|"COME TO ME ALL YOU WHO LABOUR AND ARE BURDENED AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST"|
But Catholics have been there in reality for 2,000 years.
It occurred to me most forcefully at Holy Mass this morning and at Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament following Holy Mass. Could we have a more personal relationship with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ than to belong faithfully to the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church He founded and guaranteed to remain with until the end of time?
Could we have a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ than to enjoy the 7 Sacraments He left in the care of that Church? And really, could we have a more utterly personal relationship with Jesus Christ than to be present at Holy Mass as Bread and Wine are miraculously transubstantiated into His Body, Blood ,Soul and Divinity at the Consecration by His Priest acting truly "in persona Christi", and then to receive and consume that same Real Divine Presence in Holy Communion? That Communion in which Jesus Christ becomes One in us and we one in Him.
Could we have a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ than to have been Baptised into His Mystical Body, that One ,Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? Than to be confirmed as He intended receiving the Holy Spirit He sent? Than to receive absolution from His Priest acting again in His stead to forgive our sins as He had commissioned His Priests?
Could we have a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ than to live through the Liturgical Year with His Church, listening to the inspired word of Sacred Scripture, to the prayers and reflections His Holy Church has brought forth in 2,000 years of accumulated holy study and reflection?And in that way marking and celebrating the events of His Life here on Earth .
At the Heart of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ is His Real Presence with us and in us, just exactly as He, in His Divine Wisdom chose to be and then provided for.
Who are these people who so insist on a " personal relationship " with Jesus Christ? And what do they mean?
Well, firstly they are separated from the Church Christ founded, cut off from Him the "true vine" and He told us that such severed branches will wither and die and that " without Me you can do nothing." They do not teach the truths He taught wholly and with integrity, they deny most of the Sacraments He instituted as visible signs to give Grace. Their "personal relationship" accommodates the secular spirit of the age which denies objective Truth and therefore any chance of really knowing Jesus Christ, of being one with Him. They are the false teachers of which the Holy Apostles warned from the very beginning as we see in the writings of Saints Peter and Paul.
Is this Catholic "triumphalism"? This strange term is a perversion of the Church's analysis of her existence : Militant (struggling here on Earth) and Triumphant ( rejoicing in Salvation in Heaven with Jesus Christ). Are we wrong to insist on our unique status as Christ's true followers?
By no means - in fact if we do not, with Charity properly assert the standing of the Catholic Church , we are denying Christ and His Will. We must do what He has commanded us - "go out into the whole world...." and preach the Good News , never forgetting, hiding or apologising for the unique status which the Church has and calling all those in error to return to the Truth.
Defending the Truth, extolling the Truth with Charity to all is our obligation. We must not compromise that Truth for the sake of "tolerant"(of anything) niceness . There is an abundance of what is truly lovely in our Catholic Faith. Mere niceness is not worthy of it.
On Monday next 20th April, 2014 I will undergo a triple Bypass Heart Operation at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital. I ask for your prayers for the success of the operation and a speedy recovery. Posting will be reduced in the ensuing 7 weeks. But using this post as a foundation I hope to post each week on one of the Seven Sacraments - a worthwhile task in itself and a good bit of self-discipline whilst recovering from this major surgical " attack" on my body! Thank you all in advance for your prayers, and don't forget my dear wife who will have to care for me as I get my act back together !