Father John J. Lombardi
In the Gospels of Jesus,
as well as in our Roman Catholic Religion, there
are many hard sayings-teachings that we cannot
accept or understand unless we have supernatural
Faith. The world and our earthly egos sometimes
get in the way and cause doubt to our
discipleship. But if we have the Faith of the
Saints then we can accept and follow these
daring teachings. Ask yourself, while reviewing
the following "A to Z List of Difficult
Teachings, "Will you too walk away?" (Jn. 6:
67). And while pondering this list, remember the
martyrs who followed these teachings, to the
point of death. Be faithful! The hard teachings
are difficult, but they are also divine; they
are sometimes dangerous but they are doable.
I Believe, Help My
wrong. Never do it. If you have, seek the
sacrament of Reconciliation, and remember Dr.
Nathanson who performed 60,000 abortions and
eventually realized that they were babies, boys
and girls, real persons, and stopped performing
abortions and sought Confession and actually
became a Catholic!
Birth Control-is one of
the most common evils and sins of Catholics, and
is destructive to marriages and human sexual
dignity. A doctor-friend once witnessed that he
and his wife practiced contraception, eventually
found out the Church's teaching on it and
repented. He then gave $5,000 to the Church to
promote the teachings of freedom from
contraception and the harm it brings.
Celibacy for Priests for
the sake of the Kingdom---we priests love our
celibacy. This is the lifelong practice of the
Roman Catholic Church and we all need to support
our priests in their celibate commitments. This
frees them up to serve you and everyone and the
Church. If celibacy is good enough for Jesus
then it should be good enough for all of us
Devil-evil and Satan are
pervasive in today's world. The Devil is a
personal being and there is evil too-and through
witchcraft and occult practices this can come
into your home and attack your family, your
marriage and discipleship. The great priest
Padre Pio fought him-so can you.
Embryonic Stem Cell
Research-this dangerously promotes the operating
on little, innocent human beings, albeit small
ones, to allegedly help other persons like actor
Christopher Reeves and your relatives who are
sick and in need of help. We must always
remember we should never do an evil thing to
bring about a proposed good (Rm. 3:8)-this is a
cornerstone of Catholic-Christian morality. Also
remember: persons are not objects and shouldn't
be treated as such.
Fidelity lifelong in
marriage-we live today, Pope John Paul II said,
in a culture of divorce. We need to help married
couples stay married and sacrifice for one
another and the Church; marriage is one of the
cornerstones of our culture. I recently met a
couple who asked for a blessing. "Sure-how long
have you been married?" I asked. The Daley's,
from Nebraska, responded 65 years. If they can
do it so can you. Commit-and be
God as One: God has
revealed Himself to us and there are no gods or
goddesses. Remember: humans are meant for
worship and we will worship anything if our
human nature is not guided by God's supernatural
revelation and the Church. Recall St. Thomas'
exclamation when He saw the Risen Jesus: -"My
Lord and My God" and repeat this often and
worship the One True God.
Hell exists and means
everlasting separation from God. Heaven is its
direct opposite-eternal Bliss in paradise. Which
one are you choosing?
Immaculate Mary is
without sin, she is the Mother of God and
Mediatrix of Grace-so, if she is good enough for
Jesus to honor, then emulate her, especially
thru praying the rosary.
Jesus as unique - only
Savior of all: Many people think "there are many
roads up the mountain" of salvation. Perhaps,
but all roads somehow lead to Jesus at the top,
as He indicates: "No one comes to the Father
except thru Me." So receive Him into your heart
as personal Lord & Savior---this isn't just for
Killing as in the death
penalty should be rare, as Pope John Paul II
taught, and killing also comes thru gossip which
harms souls. Ask yourself before speaking: Is it
true? Is it necessary? Does it cause harm?
twin commandments should be in harmony-we should
not be "pick & choose Catholics"-either loving
God or loving others. No! - both go together.---
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati loved beggars on the
streets of Milano, Italy, and also loved God in
the Eucharist and became saintly in the process
and shows us how to honor both commandments.
Yes, difficult, but these four words to lead to
Heaven: Love God, Love neighbor.
Modesty of dress: This
is one of the most practical and abused
disciplines of spirituality today. Do you "dress
to kill" to call attraction to your body
sensually? Or do you ascribe more to prudence
than prurience - "the less you show the more you
riches-people today worship gods and goddesses
and possessions. Think of St Francis of Assisi
who stripped himself of actual clothing and
passions and loved the Lord of riches and served
the poor in heroic charity.
Obedience: this is one
of the most misunderstood and rejected words
today. The Latin word means "to listen to"…as
listen to the Lord, His teachings, His church-do
Pope and papacy have
been under attack so pervasively. Yet think of
the millions at the Philippines who gathered
with Pope John Paul II for World Youth Day and
in Mexico City and re- kindled our love for St
Quell the Passions.
Passions are neutral in themselves but can often
go haywire if we let them. Love can turn to
lust; fear to cowardice; sadness to depression
and joy into laxity and carefreeness. St John of
the Cross counseled that the Holy Spirit can
purify our passions and direct them aright.
are no absolutes, even Ted Koppel asked wryly if
The Ten Commandments have turned into Ten
Suggestions. The Church teaches there are
absolutes: do not fear-these are helpful, not
hurtful to human freedom.
Spirituality and prayer:
we are called to talk to and listen to the Lord,
yet so few do. I recently went to a drug
treatment center and asked the clients what they
wanted to talk about and they responded
immediately, "Prayer." This is so hard, yet
think of St Teresa of Avila who sought the Lord
thru prayer in "The Interior Castle" (her book)
and found the Lord Jesus within the center (of
Telling sins to the
priest in holy confession. A man recently said
that some say their sins to God, so who needs
the priest? Yet God is in the priest. Go to His
Divine Mercy and confess!
Usury of others thru
pornography, cohabitation, illicit sexuality and
also usury of the human body thru self abuse.
These are all degrading to human dignity and
sexuality. You can be free.
Vices like thievery,
lying, pride and slander show that mankind does
have a fallen nature, but also, save-able!
Will of God-is sometimes
mysterious but like the great priest DeCausaude
and his book, make "Abandonment to Divine
Providence"- a habit in your life--trust in Him.
X is the Cross-on which
hung the Savior Jesus Christ and embraced His
sufferings. He can help you accept yours in your
marriage, your job and family and work.
Yes to the Holy
Eucharist-that it is really Him, Body and Blood,
Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament-in
Mass, Adoration, He is waiting for you: visit
and adore Him often!
Zeal for souls: St
Francis Xavier sailed across the world to
baptize thousands because he wanted their
salvation. One man said another hard saying is
"There is no salvation outside the Catholic
Church" ("ecclesia non salus est"). Yes, this is
mysterious how the Church is present in various
non-explicit Catholic persons, but we should all
seek to help save souls by evangelization and
So: Will you walk away
like those in the Gospel or follow these hard
sayings like a holy Apostle? Remember-these hard
teachings are difficult, but they are divine!
Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi