Fr. Voigt, "Are you "Good" enough to attain heaven?"
Are you "good" enough for the kingdom of God? So many think that if you are "good" naturally you will go to heaven. But there are many who put on the mask of "goodness" without the substance. Our Lord exposes this in his parable of the wheat and the tares. The sower sowed good seed but the evil one who always operates under cover of darkness comes and sows a seed that imitates but does not have substance as the wheat seed.
When the servants of the Lord recognize that the tares are present amongst the wheat they are shocked and ask if "good" seed were not sown. An enemy has done this deed of evil. Now the first lesson we receive is that evil one, the devil, has no substance and can give no substance. His temptations always promise eternal satisfaction only to leave one deceived and dead. You cannot expect from the evil one what God alone can give. The devil is always an imitator with something similar but possessing only death.
"Let the tares grow with the wheat until harvest time and then we shall separate the two." These wise directions indicate another truth. Wheat alone has substance and is truly "good" while the tares have only the appearance of wheat. Now in the order of souls we have many who are naturally "good" but are only show. They possess no sanctifying grace. On the order of nature they perform some "good" actions but usually for the audience that surrounds them. Perhaps during their sojourn on earth they capture the grace of God and they change their life. The tares have become wheat by an act of the will corresponding with the will of God.
In each of us there may be a little wheat and a little of tares. We live the Catholic life in order to purify the soul within us. Through prayer, almsgiving and fasting we begin to unify our life around the Spirit of the Triune God. We are learning to die to ourselves in order to live in Christ. Baptism initiates this life of Grace; Confession strengthens the life through an act of humility; Holy Communion nourishes this divine life while Confirmation perfects our intellect. Natural "goodness" alone does not merit the kingdom of God for there is no supernatural flavor to support it. When the sacramental life is active then the good works flow for a nature that has been touched by the supernatural. The sacred reigns over the earthly. The opinion of God is more important than the judgment of man.
At the harvest time only that which has substance, i.e. the wheat of our lives, will be preserved and placed in the barns while all the tares shall be cast out into the everlasting fire. Our Lord desires that the Eucharistic wheat fill our lives with the divine love that lives and breathes true goodness and love of one's neighbor.
Take time to evaluate your life in the face of this reality. Seek to increase your goodness by your care for the neighbor near you.
In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Fr. Richard Voigt
P.S. Thanks to all of you who have offered their condolences for the Voigt family on the passing of a wonderful Marian mother. God bless you all.