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

Friday, May 29, 2015

Holy Trinity Sunday

Marriage is the most convincing explanation of the Mystery of the Trinity.

I read a confession of a man, who get married:

I understood a little bit from the Mystery of the Holy Trinity when I get married. I love my wife, my wife loves me, and the personification of this mutual love is our child. I understood that God is like that, God is a Mutual Creative Love. I understood that He created us as a unity of creative lave, I understood that love is always directed toward two other persons, that love is always creative. I understood the homosexuals unions a empty of love because they cannot and they will never be creative, I understood the God can not be alone that He has to be a community of persons, and he created us as a community of persons.

The story is told of a priest sitting in an airport waiting for his flight. A fellow killing time struck up a conversation. Said he, "Father, I believe only what I can understand. So, I can't buy your Trinity. Perhaps you can explain it to me." The priest reluctantly put down The New York Times. "Do you see the sun out there?" "Yup." "OK, it's 80 million miles away from us right now. The rays coming through the window," said the priest, "are coming from the sun. The delightful heat we are enjoying on our bodies right now come from a combination of the sun and its rays. Do you understand that?" The fellow answered, "Sure, padre." "The Trinity," the priest went on, "is like that. God the Father is that blazing sun. The Son is the rays He sends down to us. Then both combine to send us the Holy Spirit who is the heat. If you understand the workings of the sun, its rays, and heat, why do you have difficulty believing the Trinity?" The man said something about catching a flight and was off.

The priest, a physics professor, picked up the Times with a broad smile. He doubted whether his recent guest understood the workings of the sun. He knew no one would ever comprehend the mystery of the Trinity this side of the grave. After all, why  does God have to tell us everything? In his experience, He tells us only on a need to know basis.

His favourite line from the Book of Job popped into his mind. "Can anyone penetrate the deep designs of God?" (11:7) As a scientist and a Catholic, he knew the answer to that question. Try to understand the Trinity and you become like a person staring, as someone said, into the noonday sun to better understand it.

Finally he put down the Times and recalled fondly his late Dogma professor in the seminary. When he came to the section on the Trinity in the textbook, he turned the pages quickly. The Dogma prof said, "Professor Thomas Aquinas, late of the University of Paris and the Albert Einstein of his day, didn't understand the Trinity. So, it is most unlikely that you blockheads will either. Just remember St Paul mentions the Trinity 30 times in his letters. Take it on faith and you'll muddle through somehow." He trusted that the professor and Thomas both now understood the Trinity perfectly.

He himself never had difficulty buying into a God who is passionately in love with us, a Son who was willing to die for us, and a Holy Spirit whose job it is to help us become saints like Thomas of Aquin and Paris.

He recalled the husband, who said when he became a father, he better understood the Trinity. When he and his wife had their son, they had evidence of their love for each other. There was the lover, the beloved, and the love, each distinct and yet one.

Belief in the Trinity demands acknowledging God’s infinite superiority in all areas including our rationality.  Adam and Eve refused to do that.  They pushed God aside, turned away from life and gave us death.  The Arians, including the modern day arians of the academia, do not have the humility to admit that man’s knowledge of the Divine is limited by the finite capability of the human mind. They do not have the humility to enter into mystery, the mystery of God.  I like to consider it this way: an eight year old cannot understand calculus.  He or she is incapable of that form of understanding.  But calculus still exists.  Most of our top high school students could not come to the theory of relativity, but it is a valid theory.  Because some knowledge is beyond us does not mean that it doesn’t exist.  What does exist is the pride and arrogance we all have to refuse to go beyond the limits of our minds and accept God’s mysteries. The trouble is that we humans are proud.  We would like to determine who God is, what He should be like, etc.  We try to fit him into our mental constructs.  In doing so, we are refusing to enter into mystery. 

Dom Julian, a Benedictine monk, wrote, “All that matters is that God is God, and I, I am only I.”

Jesus didn’t explicitly teach us about the Trinity. The theology of the Trinity comes out of the reflection of the early Church on the teaching of Jesus. They thought over what he said and under the influence of the Holy Spirit they began to understand the dynamics of the Trinity.

Jesus referred on many occasions to his Father and the closeness of his relationship with him. Moreover he taught us to speak to the Father in a very familiar and direct way.

Jesus also promises to send us his Spirit and refers even in this particular passage that he will be with us always, until the end of time. We understand that it is precisely through the Holy Spirit that Jesus is present to us.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

collapse ...

Collapse of f Western Catholicism is not caused exclusively by the transformation of secular civilization, that is, the growth of wealth, prosperity and pride amongst its people but, unfortunately, also by weak and non-specific pastoral care and guidance. Far too many priests took the easy way out; they all but abandoned the confessionals, abused the liturgy, and became lost in sterile discussions, social gatherings, and unproductive meetings over coffee. In seeking refuge in politically correct actions, nothing remained clear, especially to the laity.
The current situation may, indeed, be the moment just before the "last extinguishes the light." The situation is frightful and dramatic...
Moreover, despite the fact that many people are aware of this situation and many also perceive the risks involved, it seems that most of them pretend not to see, do not want to see or are blind to the consequences! There are also a lot of those who, because of a desire to conform and a fear of losing their positions and privileges remain indifferent and inert, keeping mute and taking no action.
Those who do see the problems and try only to bring them forward and into the light so as to have an honest exchange and dialogue about  them, are viewed as fatalists, fanatics, pessimists, and negativistic.
Similarly, when Jesus spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, nobody wanted to listen to Him. Was He, too, a fatalist, a fanatic and a pessimist, focusing on the negative and “doom and gloom”?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Vortex—Ireland: Then and Now | The Vortex

The collapse of the Faith in Ireland didn't happen overnight.

The interview presented is from 2001

more to see here ...

The Vortex—Ireland: Then and Now | The Vortex

The Aftermath

Irish supporters wrote us after the referendum, telling us the bishops were in shock, that they had no idea their flock were so far gone, and they are now left looking on the crumbling ruins of the Faith they've been called to teach and defend. They speculate the vote was not so much a vote  the Church, a deliberate slap in the face of an institution the Irish have come to resent and even hate.

more ...
The Aftermath

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2, 1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Cor 12, 3-7. 12-13; John 20, 19-23

The story is told of Napoleon Bonaparte boasting to a Vatican cardinal that he would destroy the Church. The cardinal insouciantly replied to the perplexed emperor, "Good luck, Your Majesty. We, priests have been attempting to do just that for centuries."

In effect, the bishop was doffing his scarlet biretta in salute to the Holy Spirit. That Spirit dwells comfortably and sometimes, I suspect, very uncomfortably within the Church. Try what anyone might; the Church will not go away precisely because the Third Person of the Holy Trinity is on the job around the clock. Napoleon thought the prelate was pulling his imperial leg. He took on the Church. He was rudely dethroned. The Church survived. The former emperor wound up beating off mosquitoes as a full-time occupation on the damp island of Saint Helena somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

Without the Holy Spirit, the Church would be, at best, a third rate operation or, perhaps better, a non-operation. But with the Spirit, the Church is today able to survive its many difficulties.

With the Holy Spirit the Church survived the centuries of persecution, the attempts of Napoleon and French Revolution, the efforts of the Mexican and Spain’s revolutions, the communistic domination in Russia and East European countries. With the Holy Spirit at work the church survived the diabolic attempts during the Second World War, and is still surviving the most atrocious persecutions in Communistic China. The Holy Spirit is at work in the Lord’s Church, but He is also, or at least should be, at work in us.

A brilliant man, a man of education, with Doctorate Degrees and honors from most major universities, took a sabbatical.  He decided to devote as much time as it would take, one year, two years or more, and learn all he could about Jesus.  He studied ancient Greek and ancient Hebrew and Aramaic so he could read the earliest texts about Jesus.  He studied Ignatius, Justin, Augustine, Aquinas, and all the famous theologians of past centuries, always focusing on learning about Jesus.  He read the works of modern theologians.  He took courses in various foreign languages so he could understand theologians in their original language. 

After studying and studying he wrote his own book about Jesus.  It was an instant- success, not just in the academic circles, but in every Christian and even non-Christian Church.  The man, the esteemed professor, was called upon to give talks about Jesus to all sorts of different groups, from seminarians to atheists. His lectures always ended with a question and answer period.  Usually, there was no one in the audience who could ask a question that the brilliant man had not been asked before or for which he did not have an answer at the tip of his tongue.

No one, until an elderly man raised his hand after one lecture.  The old man asked: “How is it that someone who has studied as much as you, has learned so little?”

What?  What type of an arrogant simpleton would dare question the great scholar, the great professor?  After the commotion settled down, the scholar responded, “I am sure that I have much more to learn about Jesus, but why do you feel that I have learned so little?” He had the old man.  At least until the man said, “You have Jesus in your head, but you do not have him in your heart.”

Knowledge of Christ comes from the head, but knowing Christ comes from the heart.  His Spirit must be within us. We have to give Him permission to work in us, to operate in our hearts. Otherwise we will not know our Lord and Redeemer.

And this is the great gift of Pentecost, the solemnity we celebrate today. The Spirit of the Lord has been given to us so that we don’t just know about the Lord, but that we know the Lord.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Ascension of the Lord

Today we celebrate Christ's ascension. Let this be clear  - there was something very new and wonderful when Jesus returned to His heavenly Father. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity left heaven to take on a human body born of the Virgin Mary and was named Jesus. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity remained in heaven as a member of the Holy Trinity but He also began to live on earth as Jesus, true God and true man. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He, as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, came with His glorified body, the body that hung on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. He came with His five wounds that would forever serve as trophies of His victory over sin and death. This feast then celebrates Christ's final departure from earth and also His exalted position seated at God's right hand. In the Apostles Creed we pray, "He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father."

In that Creed we acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son Of God and that He came to earth being born of the Virgin Mary.  He is both Divine and Human. We acknowledge that He is our Lord and Saviour. What we must keep in mind, however, is that Jesus is active in this position. The very fact that He appeared to the apostles over the span of forty days shows this.

While on earth Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit AFTER He had ascended to His Father. This He did after the Ascension. He promised to prepare a place for the apostles so that where He was they would eventually be.  He "always lives to make intercession" for "those who draw near to God through Him." He is the one mediator between God and man. Finally Jesus also promised to be with His Church to the end of time . We believe everything that the Scriptures tell us about Him and everything that the Scriptures tell us that He said and did. This is what makes us Catholic Christians and we proudly proclaim the same – meaning every word that we say. It is important therefore that we know what we are saying and we understand what we are saying in the Creed because to be a Chris­tian is to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and Saviour, but to be a Catholic Christian is also to acknowledge that the Catholic Church is the one true Church that Jesus established.

Now my purpose here is not to play the Catholic Church against all other Christian denominations but rather to present to you the argument that to deny the authority of the one Church that Jesus Christ established is to deny the authority of the one who established her – the one who is head of His body  the church. And not only deny Jesus’ authority but ultimately His divinity also.

If we deny that the Church has full authority to teach the truth and that all she teaches is the truth – or if we dissent from the teaching of the truth or from the Church’s authority – then ultimately what we are denying is the Divinity of Christ Himself.  For as St. Paul says in today’s reading Christ is the Head of His body the Church and He promises to remain with her and protect her until the end of the age. As Catholics we fully accept and understand the fact that Jesus is Divine and that if He is the Son of God as we so proudly proclaim Him to be then we must also acknowledge that He has divine power - to safeguard His One True Church He clearly intended to establish and be with until the end of time.

 But safeguard the Church from what and for what?

From the New Testament we learn that Jesus gave special and highly significant emphasis to the word "truth."  He tells Pilate that He has come to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37), and He tells His disciples that they will know the truth and the truth will set them free (John 8:32).

 On the night of His betrayal He tells His disciples that He will send them the Spirit of Truth who will teach them "all things " remind them of all Jesus has told them (John 14:26) and guide them "into all the truth" (John 16:13). Note that little word "all," repeated three times. Then, in His prayer to His Father, Jesus asks that His disciples be sanctified (made holy) and consecrated (set apart) in the truth. Not in goodness or virtue or love, but in the truth.

The truth matters so much to Jesus that He calls Himself - the Truth. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. In His meeting with the Samaritan woman, He says that His Father seeks "true worshippers" who will worship Him "in spirit and in truth". Not only that, but He calls the devil not the Father of Sin or of Wickedness, but the Father of Lies. To drive the point home Jesus says that Satan "has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him" (John 8:44).

So if the truth is as important as Jesus says it is, and the enemy is not some amateur liar but the very Father of lies, then the battle-lines are clearly drawn and the only question remaining is: does Jesus have what it takes to protect His Church from this enemy?

Scripture gives us two images of the Church that are especially pertinent here. Whether we see the Church as the Bride of Christ and Jesus as the Bridegroom (Eph. 5:25, Rev. 21: 2) (Matt. 9:15) or as the sheepfold and Jesus as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), His role as protector is paramount. His defense of His Bride, His defense of His flock is not abstract or theoretical; it is intensely personal, because the Father of Lies is a real and deadly enemy, whose chief weapon is falsehood.

Jesus takes this threat to His Church personally.

And in His prayer to the Father on the night of His betray­al, right after asking that His disciples be "kept from the evil one"- that is, protected from the Father of Lies - He gives the means by which this protection will be instituted: they are to be sanctified in the truth. So Jesus tells us who the enemy is, and what He as Bridegroom will do to safeguard his Bride: He will send the Holy Spirit of Truth, the one who sanctifies us in the truth. Nowhere does Jesus promise us a Church without sinners or dissenters - on the contrary, as He teaches us in the parable of the wheat and tares – The farmer lets the weeds grow up with the wheat because uprooting the weeds might damage some of the wheat.

The farmer waits until harvest time. Then He will separate the wheat from the weeds, the obedient from the disobedient, and gather the wheat into His barn and then He will cast the weeds into the fire. Jesus promises us a Church which will be without lies, a church guided by the Spirit of Truth. St. Paul must have understood our Lord well, since He refers to the Church as the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). Where could he have gotten such a notion except from the one who promised to send the Holy Spirit of Truth?

If we accept the divinity of Christ then we accept His divine capacity to personally defend, protect and preserve His Church from the enemy. If He cannot do that, then He may be a shepherd, but certainly not a divine one; a bridegroom, but only human. If He cannot keep His flock safe from falsehood, then that means the Father of Lies wins and Jesus, whoever He is, is not the Lord.  But we believe and we proudly profess together that  because Christ is the Divine Bridegroom and the Divine Shep­herd, the Catholic Church is exactly what she claims to be and who Sacred Scripture tells us that she is: Christ's beloved Bride, His cherished flock, protected by the Spirit of Truth and therefore infallible in matters of faith and mor­als. If the Church is not infallible, Jesus is not God, and the Holy Spirit is not the Spirit of Truth.

Jesus, as Lord, is also the Lord of History.

Why is this? Well, Jesus promised to be with his Church until the end (Matt. 28:20) and so His divine shepherding takes place in time, as history unfolds. The Father of Lies is and will be a constant threat until the end, until Jesus returns in glory. Now how can Jesus be the Lord of History if the Church did not have the truth from the very beginning ? How can Jesus be the Lord of History if the Church did not have the truth until Luther came along 1500 years later, or Zwingli or Calvin? Or any other person in our time who dissents from the truth or those who teach God’s children to dissent from the truth.

 If the Church has not been under the constant vigilant guidance of the Holy Spirit of Truth since day one and remain in the Truth for every second, then Jesus is not the Lord of History, and if He is not the Lord of History, He is not the Lord. Although Jesus did say He came to bring not peace, but the sword of division, we know that the division He speaks of refers not to the Church, but to the separation between the Church and the world. Jesus makes clear that being sanctified in the truth is to be one, as the Father and He are one. Truth and unity go together: there will be one flock and one shepherd (John 10:16). Lies, dissent, disobedience and disunity all go together – all are a product of the Father of Lies. Dissenters are not new. They have been with the Church since the beginning. One of their deceptions is that they teach that it is ok to dissent from the teachings of the church or that we are required to dissent.

St. Paul remarked on the connec­tion between false teaching and disunity at the very beginning of the Church: "I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, for there must be factions among you so that those who are genuine among you may be recognized" (1 Cor. 11:18-19).
What does St. Paul mean when he says the genuine ones? Who are these "genuine" ones? They are the ones in possession of the truth. And how may we recognize them? They are those who obey the teaching of the apostles, chief of whom is Peter, and their successors, the bishops, chief of whom is the pope.

Vatican II’s Document Lumen Gentium teaches us this :
“Fully incorporated into the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who – by the bonds instituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion – are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the Bishops”.

And why do these genuine ones, that is Catholics who are in full communion, freely give their obedience? Full communion means those who fully accept all that the Church teaches. They give their obedience because Jesus is God the Son and He really did what He said He would do: estab­lish his Church on Peter the Rock, and send us the Holy Spirit of Truth to lead the Church into the fullness of truth and protect and  preserve her from the Father of Lies.

Therefore just as there are always those who dissent and those who teach dissent there will also always be some who have the fullness of truth and who listen and obey their shepherd for if the sheep can't tell who is teaching the truth, the flock is lost. You can't be just a little bit pregnant. You are either pregnant or you are not. And if the Catholic Church is really the Church established by Jesus who really is Lord, it can't just possess a bit of the truth. It either has all the truth or it does not. When it comes to faith and morals the Catholic Church cannot be right on some things and wrong on others.

Truth is not divisible. It cannot True and False at the same time. Therefore if the Catholic Church is the one true church established by Jesus Christ as we proudly profess when we say the Apostle’s Creed – if the Catholic Church is the Church of Jesus Christ who is it’s head and who protects it from the Father of Lies - then it must always be in possession of the fullness of truth and always teach the truth. If Jesus is Lord, meaning really and truly divine, then everything else follows: the infallibility of the Church, the inerrancy of Scripture, the ex opere operato reality of the sacraments, the papacy, the authority of the church to teach the truth, the doctrine of purgatory, Humane Vitae, the Sanctity of Marriage between one man and one woman, the evil of pornography, the evil of homosexual acts, the evil of abortion and euthanasia, the necessity of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist, the dogmas concern­ing the Blessed Virgin Mary, "all the truth."  Not just part of it.

Since Jesus is the Lord of History, all this truth has come in time, step by step, as the Holy Spirit of Truth has led the Church into the full­ness of truth. So the Church established by Jesus cannot go "off the tracks" of the truth, not with the Holy Spirit as its guide, not ever – not for one second. It is one thing to reject the divinity of Jesus, a truth available only to those who have been given the faith by their Heavenly Father. It is another thing entirely to accept the divinity of Jesus but then at the same time to reject the authority of His one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church and the Vicar of Christ on earth – the Holy Father – Our Pope.  The person who does this needs to go back and reread the New Testament, and consider what it really means to say that Jesus is Lord, that the enemy is the Father of Lies and that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.

Catholics believe it to mean that Jesus, at every moment throughout these last 2000 years, has always had what it takes to pro­tect his Bride, from her beginning at Pentecost until her Lord returns in glory. He has said that He will be with us until the end of time and He has done so. As Catholics we are called to be defenders of the truth. This means opposing those who are advocates of the Father of Lies. As Catholics we have been given the immense privilege of belonging to Christ’s Mystical body, of having the one true faith and through it knowing the sure means of salvation and holiness.

But as today’s Gospel  directs us, we were not given the fullness of truth to keep it to ourselves alone – each one of us has been given the great commission – we have been sent to spread the truth of our faith to all peoples. We are directed to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

My friends, Look up! There is your desired goal ascending to sit at the right hand of His Father. It is a goal which neither poverty, nor hardships, nor death itself can keep you. Follow the truth. The Holy Spirit will assist you. For the treasures that are laid up for you are worth any cost. Follow the truth for the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, nor has it even entered into the hearts of men what God has prepared for those who love Him. Christ has ascended to lay up a treasure for you. If you are a doubter, Christ’s ascension is a final proof of His divinity. If you are among the weak, Christ ascended to send the Holy Spirit to strengthen and confirm you. If you are a sinner, Christ is your advocate pleading for your forgiveness before his Father.

As we believe so shall we teach – let us therefore teach the truth – and the truth will set us free.

Deacon Bernie

Saturday, May 09, 2015

6th Easter Sunday – year B

Acts 8, 5-8. 14-17; Psalm 66; 1 Peter 3, 15-18; St. John 14, 15-21

Reading 1                             Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city. Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm                                  Ps 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
R. Alleluia.

Reading II                             1 Pt 3:15-18

Beloved: Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit.

Gospel                                              Jn 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples: If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

Consistency, integrity or contradiction?

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth
In today’s Gospel Jesus is talking about two the most fundamental concepts of our life: the love and the truth. In our multicultural and tolerant world both: and love and truth are not only misused but abused and denied. Instead of love we have sex and pornography, instead of truth we are proposed relativism and falsely understood tolerance, where everybody has his own private truth.

And so we can ask a legitimate question: “What is love? What does it mean to love?” Jesus is answering it in the most direct and clearest way: If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And so we can continue to question further: “What are the commandments I should keep?” This question was already asked in the Gospel by a young rich man who would like to be a disciple of Christ. (Mk 10:17-20)

Young rich man asked "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him: “You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.”

Am I able to say together with this young man: “Teacher, all these I have kept since I was a boy." If not why do I say that I love God?

During his last visit in USA Pope Benedict XVI said:
While it is true that this continent is marked by a genuinely religious spirit, the subtle influence of secularism can nevertheless color the way people allow their faith to influence their behavior.

Þ  Is it consistent to profess our beliefs in church on Sunday, and then during the week to promote business practices or medical procedures contrary to those beliefs?
Þ  Is it consistent for practicing Catholics to ignore or exploit the poor and the marginalized, to promote sexual behavior contrary to Catholic moral teaching, or to adopt positions that contradict the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death?
Þ  Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel (…)
Þ  How can we not be saddened as we observe the sharp decline of the family as a basic element of Church and society?
Þ  Divorce and infidelity have increased, and many young men and women are choosing to postpone marriage or to forego it altogether.
Þ  To some Catholics, the sacramental bond of marriage seems scarcely distinguishable from a civil bond, or even a purely informal and open-ended arrangement to live with another person.
Þ  Hence we have an alarming decrease in the number of Catholic marriages in the North America together with an increase in cohabitation, in which the Christ-like mutual self-giving love (..) is simply absent.

In such circumstances, a deep reflection is arising: “Is my life consistent and integral or rather contradictory? I pretend to love Jesus, but do I keep also His commandments?”

And the second concept of today’s Gospel, the concept of truth.

Þ  What does it mean that the Father will send us the Spirit of truth?
Þ  We are afraid of the truth.
Þ  For many of the contemporary Catholics the truth is very inconvenient, awkward, problematic and tiresome.

Especially if this truth is not going together with my wishes and desires.

Today many live without belief in the existence of truth. Some use the word without understanding its authentic meaning, as if it can denote only a personal opinion, a thing that is "true" only for the individual who holds that idea. This widespread relativism, the system of thought which refuses to affirm that any one idea or law can apply to all persons, is "true", has crept with increasing power like an infection into the body of the Church.

The Church cannot be the Body of Christ unless the Church leads us into all the truth, for Christ is the Truth. The Church cannot teach the truth without the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit of truth, for the human members of the Church are incapable of grasping and remaining faithful to the Word of truth without divine grace. The Lord promised the gift of the Holy Spirit so that man might persevere in the truth and so be saved.

To love Jesus means to trust him. And that means that we trust his radical teaching about an ideal of unselfish love with all –even the most difficult- consequences off this love.

Jesus knows that his teaching seems unpromising and so he sends to those who try to be unselfish an Advocate who is the "Spirit of truth." This divine Spirit will be present to our inmost being and will assure us that the path traced out by Jesus will in fact lead to freedom and joy. This powerful Spirit will also guide us in knowing how to love properly in all the circumstances of our lives. But our obligation and our deepest task is to not put the obstacles to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

How we can recognize that we have the Spirit of Christ and not the spirit of the world?
St Paul in the letter to the Galatians gives us the clear answer:

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;

But the deeds of the flesh are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, conflicts, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, egoism, and things like these, of which I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-23)

And once again the same question is arising: “Is my life consistent and integral or rather contradictory? I pretend to believe Jesus, but do I live according to His Spirit of truth?”