"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Fr. Campbell, “Think upon these things” (Phil.4:8)

“Think upon these things”(Phil.4:8)

Fr. Campbell 


“When the fullness of time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, that he might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father.’ So that he is no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, an heir also through God” (Gal.4:4-7).

God wanted nothing but the best for His Divine Son. We know that the Woman God chose to be His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, was prepared for her role in the best possible way. She was conceived without the stain of Original Sin, and even at her birth she was already the greatest human being who ever walked this earth. We can say this because we do not call her Son, Jesus Christ, a human being. He was a Divine Being who took upon himself our human nature and condition.

If God created such a perfect Mother for His Son, would He take less care in creating the man who would be his legal father in this world, even if not His biological father? This man would have to be a perfect example of the manly virtues and qualities God wanted His Son to acquire. That man was St. Joseph. With Mary and Joseph to teach Him and guide Him, Jesus would be well prepared for His mission as our Divine Savior. St. Luke says in his Gospel:

“And the child grew and became strong. He was full of wisdom and the grace of God was upon him” (Lk.2:40). 

But God also cares for OUR formation as His chosen disciples. Because our human nature has been weakened by Original Sin, we must struggle against the trials and temptations of this life. Holy Scripture says that even the just man falls seven times a day (Prov.24:16). We cannot expect to remain sinless for long without the sacramental remedies provided by the Holy Catholic Church. The seven Sacraments help us to become strong in our faith and to find our way to Heaven.

It has been widely reported in the last few days, as in Newsweek, that the manifest heretic, “Papa” Bergoglio, led a little boy to believe that his recently deceased atheist father was in Heaven, because he was a “good” father. We must point out that it is not ordinary human goodness that gets us to Heaven, but our faith in Jesus Christ. Our good works in this life will count for nothing if we do not believe. The boy’s father was an atheist. Our Lord always asked for faith from His hearers, as when He said to His Apostles just before His Ascension:

“He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mk.16:16).

Our faith in these evil days is severely challenged, and we can expect an even rougher road ahead. Our access to the Sacraments will not last indefinitely. While we still can, we must make good use of them. St. Paul speaks with urgency:

“On behalf of Christ, therefore, we are acting as ambassadors, God, as it were, appealing through us. We exhort you, for Christ’s sake, be reconciled to God. For our sakes he made him to be sin who knew nothing of sin, so that in him we might become the justice of God… Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation!” (2Cor.5:20,21;6:2).

There are, of course, certain conditions to be met. When we approach the Lord’s altar to receive Him in Holy Communion, we must be in the state of grace. For this reason, we have confessions before every Mass. All serious sins, that is, mortal sins, must be confessed and absolved in the confessional before one receives Holy Communion. This is so even if one has already confessed his sins to God and had perfect sorrow for them, or perfect contrition as it is called. This is expressed by the words, “I detest all my sins… because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love”.

What we call imperfect contrition is expressed by the words, “I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell”. This is sufficient to have one’s sins absolved in the confessional. If one has been unable to get to confession, there is no shame in not approaching the altar, as there may be various reasons for not receiving Holy Communion.

It is not necessary to confess venial sins before Holy Communion, although they may be confessed if one wishes. Before the priest can give absolution, there must be at least one sin, venial or mortal, to absolve. Otherwise absolution cannot be given, but only a blessing. A sin already confessed previously may be confessed again to fulfill this requirement.

This means that if one has only venial sins to confess, it is not necessary to stand in line for confession. If you don’t feel it is necessary to go to confession any particular Sunday, or even for several Sundays, perhaps that will make room for someone who is particular anxious to get to confession. These are difficult times, and we must make the adjustments that are necessary to help as many people as possible to receive the Sacraments. I try to be in the confessional at 8 AM each Sunday morning, and on ordinary weekdays about 9:15 AM.

These words of the Lord from the book of the prophet Isaiah should give us hope:

“When you stretch forth your hands, I will turn my eyes from you: and when you multiply prayer, I will not hear. For your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves: be clean. Take away the evil of your devices from my eyes. Judge for the fatherless. Defend the widow. And then come and accuse me (consult with me), saith the Lord. If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool. If you be willing and will hearken to me, you shall eat the good things of the land” (Is.1:15-19).