Our Easter Season concluded last Sunday with the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost. The homily focused on the Holy Spirit’s arrival being the fulfillment of the promise Jesus made (prior to His Ascension to the Father in heaven) that he would send us an Advocate to provide us protection, guidance and counsel. And with Our Lord having made good on this tremendous gift of the Spirit, our attention needs to focus on taking advantage and making good and frequent use of this magnanimous gift. And this is most effectively done by beginning every day with a prayer, an appeal to the Holy Spirit to enlighten, guide, strengthen and console us in our daily efforts to live holy and sin-less lives.
Not emphasized from last week’s Gospel were the last two lines, that describing the additional great gift that Jesus vested to the disciples, along with the Spirit that He breathed onto them (and to all priests going forward), was the authority to forgive (or to not forgive) our sins as we strive for sin-less lives. It is important for us to remain fully cognizant of the latent power and grace that the Spirit awaits to embrace us with, thereby enlivening us with spiritual and psychological freedom and joy. Keep Confession as a regular part of your life. You are only kidding yourself, if you feel it is un-needed, as you become stripped of that spiritual armor of sanctifying grace. Our modern world is terrifically difficult to navigate in peace. Request the help of the Spirit every day with a humble: “Come Holy Spirit!” His gifts and fruits are there for the asking.
The Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen, referred often to the immensely reciprocal love of the Father and the Son. Each breathes (or sighs) his love for the other, with their shared breath defined as “Spiritus Sanctus”, was the love that is breathed back and forth between them. This same Trinitarian ‘Spirit’, or ‘Breath’, is what flows down upon you and me at each holy Confession…preparing and cleansing us, in a way prescribed by Christ, to validly receive His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist at Mass. Our Trinitarian God shows Himself as a Merciful Father, in his only Son… as a Savior, and in His Spirit…as a Redeemer, who is forever renewing His love for us and allowing (really encouraging) us, to do the same for Him and for each other…for all our neighbors.
Bishop Sheen, along with many other Fathers of the Church, metaphorically tried to define and explain the One God in Three Persons, really, to no avail. It truly remains a mystery beyond our finite ability to comprehend. We should take comfort in the fact, that it will be when we reach our eternal reward, with our glorified bodies and intellects, that we will see our God, face-to-face in heaven and that we will understand this Trinitarian Mystery. Let us be attentive to the Trinitarian Greeting we hear at the beginning of each Mass, immediately after making the Sign of the Cross. “The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
This week two documents were added to the Mary Queen of Heaven Parish App and Website for your easy reference. One is a copy of “The Five Prayers that were Revealed at Fatima”. The other is a copy of the very clear and concise…”Brief Statement on Transgenderism” provided by the highly esteemed National Catholic Bioethics Center. I highly recommend that every family take the time to access, read and assimilate the information in both. The Fatima Prayers are inspiring and powerfully useful, more-so today, than ever before. This brief ‘Transgender Statement’ provides a clear explanation of what’s really true, scientifically and medically, regarding this new phenomenon of so-called “Transgenderism” (more correctly defined as “Gender Dysphoria”).
Unfortunately, the bold LGBT activists, behind the “gender ideology movement”, have been aggressively promoting, at Federal, State, and local levels, broadly false premises regarding gender dysphoria. “Gender Dysphoria” is the clinical name for the experience of anxiety or unhappiness with one’s created gender, believing that he or she is in the wrong body; that is …a male trapped in a female body, or vice versa. We all need to catch up on what is happening right here in front of our noses in Duval and Clay school systems. Policies and resolutions of medical associations, as well as legislative and regulatory actions, are already promoting this so-called gender affirmation and transitioning, to include pre-pubescent. They are mandating the compliance of schools, health care providers and payers, social services and others. These regulations are coercive and based on a false understanding of human identity. Gender Transitioning mandates the affirmation of a false identity, and in many cases, the mutilation of the body in support of that falsehood.
Rest assured, we must treat all those suffering with gender dysphoria, with great sympathy and compassion. However, we must not be duped into acquiescing to the false premises of the activists, that the transgender lifestyle, opposite sex access to bathrooms which are already being hyped in children’s schools and books, is a worthy way of life. We must ask questions and read up on this issue, speak out… and demand these egregiously harmful policies be repealed.
Yours in Him for truth and justice,