Today, in our readings we have a running commentary on sin. James is asking the question: Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? James knows the answer and so do we. He is talking about sin. Sin is the disordering of our desires and actions and the consequences and effects of original sin. As we know very up front and in our faces sin is everywhere and touches everything.
We have an anecdote to remedy sin in Jesus who saves us from sin and even death itself. It is through his suffering, death on the cross and his rising to new life that is prophesied would come to him in this gospel that we can triumph over sin by his grace. He was like us in all things but sin. He was innocent suffered for the sinner. Yet, he is able to understand our struggles.
We see in our own day and age the devastation of sin and in the church and outside the church.
We have a choice whether to heed the attraction or to choose Jesus and his gospel.
Whether one is a priest, deacon, bishop or even our Holy Father, the choice is there and there lies the dilemma.
As you know, as a priest I have given 40 years of my life not counting the six years of seminary training. I have had a difficult time with this and I thank God my sins have stayed in the secrecy of the confessional. After almost 14 years as your pastor you know my sins on a daily basis. In a recent article written by Christopher West of COR Project, I found some points that have helped me and maybe they might help you as faithful members of our Church.
Pray for those who have been terribly hurt and scared by priests and bishops and who are experiencing great pain. When one member of the Body of Christ, all suffer because we are one in Christ.
Pray for those who have caused such suffering and pain to others in their sinful actions against the innocent because God loves the sinner but hates the sin.
We are called to trust that God has a plan where he will good out of the evils. God permits evil to respect our freedom. It is part of his plan that these things should come to light so that the truth may triumph.
In our time period, the gift of sexuality has been misused and seen as something vulgar where it is a gift from God in union with his plan.
St. John Paul II and his theology of the Body was written for our time to appreciate the beauty of sexuality and the human body. COR Project is the place to get a copy to read study and pray over.
We must seek healing in our own lives. Confession, the Sacrament of Penance has been so badly neglected that some deny the existence of sin. Each of us is a sinner the only difference between us and these public sinners is that we have gotten caught. Bishop Sheen. Every sin big or small lessens holiness in our world and evil grows.
In 1884, Pope Leo XIII, had a vision of a conversation between God and the devil, where the devil was given a certain amount of time to destroy the church and it so frightened him that he lay motionless and they thought the Pope had died.
Look at history from that time to now. Is not the devil working overtime, look in our own families, the Russian revolution, WWI, II and on and on? After this vision he wrote the St. Michael Prayer which I propose to you that we say after Mass.
I will send a not to our Bishop assuring him of our prayers and support for him and the whole church as we battle with forces beyond our personal strength and we will triumph through the sacred heart of Jesus and the Immaculate heart of Mary. We must pray for purity of mind and body through her prayers and intercession. Pray the rosary everyday as she asked at Fatima and the Church will triumph as Jesus promised