Posted by: fvbcdm | August 12, 2014

Feast of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (12 August 2014)

One of the essential qualities of authentic religion is a sense of our sinfulness and our need for God’s forgiveness and mercy. If you read or listen to the writings or sayings of those who are opposed to the Church, you will hear them accuse us Catholics of fostering guilt among our members. That indicates their inability to understand true religion. The notion that our relationship with God is to be all rainbows and butterflies is very superficial and childish. All of the great saints and mystics, headed of course by Our Divine Lord himself, have been people aware of the seriousness of sin and the need to atone for it. This does not mean that we should be glum or sour-faced or unpleasant to be around. Quite the contrary, the consciousness of our need for God’s mercy, and the abundance of that mercy should make us the most joyful of all men and women; the most optimistic of humans. Jesus says to us in the gospel: Learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart. And when we pray daily to his blessed Mother, we ask her all our lives: pray for us SINNERS.

It is far better to be aware of our sins and ourselves as sinners than to delude ourselves into thinking that we are very pleasing to God and that all is okay between him and us and needs no improvement. What I am talking about here is what we call “the fear of the Lord.” It is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Down through the centuries of English speech, we have come up with the expression “God-fearing” when we want to describe persons who are conscious of the need to love God, to show that love by serving him loyally, and to avoid offending him. To fear God doesn’t mean to be afraid of him; it means to fear offending him. Let us do our best to be God-fearing, to be meek and humble of heart, and to remember that, to a greater or lesser degree, we are sinners and need God’s inexhaustible mercy. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This Message was composed some years ago.

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