Dear Friends in Christ:
I certainly hope that you enjoyed the wonderful feast day celebrations. My sincere thanks to all who helped make it a wonderful success; those involved with the liturgies and those involved in the festivities, (cooking, serving, entertainment, cleaning, etc.). To all of you my sincere thanks and appreciation. Yet the feast has not ended as we are still in the midst of offering our 5000 hours of adoration and 10,000 rosaries for the intentions of our parish. Please come and be part of our offering of prayer.
In last week’s bulletin, I mentioned four actions we are embarking upon: Outreach, Engagement, Discipleship, and Leadership. These, of course, are not new and they are not something that is going to be quick in and quick out. Rather, these actions are part of our on-going efforts to grow in our spiritual journey as a parish and as individual believers. I hope that all of us will periodically and regularly look at ourselves, families, and ministries to see how we are living these actions. This is not a program of activity rather it is a way of life. At the Masses of July 28, in my homily reflecting on Colossians 2, I spoke of the need for us to BE CATHOLIC! That indeed is what the world needs for us to be each and every day. Our marriages need us to live our faith, our children need us to live our faith, our neighbors and friends need us to live our faith. Our country needs us to live our faith. Imagine if all of the Catholics in the U.S. seriously lived their Catholic Faith, if they lived their lives by being 100% Catholic. Wow! How different the world would be! Imagine if the 21% of Americans who are Catholic didn’t lie, cheat, steal, kill, commit adultery, or fornication. Imagine if all of the more than 70 million Catholics and millions more former practicing Catholics actually lived and fully put into practice the teachings of the Catholic Church of loving God before all else and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Imagine how that would change how we do business, run schools, drive on the freeway. Imagine if the tens of millions of American Catholics everyday attempted to live fully the virtues of prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude, faith, hope, and love. Imagine if the millions of Catholic families in the U.S. lived the corporal and spiritual works of mercy every day. Think of what that would do to our taxes, the healthcare system, the economy, the criminal justice system, education, social services. Imagine if all Catholics lived the fruits of the gifts of the Holy Spirit of charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity. Imagine how that would change the landscape of our nation for marriage and family life.
The good news is there are tens of millions of U.S. Catholics doing all of these things – every day, all across the country! We are making a positive and life-changing impact in the lives of millions of our neighbors and friends because of our love of God and desire to live our Catholic Faith. (Don’t worry that it will not make the news.) There are millions and millions of Catholics who, without any fanfare, say their daily prayers, go to Mass every week, live lives of virtue and integrity; who love their families, are faithful to their spouses, live moral and upright lives, practice sexual purity, put their faith in action, practice charity and generosity, exhibit true joy, and live in faith, hope and love. Now none of us are perfect. That is why Jesus gave us the Sacrament of Penance. All of us, however, are capable of receiving God’s grace, forgiveness and mercy, every day and grow in holiness. Our job, our destiny, and God’s will for us is that we go to heaven and take as many people as we can with us. The way we change the world starts with us changing ourselves. Each of us living our faith without compromise or confusion is the way to be happy…
~ for the key to happiness is holiness! BE CATHOLIC! BE 100% CATHOLIC!
In pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately