Thank you Allison Gingras and Elizabeth Riordan for another opportunity to re-publish our favorite posts on Worth Revisiting. Be sure to visit Allison at Reconciled to You and Elizabeth at Theology is a Verb during the rest of the week. You will enjoy your visit
If nothing else, I can be persistent. Every Christmas since 2014, I have urged all those who see this post and agree with its content to ask their pastors to include it as an insert in their Christmas bulletins. Nothing much has changed over the years. Few have accepted the invitation. This prompts me to paraphrase my Father Dominic's nightly plea: What will become of those lost souls whose ears are not permitted to hear and their eyes not allowed to see this essential, loving and truthful message? Do we even care?
Who Will Step Up This Christmas and Speak the Truth in Love?
(Originally posted 12/9/14)
[This is one of the two times each year when, I believe, our Lord most dreads the silence that will envelop far too many of our parishes. Someone needs to give voice to His yearnings. Where is the zeal for the salvation of souls? What follows is similar to some of my previous posts on this subject.]
|(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)|
Let us welcome with open arms the thousands who will flock to our Churches this Christmas – most especially those who rarely come to worship the God whose birth we commemorate.
But what does Love command we tell them?
Speaking the Truth is, at times, very difficult but necessary. This is one of those times.
If our primary concern is for the salvation of souls (and it should be), silence about their absence from our midst during the rest of the year is not an option. Such silence will be construed as tacit approval of their continual and mortally sinful absence from Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation. The failure to explain why many in attendance should refrain from receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ is equally egregious.
Why are we afraid to share these Truths?
Will there ever be a better time to do so? Is it not preferable to risk offending the feelings of some visitors than to lose an opportunity to save a soul?
What about our Lord’s feelings? Should reasonable efforts not be made to spare Him the anguish of entering a soul stained and blinded by mortal sin?
This may be the last opportunity for some souls to hear these Truths, repent and reconcile with their loving Lord before He calls them to stand before His throne of Justice.
How indebted such souls will be to those who lovingly speak the Truth.
Silence is not an option. We, clergy, religious and laity, have an obligation to speak. God forbid that He ever has to ask any of us: “Why did you not say something?” What should we say? Maybe you can share this reflection:
[Imagine Jesus saying this: "I am always here - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year - waiting for you. But generally I am alone, abandoned and ignored."]
So when I looked out from behind the closed doors this morning, I was overjoyed to see you - so many of you. While there were many familiar faces among those filling the pews, there were a good number whom I have not seen in some time. If you only knew the joy I experience when you come!
I take delight in all My people, but I experience a special joy when those who stay away come to be with Me. I have so much to give each of you!
How I hunger for your presence here every Sunday and holyday of obligation. How I want to be one with you and fill you will My graces. How I want to give you the spiritual nourishment you need to withstand the weekly onslaught and temptations that surround you.
I offer you My Word and most especially My Body, Blood Soul and Divinity!
But if you have not been coming to Sunday Mass, if you have intentionally ignored or disobeyed My commandments, if you have unconfessed mortal sin on your soul, then there is something you must first do before approaching Me at the altar if you are to eternally benefit from Holy Communion.
See that little box, that little room off to the side or in the back of the Church? At least once a week, I sit there in the person of my priest, waiting for you to come, to humble yourself, to acknowledge your sinfulness, to ask for my forgiveness and to resolve to sin no more. My mercy is yours for the asking!
It really isn't that difficult. I already know where you have failed Me, yourself and others. There is nothing you could ever tell my priest that he has not heard or that I have not forgiven through him countless times before. Truth be told, fewer come to see Me in the confessional each week than visit me in my locked tabernacles!
Pride caused your first parents to disobey me and the same pride keeps so many of you away from Me! Swallow your pride! Humble yourself. Come to this place of forgiveness, healing and mercy - the source of new life. I can not shower you with the graces I have for you in Holy Communion unless you do so.
I am sure you can understand then why your absence from Sunday Mass and the confessional saddens Me so! There is rarely any valid reason for you to miss Sunday Mass or for you to approach Me in the Blessed Sacrament unworthily.
I love you! I will always love you!
I can only offer you eternal life. You must choose it!
So please come back to Mass and Confession.
I can hardly wait to see you again.
What are your plans this Christmas? Will you remain silent or will you step up and speak the Truth in love?
With whom will you share this post?