As we commemorate the Resurrection on this Easter Sunday, we renew our belief in the mercy of God and the power of forgiveness. These are among the great lessons demonstrated by the Resurrection of Jesus,
In the Roman Catholic Church of today -- into which all souls are most welcome -- we are reminded of the spirit of renewal that coincides with the season -- passing from the darkness into the light, and from death into life, once again.
We are born with the challenge of perfectibility, and in many ways we suffer the separation from God that is the plight of our descending from choices that were misguided -- and correctable.
Have you ever wondered what you might have done, faced with the curiosity that led to the temptation in the Garden of Eden to mistrust God -- because that is essentially what took place -- and it is, most essentially, an act of Betrayal.
In cultivating a conscience, we make it possible minute-by-minute to keep in mind that which is possible, in achieving an ideal; and by witnessing to others -- our brothers and sisters who are also children of God -- by our example.
Hence the invitation of St. Francis of Assisi -- because of the Joy that we receive through its practice -- to 'preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words,' memorialized through the Orthodox Order of the Friars Minor, (in Rule of 1221, Chapter XII) on how the Franciscans should practice their preaching:
No brother should preach contrary to the form and regulations of the holy Church nor unless he has been permitted by his minister . . . All the Friars . . . should preach by their deeds.
Among the Seven Sacraments -- instituted by Christ to give Grace, to follow along His path -- the Sacraments of Healing are those by which we receive God's infinite Mercy, based upon our having a contrite heat. The Sacraments of Healing are extremely powerful tools:
"Through the sacraments of Christian initiation, man receives the new life of Christ. Now we carry this life "in earthen vessels," and it remains "hidden with Christ in God." We are still in our "earthly tent," subject to suffering, illness, and death. This new life as a child of God can be weakened and even lost by sin.
The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members."
Among the other Sacraments are Baptism (demonstrated in the life of Christ in His humility); Confirmation (demonstrated through His relationship to God the Father, in prayer); Penance and Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist (demonstrated by His Death, Crucifixion, and Resurrection); Holy Orders (demonstrated in His establishment of the apostolic priesthood), and Matrimony (demonstrated by his establishment and close relationship in trust with His Holy Church).