A World Without God is Hell on Earth

clock November 14, 2012 15:14 by author John |

HellThere are many people who would like nothing better than to eliminate the faith of believing Christians. Call them secular progressives, call them atheists, or call them communists. Just don’t call them prophetic or wise. These folks have been vociferous of late, as victory emboldens the brazen. It seems that the noise coming from secularists has been amplified and focused at those things which the faithful hold most dear: family, morality, and religious liberty.

They began the attack years ago by calling for tolerance and separation of Church and State. Slowly, they moved God out of the public square. They acclimated people to immoral lifestyles by showcasing them on primetime television, books, and magazines. They promoted tolerance as a virtue, when in actuality it is antithetical to the spiritual works of mercy. We are called to instruct the ignorant and rebuke the sinner. As Christians, tolerance is not an end in itself. Tolerance implies living with evil or imperfection without attempting to change it. Clearly, this is not the call Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:19:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations

We have been coaxed into accepting immorality and amorality in our world as a condition of quiet coexistence. This has led to the situation we now find ourselves in. God is slowly being pushed out of our public lives, which ultimately results in God being pushed out of our private lives. We are seeing a slow transformation of our world into a world without god.

Hell is an eternity spent in the absence of the wonder and glory of God. God does not send us to hell so much as we choose to go there ourselves by hating God and pushing Him out of our life and grace out of our soul. An eternity in hell is one spent lamenting the decisions we made that excluded God or outright rejected Him. We are collectively pushing God out of our society. In doing so, we are only bringing sadness and hardship upon ourselves. A world without God is a Hell on Earth.

In the absence of God, evil fills the vacuum. Is it a coincidence that in our society as secularism rises, with it comes the evils of abortion, sexual depravity, and recently an uptick in religious persecution? I don’t see a coincidence. I see causality. Indifference toward evil begets acceptance of it. Acceptance of evil begets commission of evil.

There is hope for us.  Jesus gave us the assurance that evil would not triumph against the Church in Matthew 16:18:

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

That is not to say that times will not be difficult or that evil will never get the upper hand for a time. Quite to the contrary, being a Christian is not going to be a walk in the park. Throughout history the Church has undergone persecution. As Tertullian famously said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of faith.”

We have much work to do and so little time upon this earth to do it. We must transform the culture. We must bring Christ back into our society. It will not be an easy task. If you participate in it, you will be persecuted in some way, great or small. It is only through genuine love of God and with the assistance of His grace that we will be able to take up this task and bring it to fruition. Love demands sacrifice. God loves us enough to be crucified for our iniquities. Do we love Him enough to face the same fate? Do you love Him enough to transform yourself first? Conversion of the world begins with the conversion of yourself.



Go to Confession

clock October 12, 2012 09:23 by author John |

PenanceTry to make use of the sacrament of reconciliation. It is the sacrament Christ instituted to bring you back into His graces. Don't waste this opportunity. Most parishes offer confession on Saturdays, some offer it on Fridays as well.

Here are some resources if you would like to learn more about the sacrament of penance or you have some reservations about it:

How To Make a Good Catholic Confession

A Thorough Catholic Examination of Conscience

What is Mortal Sin (The Catholic Definition)

What is Venial Sin (The Catholic Definition)

The Act of Contrition

Top 10 Emotional Reasons People Don't Go to Confession (and Why You Should Consider it Anyway)



Whoever is not Against Us is For Us

clock September 30, 2012 12:39 by author John |

Millstone

At that time, John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us." Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"

The words of today's gospel are particularly timely and appropriate. Christ uses some very powerful and vivid images. For those that like to stir confusion and dissent into the people of God, this reading stands as a warning that they are not only causing harm to the souls of other people, but they are playing with fire, quite literally when it comes to their own soul.

We must ask ourselves, “Who is for us and who is against us?” Whoever is not against us is for us. This reading requires us to look carefully at those around us. Are those friends who tease you or “joke” with you about your large family, the rosary in your car, or the religious images in your home bringing you closer to Christ? Are they helping you grow in your faith? Are they “For us”?

Are the politicians we vote for really “For us”? Do they believe in the sanctity of human life? Do they protect the unborn? Do they defend the family unit against degradation from those who violate the natural law with unnatural acts and seek to call their deviancy “marriage”? Are these politicians helping you practice your religion? Are they respecting your conscience? Are they helping you raise holy children, who love God and His commandments?

On the other hand, you must ask the same questions in reverse. Are the politicians we vote for “Against Us”? Do they promote the destruction of human life? Do they allow or promote the murder of the unborn, calling it “choice”? Do they embolden the enemies of the family by promoting homosexual marriage and adoption? Are these politicians placing limits on the free exercise of your religion? Are they forcing you to violate your conscience? Are they making it harder to raise your children in the faith? Are they forcing sex education on your children who are too young to hear these messages? Do they mock your God and His commandments? Are they causing our children to stray from the faith?

Jesus tells us, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimedthan wit h two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire” How can we not take a step back and think about this statement? What is Jesus saying? He is saying that your soul is more important than anything else in your life, even your body. If there is something that is holding you back in your relationship with God, get rid of it! If your friends are causing you to sin, or to be embarrassed by your faith, get rid of them. They are not your friends. If politicians are impinging on your religious freedoms or placing “stumbling blocks” between your children and God, get rid of them. Vote them out of office!

Jesus does not mince words about those who cause sin, particularly in children:
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.

Life is too short to fill it with sin, indifference, or people that cause these spiritual diseases. Cut it off! Get rid of them! Get yourself and your family to Heaven. That is your mission. That is the only thing that will matter in the end. God will not ask how many Facebook friends you have or how many times you voted for “your parents’ political party”. He will ask how ardently you loved Him and how earnestly you lead your family in the journey to Heaven.



Go to Confession!

clock September 21, 2012 10:20 by author John |

Go to confession today or tomorrow. Before we can grow close to God, we must first clean our soul of the sins which separate us from Him.



Living Every Day as if it Was Your Last

clock September 17, 2012 20:09 by author John |
Thomas a Kempis
Thomas a Kempis

"Very soon your life here will end; consider, then, what may be in store for you elsewhere. Today we live; tomorrow we die and are quickly forgotten. Oh, the dullness and hardness of a heart which looks only to the present instead of preparing for that which is to come!

Therefore, in every deed and every thought, act as though you were to die this very day. If you had a good conscience you would not fear death very much. It is better to avoid sin than to fear death. If you are not prepared today, how will you be prepared tomorrow? Tomorrow is an uncertain day; how do you know you will have a tomorrow?" - The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis (Ch. 23)

In times past the great work of Kempis was an indispensable must-have book second only in importance to the Bible itself. Today, few people have even heard of it. The words surely were too difficult for many throughout the nearly 6 centuries since it was written. With each generation, many found it to be too much trouble and didn’t bother with passing it on to their children. Why dampen a good mood with a sobering reminder of our solemn duty to Christ?

Perhaps one of the most difficult passages is quoted above. It is a startling reminder of our human weakness and transience. We are just passing through this life. Our work, our causes, and our words, are lost to the world shortly after our death. The many years of our life are forgotten in a fraction of the time it took us to live them.

Why then do so many people live without regard for their afterlife? Are they simply ignorant of the realities of Heaven and Hell? Do they not understand? Has no one taken the time to teach them? Have they been taught and found the teaching too difficult to accept? It is likely a combination of these, but nonetheless, they cannot avoid judgment simply by burying their head in the sand. Judgment will come for each of us.

As Kempis urges us, “in every deed and every thought, act as though you were to die this very day.” The only way we know of to win the eternal reward of Heaven is to live each day in the state of grace. If you are not in the state of grace, get to confession. Nourish yourself with the Holy Eucharist.

At present, it seems that the battle for our soul is against retailers peddling sexual images in commercials, outspoken celebrities trying to pass off their depraved vision of fun as authentic happiness, or government officials requiring us to violate our consciences. These may be battles along the way on our journey through life, but they are not the source of our problems. As St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:11-12, “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”

All of the manifestations of evil in the world would be vanquished within a generation or 2 if every Catholic person cleaned their soul on a regular basis and availed themselves of the sacraments. If evil could find no safe harbor in Catholics, we would soon begin to see the rest of the world drawn to our ranks. Let’s do our part in this battle. Let’s make sure our own spiritual house is in order. Let’s live each day as if it was our last, glowing with the radiance of our soul, purified for Christ.



Pray the 54 Day Rosary Novena For the Elections!

clock September 14, 2012 17:10 by author John |

Relevant Radio is promoting a 54 Day Rosary Novena to our Blessed Mother for a favorable outcome to the November Elections. The novena begins today, September 14 and ends on election day, November 6. Please consider praying this novena for our nation!



Betrayal

clock September 9, 2012 18:22 by author John |

Shortly before His death, Jesus prophesied two different episodes of betrayal by His disciples.

When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, "Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus; so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, "Tell us who it is of whom he speaks." So lying thus, close to the breast of Jesus, he said to him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. (John 13:21-26)

Jesus goes on to tell Judas “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Later in the same chapter,

Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward." Peter said to him, "Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times." (John 13:36-38)

Imagine the tension as Jesus calls out these two followers. Though not all of the disciples may have known what was happening with Judas, John must have known because he asked Jesus who was to hand Him over. What must have the disciples thought after hearing of the betrayal? There must have been anger, confusion, and despair. After Jesus called out Peter, the others in the room must have been thinking “Don’t make eye contact. He might call me out next”.

So often we are well intentioned, but when someone challenges our faith or disparages our beliefs, we lose our courage and remain silent. What we may not realize is that this not only is a betrayal of our Lord, but it also empowers the aggressor, making him think that he is right or at least entitled to continue attacking. People will sense weakness and use it against us. I do not mean that we should go looking for fights, but a well-placed rebuke or counterargument goes a long way in defending our religious freedoms, whether individual or societal.

We too can witness to others about the Lord, our Savior, but do we? Let us take every opportunity to bring Jesus to others, even if we will be ridiculed, persecuted or cast out for our beliefs. Our message will be heard if we have conviction and confidence in our words. We must not allow ourselves to betray our Lord the way Peter did, or worse still, as Judas did. Pray for strength, that we may not withhold our witness to Christ.

“All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” – anonymous