The Happy Priest: Finding True Freedom through Obedience to the Lord
Obedience is a difficult virtue because sometimes the truth really does hurt
Obedience is a difficult virtue because sometimes the truth really does hurt. But, we need to conform our lives to God's will, not our own. I for one will continue preaching the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church, even if there are five people left in the pews. The Catholic Church is not running a popularity contest. The truth must always be explained with kindness and patience, but we can never compromise that which is true.
"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock" (Matthew 7: 24).
Obedience gives us total freedom because we do not wallow in sin, opinion, doubt and error. Let us recall what Jesus said elsewhere in the Gospels: "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 32).
We all know that we live in a time of chaos. There is chaos in the Catholic Church, there is chaos in society and there is chaos in family life. Why is there so much chaos? Disobedience. People are not listening. People are doing their own thing.
Let's take a look at one example that comes to us from the news media. During the time when John Paul II went on to his eternal reward and Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as his successor, the news media gave us a clear window into the open rebellion still going on in the Catholic Church.
A CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP Poll found that seventy-nine per cent of the Catholics polled said that the new Pope should change the Church's teaching on birth control. Sixty-three percent said that priests should be able to marry. Fifty-nine per cent want a change on the Church's ban on embryonic stem-cell research. Fifty-five per cent said that women should be able to be ordained as priests. Thirty-seven per cent want a change on the Church's stand against abortion. In addition, forty-nine per cent believe the Church should change her teachings on divorce.
As a Catholic priest I am continually criticized by some and ignored by others because I stand firmly and confidently with the Pope and all of the Church's teaching. I hear comments from people who say that some people do not come to my parish because they are being told what to do or because I am too strict. We live in an age of rebellion, disobedience and apostasy. Most people do not want to hear the truth and most people do not want to be told how to live their lives, even in the most fundamental aspects of the Christian way of life.
Actually, we can turn to another part of Sacred Scripture and find a perfect description of the times that we live in. St. Paul, in his second letter to Timothy says: "The time is sure to come when, far from being content with sound teaching, people will be avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then, instead of listening to the truth, they will turn to myths. Be careful always to choose the right course." (2 Timothy 4: 3-5).
The time is sure to come.I believe that we are living in the time that Saint Paul predicted.
Do you remember Cardinal Rat zinger's famous homily before the Conclave that elected him as Pope Benedict XVI? He spoke to us about the dictatorship of relativism. This is the present situation in the Church and in our society.
Let us recall the words of Cardinal Ratzinger: "We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth."
Today, we all know that the Church, society and families are all in a state of chaos because most people are not listening and most people are doing their own thing. What are you supposed to do in this present and on-going crisis? Be faithful and persevere.
"Take these words of mine into your heart and soul. Bind them at your wrist as a sign, and let them be a pendant on your forehead" (Deuteronomy 11: 18).
Live and defend the Ten Commandments. Live and defend the Bible. Live and defend all of the teachings of the Catholic Church.
We all know that today anyone can find a priest that will tell them whatever they want to hear. We have the great gift of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If the priest is saying something that isn't there, move on. Find a priest that is faithful, speaks the truth and has the courage to take a stand.
Obedience is a difficult virtue because sometimes the truth really does hurt. But, we need to conform our lives to God's will, not our own.
Sadly, today, most Americans do not want to hear the truth. In my life as a parish priest I have seen people walk away from the truth for a simple bowl of lentils. Most of the time, all they wanted to do was to continue with their immoral life-style. The Catechism of the Catholic Church brilliantly explains the connection between sexual immorality and the loss of faith with these words: "The sixth beatitude proclaims, 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God'. Pure in heart refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God's holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of truth and orthodoxy of faith" (#2518).
I for one will continue preaching the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church, even if there are five people left in the pews. The Catholic Church is not running a popularity contest. The truth must always be explained with kindness and patience, but we can never compromise that which is true. I am excited by the fact that young people and young families are hungry for real Catholicism. I am very excited to see so many young people and young families at my parish. They provide great hope for the future. They really get it and they are making heroic choices in order to live out the Gospel in a very challenging world.
"I set before you here, this day, a blessing and a curse: a blessing for obeying the commandments of the Lord, your God, which I enjoin on you today; a curse if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord, your God, but turn aside from the way I ordain for you today, to follow other gods, who you have not known" (Deuteronomy 11: 26-27).
Father James Farfaglia, the Happy Priest, is the pastor of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas and is a member of the Board of Directors of Human Life International. Father has a hard hitting blog called Illegitimi non carborundum. He has also published a book called Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life. You can click here for the audio podcast of this Sunday homily. His second book, Get Serious! will be available soon. You can visit Father James on the web at www.FatherJames.org.
Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal: Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- There's still time! Continue to clean house and make room for God as we reach the end of Lent
- Holy Week Invites us to Let Go of Self, Embrace the Lord Anew
- Facing Palm Sunday With Dread and Joyful Anticipation
- Once again Lent is almost over, but did YOU keep this Commandment this year?
- Fasting, Refreshing the Routine and Living Lent
- Lent of Conviction and Lent of Love
- There They Crucified Him (Jn 19:18)
- 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
- The Spirit Drove Jesus into the Desert. Now it is our Turn
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
Deacon Keith Fournier - Catholic Online, 3/27/2015
The Liturgy of Palm or Passion Sunday, with its re-presentation of the triumphal entry of the Master into Jerusalem leading into the first Passion Narrative sets the Liturgical framework for a week ...Continue Reading
Deacon Keith Fournier - Catholic Online, 3/27/2015
Cleaning out garages is a metaphor for so much more. Cleaning out the house within is an even greater challenge. However, failure to do so carries with it much more of a consequence. After all, the ...Continue Reading
Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) - Catholic Online, 3/26/2015
The time has finally come. We've sacrificed, struggled, and prayed our way to the end of Lent. Easter is about to begin. Hopefully, Lent has not been just about us as individuals and our struggles ...Continue Reading
Alex Basile - Catholic Online, 3/26/2015
In a crazy world, a holy time like Lent can zip by like the rest of the year. Author Alex Basile ponders if he is ready for the most sacred time in the Liturgical Year. Each year I arrive at the ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »