Friday, April 22, 2011

Lucia Don't let us lose our faith

The Holy Father talks about the failing of faith in the West and asks God not to let us go, or as he said, don't let us become a non-people. The linked article does say that this is what he told the priests gathered, which is incorrect, this was his prayer to God.

This has also been my prayer over the last few years, for I am aware of this spirit upon me, a pull to let go of God and live only on this earth. At times it is very strong.

The homily for the Mass was extraordinarily beautiful. He talks about Jesus' passion for us that is rejected by many and about His desire that we be unified, so that the whole world would know that He was sent by the Father.  The following has Fr. Z comments in red.
From Luke, and especially from John, we know that Jesus, during the Last Supper, also prayed to the Father – prayers which also contain a plea to his disciples of that time and of all times. Here I would simply like to take one of these which, as John tells us, Jesus repeated four times in his Priestly Prayer. How deeply it must have concerned him! It remains his constant prayer to the Father on our behalf: the prayer for unity. Jesus explicitly states that this prayer is not meant simply for the disciples then present, but for all who would believe in him (cf. Jn 17:20). He prays that all may be one “as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). Christian unity can exist only if Christians are deeply united to him, to Jesus. [I would add... as a starting point, a sine qua non.  But that is not the stopping point.  There are other points we must share as well.] Faith and love for Jesus, faith in his being one with the Father and openness to becoming one with him, are essential. This unity, then, is not something purely interior or mystical. It must become visible, [For example, in a Church with visible marks.] so visible as to prove before the world that Jesus was sent by the Father. Consequently, Jesus’ prayer has an underlying Eucharistic meaning which Paul clearly brings out in the First Letter to the Corinthians: “The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10:16ff.).

He also talked about our need for conversion and how many of the priests in the Church had been sifted like wheat by Satan. It's of course, very difficult for people who don't struggle with their own sense of sin to understand that others struggle with sin as well. My faith in the Church has not been destroyed by the persistent sex scandals over the last many years precisely because I am deeply aware of my own inadequacies. I do wish that many of our shepherds showed a better example and I am very, very thankful that we have a man such as Benedict XVI to lead us in this time of trial.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Related links: Pope laments those 'tired of their faith' ~ Herald Sun
Benedict XVI’s sermon for Holy Thursday Mass of the Last Supper ~ WDTPRS

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