Holy Mother's Center

Mystical Death and Resurrection.*1If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.a2Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.b4When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

Renunciation of Vice.*5Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:c immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.*6Because of these the wrath of God* is coming [upon the disobedient].d7By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.8But now you must put them all away:* anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.e9Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practicesf10* and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator.g11Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian,* slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.h12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,i13bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.j14And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.k15And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.l16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.m17And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.n

Read the Scriptures from Collossians 3 and measure that against the controvery of whitholding receiving Holy Communion from selected officials who do not follow the teachings of the Church Universal.

When I read these passages and thought about it, this is what I received from the Holy Spirit. A caution: I do not speak for the Holy Spirit nor do I content that what I received, I received correctly because of my sinfulness and imperfections. My Lectio Divina meditations are shaped around the one passage from Philippians 2:5, “Have in you the mind of Christ Jesus.” You make your own judgements.

  1. The Bishop in each diocese is the supreme teacher in the Faith and must safeguard his charges from false teachings and false promises from the World. The bishop, in turn, must be one with the tradition of the Church Universal and be the visible person of Christ for those who gather together in faith to glorify the Father. Where the bishop is, as the ancient saying goes, there is the Church. He has the obligation to identify what is correct and to correct those who fail to believe in the truth, protecting the faithful from false teachers and those who would lead others astray by permissive and promiscuous behaviors. He has the authority to deny the sacraments to those who seek
  2. Christ taught us to seek mercy for our own failings and faults (and sins) by forgiving those we contact each day.
  3. Although the bishop unquestionably has the right to deny the Eucharist publically to individuals, I ask for mercy for the politicians and others who “do not know what they are doing”. Each of us will answer for our actions (or lack of action), as found in Matthew 25.
  4. The notion of fairness comes into play here, too. If you deny the Eucharist to a public person who is against the Churches’ stance on protecting the unborn, you must be fair about it and deny it to all. This means most politicians who are in office would be denied Eucharist, most Supreme Court Justices and Federal judges, most state and local politicians who are Catholic and do not hold what the Church says is social justice, most of the faithful (70% according to the Pew Survey) who do not believe in the Real Presence, all those clergy (Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Deacons) who are in the state of mortal sin and yet perform the Eucharist. That leaves all of us unworthy.
  5. So, what’s a bishop to do? Be strong in your own Faith, seek mercy for yourself first, then for those of your charge. Be a good teacher of the traditions of the Church, clearly and without reservation stating what is just and true. Let individuals judge themselves against the heart of Christ as to what is true. Be patient with misguided actions but never condone evil. Everyone will be accountable. No one escapes the judgement of Christ, not priest pedophiles, nor anyone who condones abortion or other faults and failings.

In the end, fifty to one hundred years from now, no one will remember anything about these things, or the truth will be so distorted that no one will even remember the names involved. What does remain in Christ in each age in the Church Universal with it guardian and advocate the Holy Spirit helping others pick up the pieces left from others’ abandoning Christ’s way, truth and life, in favor of their choices to do what is easy rather than what is difficult.

May God have mercy on all of us as we stumble our way to forever.

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