Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me!
A few weeks ago I addressed the question “Why don’t you preach about sin anymore?” The article received many positive comments; especially as it related to sins we do not mention often, such as domestic abuse. Here is one of the comments I received: “I appreciated your article on abuse of women. Oddly I consider it a given that all of that is a sin, fundamentally because any of those acts are without Love! No other specifics are necessary. I am not sure any acquaintance of mine would consider abusing a woman!” Interestingly I actually had a couple people send me emails wondering why I wrote an article that has no relationship to the daily life of families in a suburban community.
Obviously, like most people, I appreciate positive words of encouragement. I only wish I could please everyone, but I know that is impossible. I did find it strange that some would actually believe there is some kind of fence around our community protecting us from spousal abuse or is the topic just a little too close to some weakness in their life and so they don’t want it talked about? Over the years I have found people respond strongly, one way or another, when we address some kind of sinfulness in our individual lives or in our community life. Allow me to explain what I mean by this statement. Within the last couple years homilies have been given addressing the following issues:
- the sin of an unjust wars
- the sins of abortion and the death penalty,
- the sin of unjust distribution of economic wealth
- the sin of sexism in the Church,
- the sin(s) of inappropriate priorities of our Church.
When these topics have been addressed, by one of the other homilists or myself, I receive an abundance of supportive comments thanking us for taking on such vital, although controversial, issues
Unfortunately, some find these topics (and others) too controversial or believe they are outside the realm of what the Church should be involved in as part of proclaiming the Gospel. I am not sure how, as Church ministers, we balance the topics addressed to keep everyone happy. If we were able to do that I believe we would end up not truly dealing with the core of the Gospel, which is LOVE. I fully appreciate the fact that some folks don’t like it when some particular sins are addressed, but if we don’t address them who will?
Finally, I love receiving your comments and feedback; and as long as they are signed or given to me in person I promise I will take them very seriously.
Continue the journey to Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me!
Let us continue to pray for peace and for the end of terrorism in our world!
In peace and courage,
PS – A week from Tuesday, March 28, is the Diocesan Day of Reconciliation and Prayer when the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered throughout the afternoon into early evening (hours may vary from parish to parish, at Transfiguration the hours are noon – 4:00 and 4:45 - 7:00) at parishes throughout the Diocese. I offer you this suggested list to reflect on as you examine your conscience in preparation to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
SUGGESTED EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
- Have I been careful to grow in my understanding of the faith, to hear God's word?
- Do I pray regularly and offer God my difficulties, my joys and my sorrows?
- Do I recognize God’s presence and movement in my daily life? When do I rush without noticing God?
- When do I hold on to fear, even when I am assured of God’s love?
- Do I accept direction from God, or do I turn away and pave my own path?
- Do I accept Christ as the Son of God, following the law of love, or do I choose society’s influence and values?
- How do I show a genuine love for my neighbors? Or do I use them for my own ends treating them without respect and care?
- Am I concerned for the good and prosperity of the human community in which I live… or do I spend my life caring only for myself?
- Do I share my possessions with the less fortunate or care only for myself? Do I do my best to help the victims of oppression, misfortune and poverty?
- Do I do my best in promoting justice, morality, harmony and love?
- In my family life, have I shown proper respect toward my parents? Have I been careful to give a Christian upbringing to my children? Have I been faithful to my spouse?
- How do I trust in God?