“Spiritual Growth Element”

“Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.”

 Here we are….we have arrived at our entrance into the Holiest of Weeks in our liturgical year. And, we commemorate, on this Palm Sunday, Jesus’ glorious entrance into the City of Jerusalem, with palms waving and swaying in a short-lived display of honor and adoration. His betrayal was soon to come. With our celebration on this Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, let us today, commit to not be part of the backsliding Jerusalem crowd, who were ever-so-quickly swayed from enthusiastic praise, adulation and support, to the bribed demand for His crucifixion. A modem-day word describing those Palm wavers, comes to mind…”fickle” meaning “inconsistent” and “changeable”.

I pray that you have already found some spiritual satisfaction in your Lenten endeavors…and, that you have felt (and seen) some spiritual improvement in your daily life. The benefits we have accrued so far, as with any ‘life-style-changing” effort or activity, will quite rapidly dissipate… if we do not strive to make it a permanent discipline and a committed part of our day-to-day living. Give serious thought to making your Lenten achievement into a committed permanent change for the better. With each sacrifice comes grace, and with grace comes the peace we inherently long for and that Christ so desires for all of us.

It recently came to mind that this “Reparatory Season” of Lent, beginning barely two months into the new year, provides an ideal and timely opportunity for us to refine and reinforce our new year’s resolutions and ascertain that we have a “spiritual growth element” contained within them. The spiritual merit that accrues from our way of living; our words and actions…is what is most important every year (really every day and every minute) to our achieving our created purpose of attaining eternal happiness in heaven.

Today, 3-30-17, Vice-president Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote that allows States to defund the evil abortion giant Planned-Parenthood. While that is a very good move, and the climate has never been better for bringing legalized abortion in the U. S. to an end, we have to keep the pressure on, with our prayers, as well as our voices and actions. If we just sit back waiting for good things to happen, we will surely be sadly disappointed. Two republicans from the pro-life party voted against the defunding measure, requiring the vice-presidents vote to break the tie. Strange bedfellows these politicians, so we must persist in our written and vocal pressure calling for an end to abortion. The President and his party platform have promised this.

However, more than ever, the evil one and his human minions, are angered, livid, and hell-bent on preventing the fulfillment of the pro-life President’s promises. Silence is the enemy of Truth. The opposite of love is not hate…it is indifference; apathy. So, commit to learn and be comfortable in your knowledge of the truth. Teach others when needed and above all speak out…do not be silent. Also, more than ever, we need an active pro-life ministry in our parish, to include the youth, and we are looking for new leadership. Our long-time committed co-chairs, Helen Conniff and Dan Siecker, are in need of a respite. Please let me know if you would consider joining me and our parish group, and also if you would be interested in becoming a co-chair.

My final note as we reflect and pray through the Passion, Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus this coming week, is to embrace the knowledge that this is the center of Our Christian Faith….and that the Glorified Body of our Resurrected Savior has remained with us after His Ascension in the Eucharist that He instituted. Avail yourself regularly of His Divine Mercy in Confession and receive His sanctifying Body and Blood as often as you can, and your gifted Faith will strengthen and grow.

And, with the several areas of confusion that have been bubbling up of late, regarding our Faith, commit to read the Catechism. Read it to reinforce your knowledge of what the Church teaches, especially regarding the contentious issues that are being vaguely and inaccurately reported in the Secular Press. Discuss them with your fellow Catholics (perhaps come to the Monday night, 7:00 PM Prayer Group meeting) and then take courage to defend the Faith, a duty for all Catholics, lay and the ordained. When you encounter a contentious faith issue in the press or from an acquaintance that seems puzzling, tum to reliable Catholic websites/news services like… EWTN radio & TV and website, The National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, Christian Action News, and others, to get the more accurate, Catholic perspective. Feel free to contact me personally as well.

And please, in this 100th Anniversary year of her Fatima appearances, remember Our Lady’s emotional plea to every one of us…get it going now in Lent and build the habit…to pray the Rosary daily.

May your Holy Week be richly blessed,

Father Denis