Emmitsburg Council of Churches

Meditation for the Faithful

Father John J. Lombardi

"And after He/Jesus spoke, many disciples walked away from Him" (St Jn. 6: 66).

Will you assist or resist the Lord Jesus in His compassionate and challenging teachings of Truth and life? You are called to be a Catholic-Christian in today’s world­and your identity is thru following His Commandments and teachings (I Jn.2:3-6 ). St Peter and others stayed with Jesus. These are Tough and Terrific Teachings for Catholics

Here’s the Top Ten Tough­and Terrific-- Teachings of Jesus’ Church…

1-Sexuality-purity: Sexuality is sacred and yet it becomes defiled/deformed by our world and sin. Are you pure and chaste or do you embrace the world’s impure-self actions, and contraception, or pornography? These are challenging times. Chastity and inner freedom/sensual equilibrium are what we Catholics seek and uphold­and sacred sexuality­and love and children! Trouble in this way? Remember St Augustine who overcame his sexual enthraleldness and became holy and chaste and a leader of our Church!

2-Sunday/ Mass: We can worship the Lord anywhere, and should, however we are called to be with Lord in His Eucharistic-Sacrifice ("Do this in remembrance of Me") and also brothers and sisters at Mass. We all need a day to rest and to allow others this bliss and like Jews give the Earth/ground/Nature some rest. Don’t be workaholic! Remember

3- Eucharist really is Jesus Christ’s Body Blood, Soul and Divinity and if you don’t believe this, or all He teaches thru His Catholic Communion, then you shouldn’t receive, and if you’re living in sin or public scandal (pro-abortion politicians) you should not defile the Lord or provide division.

4-Abortion and euthanasia/ stem cell- In Culture of Death we allow killing to solve problems. Last Thursday parishioners went to an abortion mill in Hagerstown and counseled two ladies out of their abortions: to CHOOSE LIFE! The counselors-consolers offer heroic help to the ladies to help them thru their challenges. Likewise killing the elderly (so-called "death with dignity") is a ruse: Nazis selected gypsies and handicapped and Catholics to murder: watch out today! Likewise stem cell is a Frankensteinian illusion of harvesting and killing babies to help others. Never Forget Catholic-Christian!: We should never do an evil thing to supposedly bring about a good thing (see Rm. 3:8).

5-Sanctity of Marriage –Catholics teach like the Lord Jesus there should be no illicit divorce­even in our throwaway/transient/seductive society. Last week I spent time with two couples married over 50 years and admired/learned form their patience, sacrifices and, best, love!

6-AfterLife­Like the Bible and Lord Jesus Catholics believe in Hell–everlasting punishment for those who reject God knowingly; and Purgatory-a trans-temporal spiritual stage of and purging of sins for those who are not perfect for heaven yet.

See Insert for continuation…

Always remember –You are a Catholic: Be not afraid. Embrace and extend God’s Plan to others. What is True is not always popular, what is popular is not always true.

"Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Rm. 12:2).

7-Charity-we need to help others: Creed (right beliefs) is necessarily coupled with Charity­love-in-action. What good is it if we believe in and worship God and do not follow thru with what Jesus-God wants us to do? We should not become legalists and neglect praxis­prayerful practice. In St.Mt..25 the Lord Jesus says nations and souls will be judged on if and how they fed the hungry, clothed the naked and visited the imprisoned: Do you? Also: we canto become materialists ­hoarding goods and possessions and unnecessarily large houses and cars . these sometimes block souls from God and practicing charity because we love and sometimes worship what were’ attached to. St Francis of Assisi love the world and women and wine and yet broke free to Love the Lord and give away tons of earthly treasures for Christly ones: will you?

8-In vitro fertilization/ cloning/ /sterilization: Bio medical issues are at the forefront and forceful domination of today’s world, and couples who cannot conceive should however not however desiringly choose scientific-seductive plots outside God’s loving-sexually-sacred plan for human sexuality (in a laboratory; designer-genes/DNA; selecting sex, etc). Likewise scientists should not make other creatures or human beings: Pope John Paul said that just because we can do it (seductive scientific breakthroughs) does not mean we should do it. Also: men and women should not treat their bodies like animals and neglect the fertile- generative capabilities He has given them.

9-Homosexualism –whether about so called marriage or same-sex unions or practice we do not support these. We need strong heterosexual marriages. Any other form of this will unravel our culture. Groups like Courage (Catholic: dial 410-665-2111 for help) and Exodus International are Christian groups that help persons with homosexuality. Many have overcome this proclivity and now practice their Faith!

10-Confession/Reconciliation: we are all sinners (Rm. 3:23) and need God’s grace, as well as to verbally – communally confess to others (Jas. 5) our sins. This is therapeutic as well as iconic: Jesus gives us apostles-priests rep-resentatives of Himself (Jn. 20:20-23) to confess and thereby become unwound, liberated, freed.

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi