Posted in Archbishop Alban GOODIER SJ, LAPSED Catholics, MINI SERIES, PRAYER WARRIORS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 16 May – “The Lost Catholic”

Thought for the Day – 16 May – Thursday of the Fourth week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 13:16–20

Archbishop Alban Goodier, SJ (1869-1939)

“The Lost Catholic”
Part One

1.   Introduction
No-one who has once realised what it is to be a Catholic can feel anything but sadness for one who has lost the Catholic faith, who once was a Catholic and is now a Catholic no more, no matter what may have been the reason.

It is sad enough to know so many who, through no fault of their own, have not the Catholic faith, whose forefathers lost it for them and deprived them of their inheritance, who do not know and have never known, all that it means.

But one who has once known it and has lost it, who has been argued or cajoled out of it, whose life has led him to drop it, who has been careless and let it go, who has surrendered it for something else, those who know and love such a one, know also that he has lost, thrown away, something for which nothing else can compensate, something more dear than life itself.

Let, then, such a one not be surprised if those who love him are troubled and sad about him; they cannot help it.   They long to give him back what he has lost, they spare no pains that he may be as he was before, they look on that reward as worth all the labour and suffering it may entail.

2. The Catholic no more

Who are they and how has it all come about?

First, there are the children:

who have never learnt to appreciate the value or beauty of their inheritance;

or whose parents have set them a sorry example and so spoilt them;

or who have learnt their religion as a schoolroom lesson only and it has withered;

or who have never seen that it mattered much one way or the other.

Second, there are young boys and girls:

who have been deluded by the prospect of a happy and free life before them.

or who have lived among godless companions and through shame, through human respect, through banter, through a

little coaxing, through temptation, perhaps through sin, have become as they;

or who have been carried away by their surroundings and the faith of their childhood has been ignored or forgotten,

and finally rejected.

Third, there are young men and women:

whose study and, reading, it may be, in the days when they were not yet mature, nor able to form a proper judgement,

has led them to wonder, to doubt, at last to be dissatisfied and turn away;

or who have come under some influence stronger than themselves and they have surrendered;

some unbelieving teacher or friend, whose arguments they could not answer;

some man or woman whom they have loved and who has made them sacrifice their faith for that love some companion who has led them on, till they have lost the reality for the shadow;

or who have found the practice of the faith a hindrance to their ambition in life, to promotion, to association with those who would help them, to the use of such means as their faith will not allow.

Fourth, there are the grown-up:

who are married and who find the laws of their faith concerning married life a burden;

or who, having once, slipped away, or having been away so long, are unable to bring themselves back, and prefer to

remain where they are;

or who have been antagonised by some opposition, by some scandal, by some regulation, which they have resented.

Fifth, and last, among all these classes, among young and old, there are those,

whom, in a proud and passionate moment, self-will has mastered and they have said:

‘I will not serve; or whom this world with its false fascination has mastered and they have said:   ‘I will have here my ‘reward; or whom sin and passion have conquered and they hardened conscience and said:  ‘I will be free, I will have my own way, I will do my own pleasure.

to be continued…/

Let us Pray:

For the Return of Lapsed Catholics to the Sacraments
By Ven Servant of God Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000)

Almighty Father,
You desire not the death of the sinner
but that he may be converted and live.
Pour out upon us Your mercy
and hear the prayers of Your servants.
Soften the hearts of Your children who have strayed,
from the true path, which You established for their salvation.
They are now forgetful of their duties as Catholics
and pursue the pleasures of the world.
Grant that they may quickly return
to the practice of every Christian virtue,
so that their lives may shine
with the integrity of faith,
the fervour of piety
and the ardour of charity.
Restore them to Your sacraments
and the life of Your grace,
through the merits
of the most precious blood of Your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amenprayer for the return of lapsed catholics to the sacraments - ven sof john a hardon sj 16 may 2019 part one.jpg

 

Posted in CANON LAW, CCC, MINI SERIES, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH – First Precept

Mini Series – THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH

These “precepts” are the most important laws of the Catholic Church.   They are meant for each of us.   Through her precepts the Church, our loving Mother and teacher, puts before our minds the minimum participation which is necessary to maintain our Catholic identity.

Recalling Our Lord’s words that the wise man “built his house upon the rock” (Matt 7:24), we can ask ourselves this Lent how far we are built on the rock of Christ, who is present in his Church and active in her life-giving sacraments, how firmly rooted we are in the community of faith which is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:1-13).

The Precepts of the Church are to be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) Nos. 2042-2043.

First Precept:

“You shall attend Mass on Sundays

and Holy Days of Obligation and Rest from Servile Labour.”the precept of the church - first precept - 18 feb 2019

From the earliest times the Christians celebrated the Eucharist on the Day of the Lord’s resurrection (see Acts 20:7).   It is no surprise that the vision of St John in the book of Revelation, a vision deeply linked to the Christian liturgy, occurred “on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10).

St Justin Martyr (100-165), one of the first Church Fathers, wrote in about 150 AD:   “on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place …”.

He goes on to explain the reading of the Scriptures and the consecration of the bread and wine and concludes:  “Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God … made the world and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.”   Christians understood that, now, the Old Testament commandant to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exod. 20:8) applied to Sunday rather than the Jewish Saturday.

It was also clear to Christians that, developing the tradition of the Jews, the Christian sabbath calls for rest from our usual occupations, “to abstain from those labours and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body.”  (Code of Canon Law 1247).

The Catechism challenges us also when it adds:  “Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week.” (CCC 2186)
Sunday is rightly a time for recreation, yet a Catholic must prioritise the Sunday Mass for the simple reason that God himself must be given first place.

The precept to be present at Mass on Sundays (or Saturday evening) is non-negotiable for Catholics – it is a “grave” obligation (CCC 2181).   If it happens that we fail to observe it through negligence or without a serious reason, we should confess it in the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving Holy Communion again.
If, on the other hand, we did have a sufficient reason not to be present, for instance we were ill, had to stay at home to look after young children, or were a great distance from a church, or have no choice but to work on Sunday during Mass, then we’re not obliged BUT let us not ‘look for excuses’ and let us choose our work carefully and do all we can to make it known to our employers that we only need ONE HOUR per week – could we perhaps EXCHANGE our lunch- or off-times for this ONE HOLY HOUR ON SUNDAYS?!

We must further attend Mass on holy days of obligation that usually fall during the week, such as Christmas Day.

The precepts of Church are not regulations trying to catch us out but crucial reminders of what it means to be a Christian.   Saint John Paul II, in his encyclical letter on the Lord’s Day, wrote:

“Sunday is a day which is at the very heart of the Christian life.   From the beginning of my Pontificate, I have not ceased to repeat – ‘Do not be afraid!  Open, open wide the doors to Christ!’.   

In the same way, today I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday –

Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ!   Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that He may cast light upon it and give it direction. …

Time given to Christ is never time lost but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human.”

(Dies Domini 7)

 

time given to christ is never time lost but rather it is time gained - st john paul - 18 feb 2019 first precept.jpg