Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost—23 July AD 2017
Ave Maria!


Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English

“But now, being made free from sin, and become servants to God,
you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting.”[1]

    Saint Paul is apparently writing to some new converts among the Romans—urging them to practice the Catholic Faith with at least as much zeal as they did evil when they worshipped the pagan “gods.”  Quite likely, his remarks are also intended for others who had been Catholics for some period of time.  Recent converts are usually pretty zealous in the practice of their new Faith.  This would have been particularly true in Saint Paul’s time when someone converting from paganism was likely to face economic and social difficulties, physical punishment, and perhaps even death—no sane person puts himself in danger of such difficulties unless he is really enthusiastic about practicing his new Faith.

    We too can take Paul’s words to heart.  We live in a world where Christianity has become unpopular, and sometimes downright difficult to practice, so we could stand to have a bit of that “convert’s zeal” in our practice of the Faith.

    One way to preserve the zeal for our Faith is not to be misled and talked into doing things contrary to God’s Truth and God’s Commandments.  In the Gospel our Lord cautions us:  “Beware of false prophets—b y their fruits you shall know them.”[2]  We learned the truths of the Faith as children—and we should recognize that truth does not and cannot change.  No one, no matter how high their rank in the Church or civil society can command you to sin or to disbelieve the truths of the Faith.  And we can generally identify the false rulers by the moral failures of their own lives.  Those who worship false “gods,” who steal, who lie, and who commit adultery certainly cannot be the moral and theological guides of Catholics.

    Be particularly careful about believing anything that comes out of the modernist camp.  Often their falsehoods seem very comfortable and pleasant to follow.  But the reality is that people do go to hell; the souls of the damned are not conveniently annihilated .  Serious sin requires  all three—contrition, a firm purpose of amendment, and sacramental Confession before receiving Holy Communion.  No one can give you permission to sin.

    Another element of preserving our Faith is consistency in our spiritual lives.  One cannot “pray up a storm” for the first half of the month, and forget about God for the second half.  If you have ever driven a car up a hill covered with snow, you know that you must maintain a constant speed until you get to the top of the hill.  If you stop halfway up and stop, there is a good chance that your wheels will just spin when you try to start up again—you may find yourself sliding back down the hill again!  The spiritual life is much the same—if you don’t make constant progress toward God, you are likely to fall farther away from Him.

    Consistency can be difficult for those living in the world.  We have responsibilities to ourselves and to those around us.  Some of us work full time jobs—perhaps more than one job.  Some of us must cook and clean and otherwise maintain a household.  Some must do both.  Some care for children.  There are only so many hours in the day.  So, we must budget our time wisely—even our time for prayer.

    I always caution people to make a realistic estimate of how much time they have for their devotions.  For example, praying the Rosary is a very good thing—but maybe fifteen decades a day is too much for a busy person.  You don’t want the Rosary to be “fired off” in a rapid and distracted manner and you don’t want to send the kids to bed without dinner or a bath!

    There is a very good article in the July 2017 Catholic Family News by a young lady, entitled “Keeping Devotions Simple.”[3]  (It is not on the Internet yet, but if they post it, I will link it here—perhaps you can borrow a copy.)  She has gone from having a medal for every saint she could find attached to her scapular to finding greater fulfillment sitting before the Blessed Sacrament listening to God in silence—not that the medals are bad, mind you, but God Himself is infinitely better, and speaks without noise.  She also emphasizes the penitential value of cheerfully getting up on time to fulfill one’s responsibilities—things like preparing breakfast, seeing that the children are properly dressed, feeding the cat, and driving to work—with a reasonable time for prayer and thanksgiving to God who makes this possible.

    In summary, let me urge you to be zealous about your Catholic Faith.  Don’t be misled by those who would take your Faith away and exchange it with some sugar-coated replacement.  And do be consistent in your spiritual life—remember that when you stop making spiritual progress you will go backwards.

“He that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven,
he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”




[2]   Gospel: Matthew vii: 15-21

[3]   Alexandra Reiss, Catholic Family News Volume 24, Number 7, page 5



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