call themselves Christians,
o   People are upset and disinterested in knowing more about their faith,
o   Diminishing practices,
o   Capricious or whimsical expectations concerning the liturgy, sacraments
o   Moral disorder and negation or rejection of the catholic teaching concerning the marriage, life, etc. (I know better) …
o   •        deception,
o   •        resignation,
o   •        capitulation,
o   •        despair,
o   •        depression,
o   •        hopelessness

-         What are the causes of it?
First, necessary step is to recognize honestly the present situation, to present an honest diagnosis, and find the causes of this situation.

Some biggest obstacles or challenges to the faith:
- open hostility,
- discouragement and negligence caused by:
       * demanding moral implications (the commandments are too rigid and impossible to be kept),
       * lack of knowledge - false and erroneous, human, home-made theology,
       * capricious mentality of spoiled child - "my way or no-way", "I, me and myself" ...
       * unhappily also by strange "political correctness" mentality of some priests and bishops trying to tell us that the faith has to be nice and not demanding or challenging.

These elements caused the dissolution and decomposition of FAITH.

Most probably majority of the young population is totally disinterested or disappointed. Why? Wrong catechesis, bad and presentation, lack of sincere and honest witnesses. Jesus never compromised moral expectations ... see for ex. The talk of Jesus with young rich men, 10 commandments and finally evangelical radicalism "share everything with others and follow me".

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? Preach and live the Gospel in its INTEGRITY !!!

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "B UT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH ."

And the second is the personal relationship with Christ … and where it is the most personal if not in the Eucharist?

FAITH is the Personal Relationship With Jesus!!!

We are losing our faith; our faith is becoming weak and finally dead because we don't know Jesus personally. We don't know Jesus personally because we don't pray, because we don't come to His Mass - His Sacrifice, we neglect His invitation. We don’t pray, we don’t come to His Mass because we don’t believe that He is present within His church in the Blessed Sacrament.

Satan is very happy, that we believed those who were telling us (in a very clever and perverse way) that the Sunday Mass is optional, not necessary for our salvation.

The truth is that WE ARE or our entire live is CHRISTO-CENTRIC or WE ARE DYING out if starvation.

To say to a catholic that the Sunday Mass is optional is like to say that the breathing is optional and unnecessary!!

A priest is confessing publicly:

FINDING THE SUMMIT ===>>> Eucharistic Jesus !!!

As I wrote some time ago the Summit of the Church is Jesus Christ. This Summit, the Holy Eucharist is the foundation of the Christian Life.

In my early school years, we had no Catholic youth group. So my parents, who were devout Catholics in love with Jesus, sent us to a Pentecostal group. There, we made friends with other Christians who had a passion for Jesus, a love for the Word of God, and a desire to witness to others.

One thing they often spoke of was the need for a “personal relationship with Jesus”. In fact, years before, I remember being given a comic book at a neighbourhood bible study that told the story of God’s love, expressed through the self-sacrifice of His Son. There was a little prayer at the end to invite Jesus to be my personal Lord and Saviour. And so, in my little six year old way, I invited Jesus into my heart. I know He heard me and He’s never left…

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