From the Bishop
I knew he was a saint! The several times I met John Paul II, it was clear to me that this very human man was close to God, was a friend of God, was holy, was a saint. Now it is also clear that he was human, a sinner and perhaps at times mistaken in his judgments about people. Nonetheless, this merely helps us all the more to see that we too, we who are sinners, can also live close to our God.
As we move closer to our diocesan assembly this November, one of the calls to each of us is to develop our relationship with Jesus. Some may wonder what exactly that is.
One of the phrases that was used by the Second Vatican Council to describe the family is the term “domestic church.” Each family is the “Church” at home.
The University of Notre Dame recently released a study of Catholic financial giving. One finding was that Catholics are not nearly as generous as members of other religious traditions. Nonetheless, those Catholics who make a conscious decision to give more money and who follow a regular system of doing so give much more away than Catholics who do not follow such a plan. You might say, OK, that seems pretty obvious.
Someone gave me a book on the history of 40 Days for Life, a pro-life movement. The book is written by its two directors, David Bereit and Shawn Carney. Their purpose in being present at abortion clinics really struck me: “Our presence on the sidewalks is powerful in two critical ways – we are the last sign of hope for the mother and baby when they arrive, but also the first sign of mercy to the women as they leave.” Thus they offer an opportunity for conversion, but also “the opportunity to find the mercy of God at a time when they feel they’re beyond mercy.”
There are two ways, one of life and one of death; but a great difference between the two ways.” (Didache, 1) Jesus said something similar:
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 6:13-14)