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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Andrew and Peter

I recently sent this email to a friend of mine.  The reflection I had regarding the Sacred Scripture was as clear as opening my eyes on a fresh spring morning.

 I do hope all is well in the parish.  I know that this time of fasting is not easy, but it will certainly prepare them spiritually for the coming springtime of the Church.  Speaking of which, I did see that Mons. Stinson celebrated a Novus Ordo Mass not too long ago!  Praise God that he is starting to function as a Catholic priest, publicly!  I cannot wait for the day when we can all assist at your Mass, with absolutely no reservation.  It will be a glorious day, indeed.

I was reminded yesterday, during my prayers of one of my favorite passages in all of Holy Scripture.  Matthew 4:18-25...

[18] And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers). [19] And he saith to them: Come ye after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men. [20] And they immediately leaving their nets, followed him. [21] And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets: and he called them. [22] And they forthwith left their nets and father, and followed him. [23] And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom: and healing all manner of sickness and every infirmity, among the people. [24] And his fame went throughout all Syria, and they presented to him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and such as were possessed by devils, and lunatics, and those that had palsy, and he cured them: [25] And much people followed him from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

When I read this passage going forward, I cannot help but think of your family.  Come ye after me, and I will make you fishers of men.  And they immediately leaving their nets, followed him.  How powerful is that?  When I think about the last stages of your journey to becoming a Catholic, I think of this passage.  They abandoned all that was familiar and they came to follow Jesus.  What courage that takes.  I don't know that kind of courage, because I've been "in the bosom" for my entire life.  But to leave that which is familiar, that has to be a very hard thing to do!  I have always held that priests are to be heralds for Christ.  That priests are to be the one's which bring the sick and possessed and lunatics to the Church, so that they can be cured!  Not necessarily physically, but spiritually.  And that leads people to follow him.

My prayer for you remains the same, but after my morning prayers and meditating on this piece of Sacred Scripture, I know one and your family are heralds.  Your priesthood and their support will allow you to bring the gospel in an entirely new and fresh way to Holy Mother Church.

These are exciting times and they are wonder filled!  May God keep you oh so close as you do what is necessary!  I cannot wait to assist at your Mass.  I cannot wait to watch your parish become Catholic.  I cannot wait to welcome them (and your family) into "the bosom" which is Holy Mother Church.

Being Catholic is a wonderful thing.  I cannot express to everyone how much solace and how much Grace I find daily in being Catholic.  It is realized by knowing that the truth of Holy Mother Church exists not because I want it to, or because I understand it a certain way, but rather it is realized in knowing that no matter what the truth won't change.  It never has.  When Andrew and Peter realized this, they gave up everything to follow Christ.  The recipient of the email did the same thing.  As I said in the email, I can't imagine what that is like, but in a certain sense, I'm glad, because I know that I will never have to go through that struggle.  I will always be Catholic.  There is a great warmth in that, like being wrapped in a blanket on a cold winter is my wish that everyone can have that feeling of security!

As I said, these are exciting times. 

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