"Lord make me an instrument of thy peace..."
Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis was visited by a voice from heaven which instructed him to 'rebuild my Church.' After literally trying to rebuild the brick and mortar of the local church, Francis realized that God wanted him to rebuild the spiritual vitality of the Church Universal! And Francis set the believing world on fire just as Jesus set the world on fire before him. But this fire was not the stereotypical waif like pacifist fire of the kumbaya Jesus or the garden-variety-bird-holding Francis.
This was the fire of the Cross and the stigmata!
“Justice is with the Lord, our God; and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our ancestors, have sinned in the Lord’s sight and disobeyed him." Baruch 1:15-22
"Lord make me an instrument of thy peace..." I am an American Catholic and my name is Legion...for we are many. We profess to follow Jesus and live like St. Francis, but we vote for Pro-Choice politicians. Thus, millions of fellow Catholic Americans have died, barbarically, at the hands of pagan abortionists. We profess to belonging to the Groom, as the Bride of Christ, but profane the Sacramental symbol of marriage, between a man and a woman, defacing it with pagan manipulations in 'alternate lifestyles.' (Sorry Pope Francis, but prophets tell the truth.) We water down the Apostolic Tradition to fit into a secular society; therefore, watering down the Life of Christ within us to follow the fads and fashions of the 'father of lies.'
There, we find no Cross or stigmata...only a broken and crumbling Church.
"Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; Deliver us and pardon our sins for your name’s sake." Psalm 79:1-5, 8-9
One can expect the proud American to say, 'Lord, we were the first on the moon. We flew the skies and sailed the seas like no other nation! We lived the American dream.' But American technology cannot build a stairway to heaven. Our sins, however, in free will, can dig a pit all the way to the gates of hell! Repentance, in true contrition, in lieu of the Mercy of the Blood of the Lamb of God, shed on Calvary, is the only way the American Catholic can partake in a truly Franciscan rebuilding of our Church. For without the admittance of our sins, and our return to the Prodigal Father--fully obedient to His Son's Apostles--we are just as good as dead, freely chosen dead.
And Jesus whispers to Francis-among-us now: "Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:13-16
But our words will only bear the glory of Truth if they are obedient to the Apostolic Teaching of the Church, and bear the marks of a Life in Christ, in repentance and contrition and compassion, born of the Cross of Jesus, and worn in the humble obedience of St. Francis' stigmata.
For the Church can never be rebuilt in human pride and philosophical folly, but in the simple faith of the little children of God, faith that radiates out to the world like the poor little man of Assisi.
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