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A Leaven In The World . . . True Compassion Is Sharing Fullness Of Faith

October 14, 2019 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

True love will always be found in the world through those who share the truth. This is at whatever cost to themselves in terms of the comforts of human respect or material gain.
Selflessness of love speaks the word the other needs to hear in a disinterested way, regardless of the effect upon the one speaking, whether positive or negative in worldly terms.
We are seeing a lack of this true love in the place where God has decreed it should be found unfailingly. The Church is the “place of faith,” founded as such by the Lord Himself, as Benedict XVI taught. Faith is for the sake of seeking the love of God. A crisis of faith is a crisis of love.
True love is Christ, who acted always out of His love for the Father, doing the will of the One who sent Him. Love is a way of life.
This fact shone out most brilliantly in all of history in Christ, divine love Himself incarnate. And it blazed forth most brilliantly when He was most uncomfortable for our sakes, on the cross shedding His Blood. Truth itself suffered the ultimate price of the ignominious death on the cross. He did it out of selfless love for each of us.
Humanity can easily forget the truth about love in the absence of suffering. Comfort can become an anesthetizing amnesia. The many conveniences available today to ease our passage through this world can alienate us from the source of all good, the source of ourselves, and His love.
Gimmicks and distractions, such as we now see at work in many areas of the Church both high and low, will never serve as an effective replacement for the recognizable signposts of faith. These have been handed down divinely through the indwelling Spirit. Among these gifts pertaining to salvation are the male priesthood, the holy Mass, and the sacraments whole and entire as conferred by validly ordained priests.
Cardinal Brandmueller recently spoke out in regard to some aspects of the Amazon Synod, underway in Rome this month, that are unhelpful distractions from the Church’s mission. In some cases what is proposed actively undermines faith. This cannot be the love to which Christ calls, and for which He sends, His Church.
(See The Wanderer, July 4, 2019, p. 1A for a report on Brandmueller’s critique and the full text, first published by LifeSiteNews and Kath.net.)
One of these is “an intrusion into purely worldly affairs.”
“One asks oneself: what do ecology, economy, and politics have to do with the mandate and mission of the Church? And most of all: Which professional expertise authorizes an ecclesial Synod of Bishops to make statements in these fields? Should the Synod of Bishops truly do this, this would be a stepping over boundaries and a clericalist presumption, which the state authorities would then have to reject.”
He states this in connection with questioning why a synod would focus on such a small population, less than half that of Mexico City, as is found in the Amazon region.
Second, the cardinal declares that a seeking of harmony with nature cannot substitute for divine Revelation. An indiscriminate approval of, or appropriation of, native rituals in Church ceremonies sets aside the normative worship of the Church as instituted by Christ. A borrowing of myths, no matter how beautiful, cannot supplant the truths of Scripture, the normative word of God which communicates saving Revelation. The Mass is Scripture in action, Christ’s perfect prayer which saves us in bringing His Body and Blood to the world.
God alone must we worship and Him alone must we serve. Nature is in God but God is not in nature. Our Catholic worship has been handed down in order to reject idolatry, the worship of creatures in place of the Creator, a sin which imperils our souls.
The cardinal expresses a concern that celibacy will be “abolished.” I am not so sure that conferring ordination on some married men will accomplish that. Caution is warranted, however, as the charism is divinely founded by Christ’s own example and must be handed down in the Church regardless of its connection with priestly discipline.
That an ordained man is “married” to the Church by means of celibacy, a “sign of the Kingdom,” is a valuable treasure and should be respected as such.
Some are claiming that the people of the Amazon should not have celibacy because they do not understand it. People do not fully understand God, either. Does that mean we should not have God?
I do share the cardinal’s concern that discussion of conferring ordination on women will cause useless confusion because such is impossible by Christ’s own will and plan. Priests act in persona Christi. Christ’s maleness is not incidental to His role as Savior. Sexual differences are beautiful as created by God and we should never be embarrassed by the work of our Heavenly Father.
The peoples of the Amazon do not have “faith” unless and until they are Christians. They are not linked with Christ unless they are in union with His Church in word and action, by grace of sacrament and worship. They deserve to hear this truth as much as any human person does. Their dignity, and the love of the Father who created them in His image and likeness, demands such.
We betray God if we do otherwise.
Going it alone is a false source of comfort. Rejecting what has come before us and attempting to remake all things on our own terms is a solipsism that leads away from, not toward, the Lord.
Christ is shared in truth so as bring His compassionate love to others which transforms through Divine Mercy, not our poor human love which cannot save.
Recently Pope Francis created new cardinals and urged them to show compassion in connection with their new mission in the Church. He mentioned the brilliant red color of their robes as the perennial invitation to shed their blood in witness to the Lord.
The Church is sent to give something the world cannot give: to give Christ and to keep giving His love. This is the compassion to which we are called.
Just as the Holy Father called on the cardinals to show compassion as symbolized by the red of their cardinalatial dignity, so they’re called to shed their blood with the compassion of Christ Himself: pouring out their lives for the salvation of souls in union with the love of the Father. Divine Mercy alone can give the world the love it so desperately needs, with the forgiveness of sins and the new life of Faith it promises.
Nothing else can substitute for the love of Christ, the sole Savior of the world.
Love is faithful obedience such that Christ is Lord in both word and deed. Let us pray for all who have substituted the fog of confusion for the clarity of the faith, which unfailingly leads us through this world to the next.
Thank you for reading.
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

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